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Former wife Aarti Bajaj, industry friends support Anurag Kashyap against #MeToo allegation by Payal Ghosh


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MUMBAI: Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap's former wife, film editor Aarti Bajaj, and friends from the industry, Taapsee Pannu, Anubhav Sinha, Tisca Chopra, and Surveen Chawla, have come out in support of the director after actor Payal Ghosh accused him of sexual harassment.

On Saturday, Ghosh took to Twitter, claiming that the "Gangs of Wasseypur" director was sexually inappropriate towards her, an allegation Kashyap called "baseless".

Ghosh, 30, tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in her tweet, requesting him to take action against the filmmaker.

Kashyap's first wife Bajaj said the filmmaker was somebody who makes sure to create a safe work environment for his female co-workers.

"First wife here...You are a rockstar @anuragkashyap10. Keep empowering women as you do and the safest place you create for all of them. I see it first hand with our daughter," Bajaj posted on Instagram.

"There is no integrity left and the world is full of losers and no brains baying for blood of anyone who has a voice. If everybody spends that energy which they use in hating others constructively this world will be a better place," she added.

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First wife here.. You are a rockstar @anuragkashyap10. Keep empowering women as you do and the safest place you create for all of them. I see it first hand with our daughter. There is no integrity left and the world is full of losers and no brains baying for blood of anyone who has a voice. If everybody spend that energy which they use in hating others constructively this world will be a better place .Cheapest stunt I have seen till now. First it made me angry then I laughed so hard as it cannot come more framed then this . I am sorry that you have to go through this .That’s the level of them. You stay HIGH and keep using your voice. We love you.

A post shared by Aarti Bajaj (@artb) on

Calling Ghosh's allegation the "cheapest" stunt, Bajaj urged Kashyap to keep raising his voice against every wrong.

"Cheapest stunt I have seen till now. First it made me angry then I laughed so hard as it cannot come more framed than this. I am sorry that you have to go through this. That's the level of them. You stay high and keep using your voice. We love you," she added.

Pannu, who collaborated with Kashyap on the 2018 romantic-drama "Manmarziyaan", took to Instagram and wrote that the filmmaker was "the biggest feminist" she knew.

"For you, my friend, are the biggest feminist I know. See you on the sets soon of yet another piece of art that shows how powerful and significant women are in the world you create," the "Thappad" actor wrote.

Sinha said the existence of the #MeToo movement is to amplify voices of harassed women and it should not be misused.

"It is the joint responsibility of women and men both to carefully protect the sanctity of #Metooindia. It is a very very very important movement that should not be misused for any other reason but the dignity of women," Sinha tweeted, tagging Kashyap.

Chawla, who worked with the filmmaker on his two-part Netflix series "Sacred Games", said the allegation against the director reeked of "opportunism".

"Let them creep. Let them crawl. You my friend, as always stand tall. These false flag bearers of feminism...Opportunism? They dont honour men like you.

For their lack of knowledge in knowing know who you really are, and claims they make, that are just so bizzare." In a subsequent tweet, Chawla said Kashyap's legacy is stronger than the allegation.

"Your life, your work and the women you create with your craft...speak volumes about you. I have the privilege to know the real feminist in you, I take the honour my friend to stand for you! @anuragkashyap72," she added.

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For you, my friend , are the biggest feminist I know. See you on the sets soon of yet another piece of art that shows how powerful and significant women are in the world you create :)

A post shared by Taapsee Pannu (@taapsee) on

Chopra, who featured alongside Kashyap and Chawla in the short film "Chhuri", said the filmmaker was one of the biggest supporters of talent, be it men or women.

"To know my friend @anuragkashyap72 is to know generosity, honesty and decency at its core ..even a cursory look at his work reveals his worldview on women ..don't know a bigger supporter of talent, men or women," she tweeted.

Earlier on Sunday, in a series of Twitter posts in Hindi, Kashyap dismissed the allegations, dubbing it an attempt to "silence" him.

The 48-year-old director has been vocal against the criticism and vilification of Bollywood by celebrities and trolls online.

"Such a long time was taken to shut me up, never mind. (But) while shutting me up, you lied so much that you dragged other women also in it. Please maintain some dignity madam. All I will say is that all your allegations are baseless," Kashyap tweeted.

Post her revelation, Ghosh found support in National Commission for Women, with its chairperson Rekha Sharma assuring the actor that the NCW will take cognisance of the case.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)