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We've long endured a culture of silence, says Dia Mirza

Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani is the latest name to be called out for sexual harassment.

We've long endured a culture of silence, says Dia Mirza

Mumbai: Actress Dia Mirza says women have long endured a culture of silence, and because of that, sexual predators have got encouragement.

Dia was interacting with the media at a panel discussion on "Harvey Weinstein - The Inside Story", along with Swara Bhasker and documentarian Anant Patwardhan here on Thursday. It was hosted as part of &Prive HD's &Prive Soiree, a regular on-ground engagement by the channel.

The actress said: "I feel every woman should watch this film to understand how society functions, especially people in positions of power. More than anything else, it will encourage more women to come forward with their stories because we have long endured a culture of silence.

"I think because of silence of women, sexual predators have got encouragement, so I feel when women will talk openly about these issues then only, we will be able to see the change." 

When asked what is her take on increasing cases of sexual harassment at the workplace in India, she said: "If you see this documentary, then you will realise two things which will contradict our understanding regarding this #MeToo movement. First thing is that whichever narratives have come forward by women, those have been based on serious investigations and official complaints that have been made with the police and investigating agencies."

Dia said that to make the #MeToo movement successful, it is important that victims should file an official complaint.

"I think for the movement to be successful, for it to continue a healthy dialogue, for it to make enterprises more responsible and make the workplace for women safer and encourage more women to come forward, I think it is essential for women to also consider the importance of filing official complaints."

Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani is the latest name to be called out for sexual harassment with a woman "assistant" alleging in an article in HuffPost India that he sexually abused her more than once between March and September 2018 while working on "Sanju".

Reacting to this, Dia said: "He has been a very close friend of mine and I have worked with him since so many years, so to comment on his case will be unfair on my part because I don't know the details. I just want to say that before making an allegation, it's very important to file a complaint with the ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) and they should carry out a due investigation on entire matter because without that, it's impossible to really understand the full extent of what has happened and it can be deeply damaging to everyone."