17.6.09

Taking the shiney off him

"Hey, he is a good-looking guy. I have been dying to tell you about him."

"What?"

"He is a good actor, too."

"So what is the news about him?"

"Oh, he is involved in some rape case. Remember, you liked the film?"

"Yes. But how did this happen?"

"Dunno. His maid has accused him of rape."

- - -

This guy could have got anyone...wonder why he went for the maid."

"Hmm."

"People like that can just be shut up with a few bucks."

- - -

These are conversations between supposedly educated and intelligent people, the first initiated by a woman.

Shiney Ahuja, an actor with not much work to show, 'allegedly' (that's the term being used) raped his maid when no one was at home. He has said the sex was consensual. The cops have found injuries which suggest there was violence used. Also, she is 17-18 years old.

It may be inappropriate to damn him yet but to indulge in the kind of exchange above is rather sick.

His wife said at a press conference that he is innocent and it is a honey trap. This would be valid, if we want to push the argument, were the girl a wannabe starlet. And if Shiney Ahuja was someone in a position to make a difference to her career. Or if he was 18 and she was old enough to ensnare him.

Right now Shiney Ahuja has got a whole lot of mileage. The girl is unknown. So, what has she got out of it? If the motive is blackmail, how can she succeed at it after incriminating him? If he has been framed, then by whom and for what? It is okay to throw around these words but is there a basis?

Why are TV channels quoting the junta? One had the gumption to say that maids are always looking for sex. There is a limit to this citizen journalism and vigilantism. If the maid is using him then these people are misusing the situation.

There is some talk about how he is not a big enough celebirity like Salman Khan or Sanjay Dutt who also had other cases against them. This is puerile. Analogies are fine but does it take away from the possibility of ANY crime?

It is disgusting to see him get certificates based on him being a "disciplined actor" or an introvert or that he did not attend any non-work related parties.

Fact is, Shiney Ahuja is a celebrity today because he has been arrested on rape charges.

The law will decide. Meanwhile, I find it strange that in a case that is sub-judice the wife is permitted to call for a press conference.

I wish the maid's family had such access.

Even if they did, would anyone listen?

- - -

Updated on June 18:


Anupam Ahuja is calling her husband her ‘soulmate’, which is nice. But by asking whether anyone has seen the medical reports, she is casting aspersions on the doctors and the police.

And these are her words:

“Rape is a very heinous crime and in today’s time it can be committed not just by a man. Even a woman can do it and we all know.”


Technically, when a woman initiates it the term rape is not applied. I am shocked that some newspapers are giving examples of Demi Moore in the film Disclosure. That was a woman in a powerful position. I have already stated that there are cases where women can trap men and have. I would like to know if Mrs Ahuja would say the same thing about the men from low income groups who commit rape – would she still insist that the victim could have raped the man?

Has she ever talked with rape victims?

And if Shiney has never made a move on his co-stars, do remember that the consequences would be worse.

Here is one of those sympathetic letters in the paper today:

“I think Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja is being targeted for all the wrong reasons. According to me few of the reasons are: He is not a Page 3 person, he does not dance at rich people’s weddings, he acts in sensible films like Hazaaron Khwaishen Aisi, Woh Lamhe, etc. Only, he refuses to act in films that don’t go off the beaten path. He does not make appearances on reality shows etc. and lastly, he is not a Khan.”


Acting in sensible films makes him non-culpable as a natural course? He is now a Page 3 person. He did a bit role in Fanaa, a mainstream film and the media is applauding him because apparently he agreed to do it because the character shared his father’s name. He is being touted as a proud son! What next?

What is happening now is a reality show. And trust me, his career is not over. It has only begun. Remember Fardeen Khan got into the news because he was caught with drugs and then started getting films. Shakti Kapoor was indicted in a sting operation for making advances at some woman. He was invited on debates in respected channels and his career went zooming up. So Shiney has plenty to look forward to.

We are a starved society willing to bite anything that barks.

9 comments:

Manish said...

I am not sure why the civic society does not accept the basic fact that hormonal drives have no corelation with social stature ...or for that matter with your religion or caste or nationality . Some social conditioning may damp it but will not alter it ....there are many males in the world who would spend a lousy afternoon in their maid's room and then happily label is "consensual" ....consent happens between equals ,,,,intellactual equals ...not between a maid and employer ....maids live with it out of need ...not all will go report it ..some will quietly regret and some will blame it on destiny ...

mash said...

dear farzana,
what i donot understand is what makes actors so respectable in the minds of common man...a complaint against an actor and the busybodies start shouting ..frame up. these people will not express their opinion on corruption, terrorism or issues affecting life...
as far as citizen journalism is concerned ..internet has given everyone an option to make an ass of themselves by opening their mouths while remaining faceless...so they dont feel accountable.

kb said...

Why is this making so much news,I had not heard of this actor before.They are treating rape like small crime

Anonymous said...

He could be innocent. What will you do if he is released? Male hating types are spoiling this case

FV said...

Manish:

You said it, consent happens between equals.

Mash:

You make an exceedingly important point about citizen journalism. The anonymity gives them great ability to say what they want without being held responsible. And, yes, where are these people on important issues? Even when they do speak, it is without any thought.

I must add that people do need a forum but these days they can find their own instead of appearing in the regular media.

KB:

What ca I say? It is all here and most of you understand what's going on...

Anon:

If he is innocent, then he is innocent. I have nothign to do with it. I am saying what I think is going on based on the quotes that are appearing and responding with my personal opinion based on the fact that I have met rape victims and rapists too.

How do male hating types spoil it? Spoil what? I do not hate men. Too much effort.

FV said...

And yes, I have added an update on this post...

RBaruah said...

I admit that the first thing that came to my mind was, why did Shiny Ahuja need to do something like that (someone extremely sexy and handsome...at least on screen)! But rape is not only about sex, it's also about domination and humiliation. A struggling acting career despite his Great looks and a strong and independent wife ( who lives apart mostly it seems), may have given enough insecurities to his male ego, and he may have found the MAID to be the perfect victim to unleash his frustrations... But Rajdeep's channel is leaving no stone's unturned to implicate the victim as the perpetrator "Former maid says victim was in love with Shiney"... Girija Vyas is flying to Mumbai to meet the victim. But will she have to courage or will to start an investigation against the channel?

What his wife is doing is understandable.. swallowing her pride and standing by her husband ( Remember Hillary Clinton??). Whatever be the court verdict, Shiny will be innocent in public eyes because of her very public support. She doesn't need him, he needs her. Just imagine the amount of power she will weld over him because of this. In our societies great value is attached to women who stand by their husbands even if they commit heinous acts. Hillary Clinton almost became the President... but she would have been villainised and could never have had a serious political life if she had walked out on Bill. Similarly Anupam Ahuja will keep her "Mrs. Ahuja" title intact and will be admired in his family and social circles....For some women this is so very important. And if she treats him like dirt in private who cares!

FV said...

RBaruah:

I did hear about the maid's crush on him. Silly. Even those channels that are not questioning the maid's motives are subtly trying to be 'balanced'. No one is willing to stick their necks out when they do so for lesser cases. I have already said this man has it made.

Regarding his wife, your observations are perceptive, esp. the Hillary Clinton example. Here, the wife is a working woman in the corporate sector; without trying to judge her personally, there are instances of women who need such support. So, while you say he needs her more, it is a mutual need often. There are several such need-based relationships where the women get something in return for standing by the man. They will abuse whoever is seen or they imagine as a 'predator', in this case the maid. Mrs Ahuja has been going on and on about Shiney being a celeb, knowing well that he really wasn't a big deal.

It would be a who cares attitude for onlookers had the case not been about something so grievous to one who may not be able to fight back.

FV said...

RBaruah:

Girija Vyas did call a press conference and has talked with the maid and her family; I did not like the way she said the maid wanted money to start life again...

And I do not like the idea of the CM Ashok Chavan being present and adding his bit. The case should be fought on merit and not become a reverse celebrity thing.