If you have been on social media lately, you’d know about the Papon controversy that’s trending right now. Papon, an incredibly famous and respected singer in Bollywood, was caught kissing a minor girl during Holi celebration in a Facebook live video.
Here is #Papon 's video. Found his behaviour with the minor girl he is mentoring totally inappropriate. Pulling her face and kissing the girl is totally uncalled for no matter how affectionate you feel as her mentor. This definitely comes under "Bad Touch". #ProtectOurChildren pic.twitter.com/MJe8wzd0sb
— ruchi kokcha (@ruchikokcha) February 23, 2018
Saw the Papon video. Some takeaways:
1. The kid looked visibly uncomfortable. 2. If someone behaved that way with my kid, I'd rearrange his face.
3. If you're defending/whitewashing the move, you're the reason so many people get away with child sexual abuse.
— Shuchi Singh Kalra (@shuchikalra) February 24, 2018
Papon released his official statement in a Facebook post and brushed it off as an act of “affection for his mentee.”
I am very painfully conscious of the accusations that have been made against me in the last few days. Anyone who knows me would be aware that I am an extremely affectionate and expressive person. That is the way I have been brought up and that’s how I have always been with people close to me or people I care about. To show affection for an 11 year old child who I have been mentoring for a while now is not an alien concept for me. Please do remember that it a video on my own facebook live and stop for a moment and at least wonder why I would myself promote a video where I am ‘apparently’ doing all the unmentionable things that I am being accused of.
My humble request to everyone, when you do come across this matter is to just pause and think about how much harm this does to the people involved. I have a loving wife of over 14 years and two young children. There is a little girl involved, whose identity is not masked in any way. Both of our families are being destroyed forever, just by people jumping to conclusions.
However, this is not to say that I haven’t made a mistake. I might have done it spontaneously but in today’s environment, to touch a girl child, however innocent your thoughts are, is not advisable. I am sorry for that. Please do accuse me of being naïve and stupid even but please do not call me all those disgusting names.
Please note that the girl in question and her family have gone on record and stated that what is being depicted is not what actually transpired and it is in fact just a case of faulty camera angles and an accidental move and not a sexual assault as being reported. The said incident transpired in the presence of personnel from the reality show and there is nothing objectionable about it. I admit that I am an extremely affable person and am very convivial with my fan community but please bear in mind that I have been happily married for over 14 years with two children and I would do nothing to cause harm to them. I hold the girl in high regards not only as a lady but also as a contestant on the reality show I am part of. If I had anything to be culpable of, the said video would have been deleted from my social media. As an accountable civilian, the safety and respect of women are of grave importance to me and I would never commit an act that is inappropriate or discourteous in any form. Please know that my intentions with everything that I do in my life are always pure and honest and I would never commit an indecent act as it is being portrayed. I urge the members of the press and my fans to please consider both sides of the story before maligning my public repertoire and damaging the reputation of this girl. My family stands by me in this tough time where I feel I am victimized for no fault of mine.
And as you might expect, Bollywood industry is dead silent on the Papon controversy. Surprise, surprise.
Except Raveena Tandon. She expressed her utter disgust on Twitter and slammed Papon in the most savage way!
Disgusting! Shameful!Perverse! This man Papon should be arrested ! The girls parents succumbing to pressure ! The explanations given are ridiculous! Haven’t felt such anger and shame to see this happen and some on tv debates actually defending the act !
— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) February 23, 2018
Following her footsteps, a few more Bollywood celebs like Gauahar Khan and Suchitra Krishnamoorthy broke their silence on Papon controversy.
Wasn't smothering a child's face with your palm rubbing color all over it for 4 secs enough as fatherly love, that u had to pull the child's face then to strategically peck her on the lip??? There was no wrong camera angle or the child moving her face mistakenly BTW 🙄😡#papon👎
— Gauahar Khan (@GAUAHAR_KHAN) February 23, 2018
If anybody behaved with my daughter the way #Papon did with the teenage girl I would slap him several times in such a way that no one dared behave that way again
— Suchitra Krishnamoorthi (@suchitrak) February 23, 2018
If let this pass as an act of “fatherly love” we’re normalizing the very sexually inappropriate behavior that plagues our country.