Director Ravi Srivatsa has categorically denied all accusations made by Sanjana Galrani. The director, who made Ganda Hendathi with Sanjana as lead, says that the actor is trying to mislead everybody with accusations after such a long time.
Ganda Hendathi, the Kannada remake of Hindi film Murder, was Sanjana’s acting debut and was released in 2006. Sanjana, then fifteen years old, was harassed on set and forced to do certain scenes that made her uncomfortable, she told Silverscreen. “I was not made to feel comfortable at all. They ignored many things while making Ganda Hendathi. They shot me in certain angles, despite being explicitly told not to, and they forced me to do a kissing scene many times. I was a teenager when I got on-board the film. When Ravi approached me with the film itself, I was apprehensive about the image I would develop after working on this film. But Ravi was emphatic that Ganda Hendathi won’t be as explicit as Murder and that it would be adapted to the taste of the Kannada audience.”
However, that was not the case, says Sanjana.
Meanwhile, Srivatsa has questioned the motive behind Sanjana’s sudden decision to come forward with this story. “I don’t understand why she has kept this to herself for so long. About the first thing I told her when I met her for the first time was that she must tell me if anything is wrong. We were a friendly and very casual set. I don’t get how you equate a friendly set with a big word like harassment.”
Srivatsa says that Sanjana could not act as well as they expected her to. “Some scenes she just could not do justice to. She was also young and untrained then. So I asked her to keep acting till she got it right. This is not harassment I think. This is just motivating a person to do something to their fullest potential ”
The directors union in Karnataka has condemned Galrani’s actions and have asked her to apologise to Ravi. “Ravi Srivatsa is an esteemed director and member of our union. He has been in the industry for two decades and we have only heard good things about him from everybody. This is clearly an attempt to malign him.”
Thus far, the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce has chosen not to comment on the allegations laid forth by Sanjana Galrani and another actor, Sangeetha Bhat. At present, they are trying to mediate a sexual harassment dispute between actors Arjun Sarja and Sruthi Hariharan.