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Qarib Qarib Singlle actor Parvathy: I, too, have faced sexual harassment

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 10-11-2017

Actor Parvathy, who is a prominent name in the Tamil and Malayalam film industries, is all set to make her Hindi film debut with Irrfan in the upcoming romantic comedy, Qarib Qarib Singlle. Ever since she made her debut with the Malayalam flick, Out Of Syllabus (2006), she hasn’t looked back. Recipient of many awards, the actor— who enjoys a unique fan base — reveals her journey hasn’t been easy, as she, too, had to face sexual harassment à la Hollywood, where a number of actors have come out and confessed to being exploited by powerful people like Harvey Weinstein.

“Yes, I have met such people, and have experienced it (sexual harassment), too. It’s not shocking, and that makes it worse. Statistics show that 90 per cent of women you will speak to, in any industry, have been harassed in some way. [There has been] not just sexual, but mental harassment, too. Being used that way, being threatened to make you go out of work—I have gone through the entire spectrum in the last 11 years. But I have figured how to change that narrative, now,” she says.

However, Parvathy quickly points out that sexual misconduct goes beyond the workplace. “When it happens in your own family, you’re told ‘Chhodh de, uss bare mein baat nahin karni hai (Let’s not talk about that). Women say ‘It’s okay, next time we will be careful’.”

“When a film like Highway (2014) comes, people discuss it, and what Alia’s (Bhatt, the lead actor in the film) character says that something like this indeed happens even within your own family, your relatives are more worried about what the society will say, and let’s hush ourselves. Since this is what we are told when we are children, when it happens at the workplace, our first thought is not to tell it to anybody. It’s more uncomfortable being violated than speaking about it. Also, even women assault men, [it’s] not just one way,” explains the 29-year-old.

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