The woes for Bollywood choreographer Ganesh Acharya just don't seem to end. After an assistant dancer filed an FIR against him for alleged sexual harassment, another #MeToo story involving him has surfaced in media.
On Tuesday, a senior background dancer approached the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Tuesday and claimed that she was sexually abused by Acharya in the 90s.
The complainant was quoted as saying by Mid-day, "It happened to me three decades ago. I have been married and have had kids, but he hasn't changed one bit. When I read about the FIR, I knew I had to speak up too. In 1990, I used to go to Sahiba hall in Andheri West where several masters take dance classes. Acharya used to assist Kamal masterji. I was 18 then and working as a non-member dancer."
Sharing the incident in detail, she told the tabloid, "One day, Acharya said it's mandatory to learn Jive for auditions and invited me to his class in Santacruz East. Classes were held on Sundays at 11 am. His assistant Dilip picked me up from Khar subway and dropped me to a room on the first floor of Hotel East and West. I did not suspect anything till that point. There were no other students. Acharya said Dilip has gone to bring the sound system and other students. On the pretext of teaching me Jive, he kissed my neck and cheeks."
"When I resisted, he threw me on the bed and said he wanted to make love to me and marry me. I kept saying no but he kept moving his hands over my body. I was too terrified and told him I am on my period. He finally got off from me and said, 'Kya yaar, mood kharab kar diya (you spoiled my mood)," she further added.
She revealed in an complaint, "He got other students to call me and ask what the problem was. He said he was willing to waive off the fees. I know another person with whom he tried something similar. It's shocking that he is still misusing his power."
"It has been 30 years since the incident, but my anger hasn't gone. I never told anyone about his behaviour and the incident except my husband. It's time that we women speak up," she said.
Meanwhile, the first complainant said that there must be many more with whom he is doing the same. "He can claim that people are trying to malign him, but there are many with similar stories."
When Mid-day contacted Ganesh Acharya for his reaction on these complaints, he told the tabloid, "I have explained in a press conference that some people are tarnishing my image because I took a stand against them. They control trade unions in the industry. My stand against them and in the interest of dancers is causing them losses. Everyone involved in these wrongdoings against me will be exposed. They may do many such things against me, but I will not give up,"
Earlier, a 33-year-old woman had accused Acharya of depriving her of work, demanding commission for getting her projects and forcing her to watch adult videos.