By: Mohnish Singh
Fatima Sana Shaikh, who started her acting career as a child artist and appeared in such notable films as Ishq (1997) and Chachi 420 (1997) before playing the female lead in superhit biographical drama Dangal (2016), has revealed in her recent interview that she was molested at the age of three.
Recalling the horrific incident, she tells an online publication, “I was molested when I was just three years old. There is a stigma around the whole sexual abuse issue, which is why women and even do not open up about being exploited in life. But I hope, today the world changes. There is more awareness and education about it. Earlier, you were advised not to speak about it as people will think about it differently.”
Years after that nightmarish incident, she had to face several casting-couch experiences as well when Shaikh was trying to find leading roles in Bollywood. Ask her about it and she says, “Of course, I have faced the casting couch. I have been in situations where I have been told that the only way I get the job is by having sex. There are several times people have taken away work from me. There have also been times where I knew I was doing a film and I was replaced because of someone’s reference.”
Fatima Sana Shaikh, who was last seen in Yash Raj Films’ Thugs of Hindostan (2018) alongside Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, is currently waiting for the release of her two upcoming films, Ludo and Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari.
Ludo is an anthology film by renowned filmmaker Anurag Basu. It also features Abhishek Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Rohit Suresh Saraf, and Sanya Malhotra on its ensemble cast. Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari, on the other hand, is a satirical comedy-drama, co-starring Manoj Bajpayee, and Diljit Dosanjh.
Ludo and Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari are scheduled to release on 12th and 13th November respectively, coinciding with Diwali.