The ongoing Hrithik Roshan vs Kangana Ranaut controversy Farhan Akhtar comes forward to speak up. Farhan Akhtar, who has co-starred with Hrithik in 2011 drama Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, wrote a lengthy post on Facebook, presenting the public feud between the two warring celebs as a case to highlight the need for eradicating gender bias. For those joining camp Kangana, Farhan wrote: –
“Today I read an open letter written by a man I know about a woman I know, professionally, at best. Although a controversy about them is going around since a while now, to my best knowledge this is the first time this man has expressed his point of view.
I am not the authority on who is right or wrong in their situation, that’s for the cybercrime officials to figure out, but I do feel certain aspects of the way the events have unfolded need comment.
Like anyone who has an iota of objectivity and sense of fairness, I too agree that in our society, more often than not, it is the woman who suffers injustice and repression. It is horrifying but true that in some cases of rape, a section of society has blamed the victim.
I have always found this to be unacceptable.
4 years ago, I founded MARD (Men Against Rape & Discrimination) and through the initiative, I have been vocal in my fight against gender related violence and in highlighting cases of discrimination against women and the LGBTI community.
Although it is true that in most cases it is a woman that has been wronged, there is a difference between ‘most’ and ‘all’.
However few and rare they may be, there have been cases where men have been stalked, harassed and falsely accused. This reality has been accepted by the highest courts of our land.
It is in this spirit of objectivity and fairness that today I must speak up.
The way this episode has played out with sections of our media is worrisome.
Some of our most reputed journalists have, consciously or unconsciously, pushed one side of the narrative WITHOUT having or presenting any evidence to back the claims being made by the woman. They’ve accepted her story at face value.
Isn’t this discriminating against the other party?
For a moment, lets put aside emotion, prejudice, biases, our understandably protective instincts and
look at the facts as they exist today.
She claims they had an affair lasting 7 years and during that period, they exchanged a number of emails.
While he denies ever mailing her, he has filed an official complaint, shared and submitted all necessary information and documents, handed over his personal phone and laptop to the concerned authorities.
The woman has not. Apparently, she has avoided, till date, submitting her personal communication devices citing some reason or the other.
In some past cases, this lack of cooperation has been deemed to be obstruction of justice.
Handing over her phone and computer is not only the right thing to do morally and legally but is also the best possible way for her to prove she’s telling the truth. So why refuse or delay?
Apparently, he has over a thousand emails from her official email account which are intimate and sexual in their content. She claims not to have written them but alleges that he hacked her account and mailed himself.
If they were in a 7 year long mutually agreeable relationship, why would he need to do that? Does it not defy logic?
Also, did he reply to any of her emails?
As far as we know, No. Not one single time.
Pause here and ask yourself..
If a woman was to receive these sort of emails from a man and she claimed harassment, what would your immediate reaction be?
Would you have given the man the benefit of doubt by believing him if he said they were in a relationship and she had hacked into his computer and sent herself the mails..?
Chances are you wouldn’t.
She posted a picture of them together claiming it was taken during the years of their alleged affair. That picture was proved, beyond doubt, to have been manipulated.
The actual image consisted of a group of friends including the man’s wife (now ex-wife) standing together in a party.
Why were the others intentionally cropped out?
She has no messages and no photographs to prove that she was in a 7 year long relationship with this man. Not even a picture of their alleged engagement in Paris, an event which he denies.
Furthermore, he has asserted that his passport does not bear any stamp of travel to France during the time she alleges the engagement occurred nor are there any credible witnesses to this event.
Don’t all these inconsistencies raise questions in your mind about the authenticity of the accusations?
So what is the truth?
Well, the truth is that WE do not know the truth.
The reason I felt the need to say this is that it is apparent that some people have already jumped to conclusions while some are deriving some sort of voyeuristic pleasure by encouraging the woman to carry on speaking.
This is being done without a seconds pause to consider the effect her words will have on the person, his family or his children. As great as all of it may be for TRP, it’s in terrible taste.
Until such a time that the matter is brought to its logical conclusion by the authorities, we must avoid vilifying the man on the basis of unsubstantiated statements.
That is what we would have done if this story had played the other way around. That’s what we must do given how it is now.
Let’s not discriminate.”
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