New Delhi: The increasing popularity of the #MeToo movement has led women to come up with incidents of sexual harassment, some of which even involve several renowned personalities. Be it then or now, women in the snowballing #MeToo campaign in India, have been vocal about the sexual assault that they have faced so far.
In the latest instance, Union Minister and former editor MJ Akbar has been accused of sexual harassment while Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj dodged questions on allegations charged against her ministry colleague Akbar.
As the #MeToo campaign gains momentum in India, Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs Akbar is among the latest to face the flak by some women journalists who allege him of sexual misconduct during his journalist days.
In a video shot by a journalist, Swaraj can be seen evading questions related to allegations on Akbar, asked by some women scribes.
"There are serious allegations...these are sexual harassment allegations. You are a woman minister in charge. Will there be a probe on the allegations?" journalists can be heard asking in the video. Swaraj, however, walked away without answering.
In October last year, when the #MeeToo campaign peaked in Hollywood, journalist Priya Ramani had written an article for Vogue India, titled, "To the Harvey Weinstein of the world" and narrated her ordeal about the gut-wrenching incident of sexual misconduct she faced during a job interview with a renowned journalist who had "transformed Indian journalism." Ramani, recently on Twitter, claimed that the journalist she was referring to was MJ Akbar.
— Priya Ramani (@priyaramani) October 8, 2018
Ramani is amongst the women journalists who have levelled similar allegations against Akbar.
@It was #MJAkbar I do not say this lightly..i know the consequences of false accusations &it has been now 17 yrs &i have no concrete proof. but i was young, just made features editor, super impressed with our brilliant editor, sensitive writer(read Riot after Riot), 1/4
— prerna singh bindra (@prernabindra) October 9, 2018
The #MeeToo movement first began in 2017 in Hollywood just a few days after The New York Times and The New Yorker published scores of stories about decades-long predation of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
This movement gained momentum in India after a number of women from different fields of work revealed their stories of harassment and leveled an allegation against many known personalities. It started with Tanushree Dutta accusing veteran actor Nana Patekar of harassment on the sets of a movie.
Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta, on September 26, alleged that she was harassed by veteran actor Nana Patekar while shooting for a special dance number in a 2008 film.
The former beauty queen also accused dance choreographer Ganesh Acharya of teaming up against her. She alleged that she and her family were attacked by members of a political party after she refused to perform the intimate step.
(WIth inputs from ANI)