#MeToo: Padma Bhushan awardee artist Jatin Das accused of sexual misconduct

Famous painter and actor/director Nandita Das’ father Jatin Das has been accused of sexual misconduct by a woman entrepreneur and environmentalist Nisha Bora

#MeToo: Padma Bhushan awardee artist Jatin Das accused of sexual misconduct

NH Web Desk

In a fresh chain of event, well-known and revered Indian painter Jatin Das has been accused of sexual misconduct. The woman recounted the horror of a night back in 2004, when she was introduced to the painter by her family during a dinner. Nisha Bora came out with her story on Twitter. She alleges that back in 2004, when she was 28 years old and was visiting her family in Delhi from Bangalore, she met Jatin Das, who after chatting for a while asked her if she could assist him in organising his work material.

Though nothing weird happened when she went to meet Das on the first day at his home in Delhi, but when Nisha went to meet the painter the second day at his studio he tried to grope her and forcefully kiss her on the lips.

"I visited Jatin in his studio, which was in Khidki Village. I don’t recall the time of day, but that it was well within daylight hours. He poured himself some whiskey; offered me one too, but I refused. The next thing I knew, he attempted to grab me. I wriggled out of his embrace, flustered. Then he did it again. This time, he managed a clumsy kiss on my lips. I recall the feeling of his beard on my skin. I pushed him away, and moved away from him. At that moment, he said, Come on, it would be nice. Or something like that. What I recall clearly was his disbelief that I was pushing back," wrote Nisha

Nisha also wrote that after the incident she received a call from Nandita Das, who had received Nisha's number from her father, to help her find a young female assistant like her. "At that time, I recall that phone call felt like a knife being twisted in my gut, because I had so, so much admiration for her, and it had all become so incredibly filthy that moment," she wrote in the post.

In her long post, she also spoke about why it took so long to come out with her story.

"It wasn’t me, it was him. This is something it has taken me all of 14 years to realise I had been married for about a year. I worked myself into a hole believing that talking about it would make trouble for them, that I had no business disrupting their social equilibrium, that I had somehow landed myself in this spot, and that it was my problem to deal with’. I felt guilty and ashamed."

"This moment is galvanizing. It has given me strength and made me look at my wounds, helped me learn and realise a great deal. I hope this will give his other survivors some strength to talk about him if they need to. Here is what I have learnt from that experience (and countless others). The damage is not just in that instant - because in that instant, yourself defense instincts peak. The less damage you can get away with, the better. The trauma that follows later, in deciphering what the incident meant and what your response should be - figuring out strategies to carry that memory, ways to wire it into your identity, learning to make or not make it a part of who you see in the mirror each day... that is where the trauma is. The impact is lifelong," Nisha wrote.

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