The #MeToo movement that has gained traction in India has exposed several prominent names from different lines of profession including filmmkaing, actors, writers, journalists and politics. The Bollywood industry is among the most affected industry in the #MeToo movement. Among them are Vikas Bahl, Sajid Khan, Alok Nath, Nana Patekar, Gaurang Doshi and Luv Ranjan among several others.
Now, singer Shweta Pandit has accused music composer Anu Malik of sexual harassment. She took to Twitter to narrate the ordeal she had to undergo at the hands of Anu Malik.
She wrote, "It has taken a lot in me to open up this wound again and speak up against this pedophile and sexual predator. It was the year 2000 when I was launched as a lead singer with #Mohabbatein (was the youngest singer back then in the Indian music industry ) and was trying to get other good songs to follow up with the success of that soundtrack and the outstanding welcome it gave me in the music industry. I got a call from Anu Malik's then manager (Mustafa) to come to #empirestudio in Andheri sometime in mid 2001. I was thrilled like any singer would be. I used to admire his music and practice his songs for hours and look up to him back then ! He was recording a group song with Sunidhi and Shaan for the film 'Awaara pagal deewana', when my mother and I walked in the monitor room. He told me to wait in the small cabin inside where singers sang at Empire studio. It was just him and me there.
He asked me to sing something without any music as he wanted to hear my voice. I remember I sang the title song of Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega as a voice test for this man. I sang it well so he said, "I'll given you this song with Sunidhi and Shaan but first give me a kiss now" He then smiled, what id recall the most evil grin I've seen. I went numb and pale in the face. I was only 15 years old then, still in school. Can anyone even imagine what it felt that moment ? It felt like someone had just stabbed me in my stomach. I referred to this man as "Anu uncle", he knew my entire family for decades and knew us as a respected gharan a of musicians for generations who have given our entire lives dedicated to music for 4 generations
She further wrote, "He addressed my father as Mandheer bhai. And he does this to bhai's daughter? He has 2 young daughter of his own and that's how he treated a 15-year-old minor girl. It was the worst experience of my life and I could never speak about it even to my parents. I could never ask any help to heal but was depressed for months. I cried endlessly after this incident and it affected my psyche as a young girl. So much that I could have left the industry but I re-thought and fought with my will-power that why should I leave my greatest passion for a pedophile like him but i still kept struggling for years to bury this inside me . I am sure many singers have been exploited by him as he is a known name for doing this to singers . I'd urger those singers\women to share their stories too."
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