It takes years for young girls to realise that there is “No place for women in a male dominated world.” More so in India’s Bollywood where it is common knowledge how innocent girls brimming with hope, confidence and dreams of turning into starlets get duped at every nook and corner of the city.
We all have also heard of the word casting couch and pretty much know the reality. To make it simple to understand, casting couch is the trading of sexual favors by an aspirant, apprentice employee, or subordinate to a superior in return for entry into an occupation, or for other career advancement within an organization. The term casting couch originated in the motion picture / film industry, with specific reference to couches in offices that could be used for sexual activity between casting directors or film producers and aspiring actors.
Years back, an unlucky Preeti Jain learnt it the hard way. She accused the then Madhur Bhandarkar of rape and having exploited her and used her physically in return for favour of casting her in a film which was never meant to be. Consequently Preeti filed a rape case against Bhandarkar in 2004.
Feeling cheated for having been fooled in full view of the world, Preeti tried to wage a lonely battle against the powerful Madhur Bhandarkar and an indian society dominated by the males where atrocities against females are of minor consequence. Little did Preeti know of the hurdles, embarassment and abuse that a female could face in courts and outside for such a bold step in a male dominated society. Having realized the same, she went into a settlement and withdrew her case agaisnt the actor.
However, as is said, that for mutual agreements to work, it is necessary that these should be to the satisfaction of both parties, with particular emphasis to the aggrieved. Young, confident and let down by the society for not having listened to her side of the story, the fire against the injustice done to her, kept burning until Preeti probably got in touch with some guys who agreed to take revenge on the director.
For this part of her involvement, a Mumbai court on Friday sentenced her to three years jail after finding her guilty of the accusations. She has been convicted of paying gangster Arun Gawli’s aide Naresh Pardeshi to kill Mr Bhandarkar in 2005.
Two of her aides, Naresh Pardeshi and Shivram Das, have also been sentenced to three years for helping her in plotting the murder.
In the hearing, prosecuting said in court that Preeti Jain paid Rs 75,000 to the gangster when asked for her money back when he didn’t commit the crime. When Arun Gawli found out about the case, he alerted the police.
The rape charges against Bhandarkar were earlier cancelled after Preeti had agreed to drop the same.
Injustices keep happening but it is a pity that despite the entire society knowing the truth, it turned a blind eye to the plight of an innocent girl. But when it came to acting against a female, the same society including the judiciary rose up to punish the very girl who was knocking the doors of justice for the wrong done to her. No doubt the public too has turned blind in line with the Indian “Andha Kanoon”
A few tweets that reflect the general sentiment of the public at large.
Moral of the Madhur Bhandarkar Preeti Jain story- go to court only if u hv money for fixing
— Bhairavi Goswami (@bhairavigoswami) April 28, 2017
— Box Office Movies (@bollywoodbom) April 28, 2017