Image Courtesy: sawf.org
The recent rape accusation against Anand Jon has brought the light the fashion industry’s dark side once again. Whether or not Anand is guilty is something for the courts to decide. But an earlier charge in 2003 where he was charged with committing lewd acts on a child and a probation that required him to have a 52-week sex therapy session does not make his case stronger. He was subsequently warned against meeting any person under 18-years of age without the presence of an adult.
The incident shows that there is a lot of dirt lurking under a lot of glitter in the fashion industry. Exploitation of the models was always suspected though I must say I believe that nobody can force a model to do something if she stands her ground. The charge against Anand though, is more rape than casting couch.
Image Courtesy: littleindia.com
The thing is that in the cut throat world of high fashion the models do the extremes to get ahead. Most of them are on the brink of anorexia. The will power of these young ladies to subject their bodies to torture is really astounding. So it is also possible that Anand in turn is a victim of professional jealousy and that he was trapped by models he had rejected earlier. One only needs to watch the reality model hunt show “America’s Next Top Model” hosted by Tyra Banks to know about cut throat competition in the fashion industry.
But what definitely is not the case is that this is a case of racism. The glamour and entertainment industry currently is more global than any time in the past. So it would be absurd to claim that Jon is a victim of racism. We in India cry racism the moment something happens to our people in the west. The same was the case in the Shilpa Shetty episode, when a cat fight between the ladies of the Big Brother celebrity show was given the color of racism. We need to accept that our people are just as prone to succumb to their emotions as anybody else.
Image Courtesy: msn.com
The scene is no different in the Indian fashion industry either. Only difference is that most of the nasty episodes are swept under the rug here than in the west. In recent times the biggest scandal to break out was the murder of model Jessica Lal and its subsequent court circus. There have been other murmurs too about the sexual exploitation of models in the industry. Rumors of casting couch in the industry are quite prevalent.
Drug abuse in the industry too is rampant. It was best illustrated when Prasad Bidappa a leading designer in the country was caught with possession of marijuana in Dubai. Shivani Kapur's alleged drug abuse and subsequent hospitalization is another case that comes to mind.
If Anand Jon is found to be guilty, then it would be completely erratic and foolish on his part to have his image tarnished thus. In an industry where image is everything Jon’s transgressions could cost him just more than his career. It could cost him his freedom. And with 4 more models coming out with similar allegations recently it seems entirely possible that Anand will have a tough time proving his innocence.