By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Yesterday, news channels across the country splashed the story of Bipasha Basu being molested while in America.
According to the reports, Bipasha was to attend an India Day parade in Edison Township, New Jersey when two of the organisers misbehaved with her. She then came on stage and accused them of harassing her physically and mentally on the way to the function.
When we spoke to Bipasha yesterday, she explained that she wasn't molested. Instead, she was put off by the rude behaviour of the organisers.
Bipasha was scheduled to lead the India Day parade as Grand Marshall, an event organised by the Indian Business Association, on August 13. She arrived late at the parade, which was flagged off at 3 pm.
Before the parade reached the venue, Bipasha appeared on stage and explained the delay. She apparently said, "I wanted to attend the parade, but I could not."
She was in the middle of explaining her reasons for not turning up for the parade, when the organisers tried to cut her speech short. But Bipasha is not the type to be deterred.
In her gutsy style, she continued, "I come from a profession that deserves respect. I deserve respect," she said. At this point, one of the organisers intervened, and she stopped speaking.
When we contacted Bipasha, this is what she had to say. "I think everyone has gone mad making a mountain out of a molehill. It was a badly organised event and two people spoke to me very badly. I said on stage that people should start respecting women from every walk of life. Period."
She sounded exhausted, "I am in Los Angeles and am going to sleep right now. I am fed up of all that's happening."
Not guilty till proven
Satish Poondi, a spokesperson for the Indian Business Association, said in the media that the organisation would take Bipasha's allegation very seriously. But he was quick to blame her for turning up late for the event, adding that they couldn't call anybody guilty until proved otherwise. When quizzed, Bipasha curtly said, "I don't know Satish Poondi."
Bipasha Basu officially clears the air
This is with reference to the reports in the media about a bad experience I had in New Jersey on the weekend. To set the record straight, I would like to say that I was in New York for a few days and got a call to attend the New Jersey parade for Indian Independence Day.
Since it was Independence Day and since I knew one of the organisers and had done an event with him before, I agreed to attend.
The drive from Manhattan to New Jersey is nearly an hour. I said I prefer if a known person accompanied me on the drive. But unfortunately, the two men who landed up were not known to me.
However, since I had committed to be present at the Independence Day Parade, I decided to go ahead. Right through the drive, they spoke irresponsibly and made over-familiar and derogatory comments. I was really upset with their comments.
At the event, I brought up the matter on stage and said it is shameful that some men don't know how to talk to a woman. The entire crowd was very supportive of my view. I am sure the two men have learnt their lesson and will never talk badly to a woman ever again.