Ishita Dutta-Sheth on sister Tanushree’s #MeToo campaign: “I’m really proud of her”


Ishita Dutta -Sheth has finally broken her silence on her sister Tanushree Dutta’s fight against sexual harassment by Nana Patekar.

Reported by DNA India, there has been some criticism over the ‘Drishyam’ (2015) actress’ silence on social media, whilst many others have taken to Twitter to express their solidarity with her sister. In response to this, Dutta-Sheth explained in an interview why she feels it’s not necessary for to share her support via social media.

Asked if her silence was deliberate, Dutta-Sheth says this is not the case. She said, “It’s not deliberate, but I have been with her all these years and seen whatever has happened in her life. It is a sensitive issue. When I saw the videos, again, and watched my father and sister, I relived the pain and trauma. I felt bad that they had to go through that. It angered me, too.

I was in college then, but I remember that day very clearly. It was traumatic for all of us in the family. We, of course, supported her, but it is something that scars you for life. She had spoken about it in 2008 also, and I am just happy that she finally got heard. The problem is that a lot of people ask ridiculous questions, which makes me angry and I don’t know how to react to it. That is one reason I stayed away. Moreover, I don’t need to show my support for her on social media. She is next to me, she is my sister, why should I put out a story on social media? I can tell her directly. Every day at home we are discussing things, what is happening, etc. My parents are there, my dad is doing all the legal paperwork and whatever else is required. Why do people expect us to show support on social media?”

Since the ‘Aashiq Banaya Aapne’ (2005) actor opened up about her incident, she has become the catalyst behind many other stories which have come to the forefront in the #MeToo campaign. Asked how she felt that her sister is the torchbearer in all of this, Dutta-Sheth says, “It takes a lot for one person to stand up and speak and I am really proud of her. My sister kind of gave courage to a lot of other women who are speaking today. Hats off to her and all the women who are opening up (about sexual harassment) because it is not an easy fight. It is not just about talking, but what follows. People say a lot of bad as well as good things about you. For any person to talk about the traumatic incident and read nasty comments on social media is upsetting. I have been reading not just about my sister, but also others, where either they are disregarded or dubbed as untrue. I feel really sad, especially when I read comments implying that they are doing it for publicity. Some women who are on top of their game have come out in the open about sexual harassment, what publicity do they require? It is easy for people to sit behind their laptops and assassinate somebody’s character. Sadly, even women are doing it.”

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