Bollywood choreographer Ganesh Acharya has been mired in controversies for some time now. It all started with senior choreographer Saroj Khan accusing him of dividing the Cine Dance Association (CDA) and manipulating dancers.
The two choreographers got into an ugly war of words and exchange of allegations. Acharya was also accused of allegedly expelling his 33-year-old assistant female choreographer, depriving her of work, demanding commission and forcing her to watch adult videos. Reacting to which, he had stated that it is a conspiracy against him to malign his image.
The allegations do not seem to stop as now a senior background dancer approached the National Commission for Women (NCW) on Tuesday and accused Ganesh Acharya of sexual abuse and harassment.
A Mid Day report quoted the complainant as saying, “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.”
Spilling more details about the incident, the complainant revealed: “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.”
She further told the daily: “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)’
Meanwhile, Acharya has denied both the allegations and 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.”
Post the harassment complaint against him, actress Tanushree Dutta had urged the Bollywood fraternity to boycott Ganesh Acharya.