"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."
"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.