This superstar forcibly kissed 15-year-old co-star on set, left her traumatised, in tears; defended it saying...

A controversial kiss between a superstar and his 15-year-old co-star divided the film fraternity years ago.

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Rekha and Biswajit in Do Shikaari

The #MeToo movement gained traction in India only in the last decade. Today, incidents of indecent contact and performers making others uncomfortable are not taken lightly. But decades ago, this wasn’t the case. Allegations of such behaviour were brushed under the carpet or even laughed away. One such incident involved a reigning superstar and a 15-year-old newbie who was left in tears on set.

When a superstar forcibly kissed 15-year-old co-star

In 1969, Rekha began her career as a leading actress in Bollywood with Anjana Safar, which was later renamed Do Shikaari. The actress was only 15 years old at the time. In the film, she was paired opposite Bengali superstar Biswajit Chatterjee. In her recently published biography Rekha: The Untold Story, the actress recalled how there was a moment when Biswajit forcibly kissed her for a scene, leaving her in shock. The actress recalled that there was a scene where Biswajit had to romance Rekha but the actor kissed her instead, without informing her on advance. The film’s director Kuljit Pal also did not cut the shot. Biswajeet reportedly kissed Rekha for a prolonged period of time. The actress was left in shock and began to cry on the set.

How Biswajeet defended the kiss

While Rekha was visibly traumatised by the incident, Biswajit defended his actions later. In an interview, he said that he only did what the director asked him to and said that he was justified in doing so because in the end, the scene was loved by the audiences. Rekha and Biswajit were both praised for their performances in the film.

Do Shikaari’s delayed release and controversies

Anjana Safar ran into production delays and later run-ins with the censor board. This meant that even after the completion of the shoot in the early 70s, the film was not released until several years later. Do Shikaari eventually released in theatres in 1979, by when Rekha was already a huge star and Biswajit had largely gone back to Bengali cinema.

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