#MeToo: Conservationist accuses painter Jatin Das of sexual harassment
Bhubaneswar: After creating ripples in Bollywood, the #MeToo campaign is now gradually turning into a crusade against exploitation of women across the country.
This time allegations of sexual harassment have been brought against eminent artist and Padma Bhusan Jatin Das.
Conservationist and the co-founder of Elrhino Paper, Nisha Bora has accused Das, father of actress Nandita Das, of forcibly kissing and groping her some 14 years back.
Bora named her predator (Jatin Das) in a long post which she shared on social media platform, Twitter.
Sharing the details, Bora informed that she came in contact with eminent artist Jatin Das at an event at New Delhi in 2004. It was at that point of time when Das asked me to assist him in organizing work for a project.
“I was delighted to say yes as it would have been an honour to work with the eminent artist and it was a fangirl-moment as he was Nandita Das’ father,” wrote Bora.
“He poured himself some whiskey; offered me one too, but I refused. The next thing I remember is that he (Das) attempted to grab me. I wriggle out of his embrace, flustered. Then he did it again. This time he managed a clumsy kiss on my lips. I recall the feeling of his beard on my skin. I pushed him away, and moved away from him,” the woman activist alleged in her post.
“I worked myself into a hole believing that talking about it would make trouble… I felt that somehow I landed myself into this spot and that it was my problem to deal with. I felt guilty and ashamed,” said Bora, adding that she is younger than Das’ daughter, filmmaker-actor Nandita Das.
The 42-year-old Bora wrote that the “repressed and ignored wound came right back up to claim its pound of flesh” after she came across the “stories of survivors and their violation”.
When contacted, Das denied the allegations and termed them ‘ridiculous and vulgar.’
“This is horrifying. What else can I say? It’s cheap,” said Das, adding that that he does not even know Bora.
“If you meet, you meet hundreds of people and (when) somebody makes an allegation like this, it’s very cheap. One may not recollect the name or face, but one doesn’t stoop down to this level,” the 76-year-old said.
Das further stated that, “It deeply pains me that such an allegation has been made against me. It is so important that so many women are speaking up but I hope that one-side allegation will not be treated as evidence.”