In 2017 and 2018, the #MeToo movement swept across India with countless women opening up about their experience with sexual assault and harassment. One of them was Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah actress Munmun Dutta, who penned a lengthy and heartbreaking note on social media, talking about her experience.
In the post, Munmun wrote, “#MeToo …… Yes …. #Metoo ….. Sharing a post like this and joining the global awareness on sexual assaults on women all over the world and showing solidarity to each and every woman who sailed on the same boat , shows the magnitude of the problem. M surprised that some ‘good ‘ men are shocked to see the number of women who have come out and shared their #metoo experiences. NO DON’T BE. This is happening in your own backyard, in your own house, with your own sister, daughter , mother, wife or even your maid … Gain their trusts and ask them. You will be surprised at their answers.. You will be surprised with their stories (sic).”
She further wrote, “Writing something like this brings me to tears reliving those memories as a little girl when I was scared of the neighbourhood uncle and his prying eyes who at any given opportunity would grope me and threaten me not to speak about this to anyone ….. OR my much older cousins who would eye me differently than their own daughters …. OR the man who saw me at the hospital when I was born and 13 years later he thought it’s appropriate for him to touch my body because I was a growing teenager and my body had changed…. OR my tuition teacher who had his hands in my underpants ……. OR this another teacher , whom I tied Rakhi to, would scold the female students in the class by pulling their bra straps and slapping on their breasts (sic).”
“OR that man in the train station who gropes U … Why ?? Because you’re too young and scared to speak up. So scared that you can feel your stomach getting twisted inside and throat getting choked up … you don’t know how are you going to explain it to your parents or you’re too shy to utter a word to anyone …. And then you start developing that deep rooted hatred towards men … Because you know they’re the culprit who made you feel this way.. That disgusting, twisted feeling inside which takes years to overcome …. M happy to be another voice joining this movement and make people realise that I was not spared either. But TODAY I will rip apart any man who even remotely tries anything on me.I AM PROUD OF WHO I AM (sic),” she concluded her post.
Munmun is best known for playing Babita Iyer in TMKOC. The show also stars Dilip Joshi, Sailesh Lodha, Sunayana Fozdar and Raj Anadkat among others.