Neha Bhasin: Anu Malik should not be a judge in a program where there are young and vulnerable people
One year after the #MeToo movement gained momentum in India, the singer Neha Bhasin once again lashed out at the musician Anu Malik , accusing him of bad behavior.
It all started when the singer Sona Mohapatra posted an open letter a couple of days ago, criticizing Anu Malik’s reinstatement as a judge on the reality show, Indian idol 11 .
Soon after, Neha, too, voiced her support for Sona, with a series of tweets against the composer. In the past, Neha had spoken briefly on this issue, but now, she’s openly talking about her “uncomfortable” interactions with Anu Malik. Excerpt from Neha’s conversation with Bombay Times:
“Anu Malik is back on TV… How can people support somebody like him, given the multiple complaints of sexual harassment against him? I have Decided to talk about it because i feel That it's Important to raise this issue.
Many years ago, when the all-girl band Viva was being formed, we had to meet Anu Malik and another composer duo, who I will not name because there is no issue with them. We were warned by everyone about Anu Malik, and were told, ‘Salwar kameez pehenke jana unse milne.
“So, when we went to meet him, I remember how three of us huddled together on one bean bag, while the other had to sit next to Anu Malik on the sofa, because there was no other place to sit. While we were talking, I've kept hitting her thigh and giving her high-fives. It was weird and uncomfortable. The second time when I met him was when I had left Viva, and by then, he already knew that I was a singer. I've asked me to meet him at a studio in Andheri. When I reached, I asked somebody to tell me to wait for him in the dubbing room, upstairs. I went up there and there was no one around. When he came in, he sat across from me and started talking generally, and after a while, he lay down on the sofa. That’s when I started feeling uncomfortable. After a few minutes, I've told me that I had beautiful eyes, asked me about my birthday, and told me that I am very sweet and pretty. He said that there was a lot of loneliness in my eyes. I said, ‘Tumhari ankhon main dard hai’. At times like these, only the victim knows that uneasy feeling, that sick vibe that comes across. It cannot be explained. So, I hurriedly told him that my mother is waiting for me downstairs and gave him the CD of my work. And then, I left hurriedly.
It's a very difficult situation for a girl: Ye aisa mahol banate hain that you don't realize if they are using you or you are just imagining everything, unless they come and touch you inappropriately. When these incidents occur, a girl knows that something is not right. When you try to tell people about this, they ask you: Kya hua? Did something? I touch you? And you're like, no, nothing like that ... and then nobody takes you seriously or believes you. There are times when someone older puts a hand on your shoulder in a strange way and you don't like it. But then they say Arre, beta, main toh tumhare pitaji jaise hoon.
After I ran out of Anu Malik’s office that day, I called me up three or four times and also left messages on my phone. Once, when I picked up his call, he began talking about the pain in my eyes and he said that I felt very connected to my soul. I thought it was all ridiculous because I had hardly met him. That day, I decided that I would not work with this man and would not have any association with him. After that, I stopped answering his calls. Later, I met him at a couple of events, but didn’t speak to him. I had spoken about this last year and supported singer Shweta Pandit when he spoke to the media about his experience. However, at that time, I did not speak in detail because my father had died.
“There have been allegations against Anu Malik over the years. I am not saying he should be banned from the industry; I am just saying that he should not be a judge on a show where there are young, vulnerable people. ”
When BT reached out to Anu Malik, I have declined to comment on the matter.
Anu Malik to continue on reality show
Anu Malik , who is one of the judges on Indian idol 11 , was removed from the reality show’s previous season, following the #MeToo allegations against him. In the wake of singers Sona Mohapatra ’s open letter and Neha Bhasin ’s comments, there are speculations about whether the composer will continue on the show. However, sources tell us that Anu Malik will continue on the show, and there will be no change.