We must listen to the victims: Huma Qureshi on #MeToo

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Actress Huma Qureshi thinks it is brave of women to come out and talk about their #MeToo stories, saying the movement will bring positive change in the country. However, she also urges people to “listen to the victims”.

“I think #MeToo is the most relevant movement that has happened in recent times in India as far as women are concerned. And I think it is amazing but heartbreaking to hear stories about stuff that women — and supposedly powerful and successful women — go through every single day,” Huma told IANS on the sidelines of the showcase of H&M’s new designer collection in collaboration with iconic Italian brand Moschino.

Read Also, #MeToo – Is it right way to seek justice?

“Recently, I saw a picture of Lady Gaga where she wore a pant suit. At the event, she spoke about the fact that she wanted to wear pants because she has been a victim of sexual assault and that she still doesn’t have the guts to talk about it. Now that’s something to think about.

“I think there is something to take away from that, and I say, more power to all the women who are choosing to talk about it. It’s very brave and I think we must really get up and listen to them because we are not listening to them,” Huma added.

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After making quite an impact in the West, the #MeToo wave has swept into Bollywood and beyond, following Tanushree Dutta recounting an unpleasant episode with veteran actor Nana Patekar on the sets of “Horn ‘OK’ Pleassss” in 2008.

It has brought out many dark truths from the world of Bollywood, with women coming out to name and shame the offenders. Celebrities like Vikas Bahl, Chetan Bhagat, Gursimran Khamba, Kailash Kher, Rajat Kapoor, Alok Nath, Anu Malik and Sajid Khan have been named and shamed for using their positions to exploit the vulnerable. The actress feels the #MeToo movement is here to stay.

Read Also, #MeeToo: Sexual harassment case against Pachauri heads to trial

“I hope and I pray that it will result in a lot of positive changes for not just our film industry but the for the world and country at large,” said Huma, who was here to showcase the fashion collection, which consists of apparel and accessories for women, men and even dogs.

The collection’s key pieces include Disney-inspired sweatshirts, logo t-shirts and party ready ensembles in black and gold. Huma said their designs are trendy, hip and young. “This is something I resonate with,” she said.

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Is Huma a fashion conscious person?

“I am a fashion conscious person to the extent that I always believe that you should follow your own vibes and I have always done that. I think fashion is about expressing yourself and expressing your personality. I have never tried to look like the herd. I always try and stand out and that, for me, is the most important thing,” she said.

Read Also, Whether #MeToo stays or fizzles out, people will be wary: Neena Gupta

From “Gangs of Wasseypur”, “Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana”, “Ek Thi Daayan”, “Dedh Ishqiya” to “Jolly LLB 2”, Huma has portrayed strong female characters in films. However, she doesn’t want her life to influence youngsters.

Read Also, Women should’ve shared #MeToo stories immediately: Bappi Lahiri

“I don’t want my life to influence youngsters. I always say don’t follow me, as I am constantly lost. I think everybody should explore themselves. You should travel, meet lots of people, make friends and grow,” said the actress, who is also likely to announce “something very exciting” soon.

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