Saturday, 17 November, 2018


Journalist Priya Ramani hits back at Indian minister over defamation, intimidation

Maneka Gandhi to propose judicial panel to look into issues emanating from Me Too campaign Indian Politician Sues Journalist Who Accused Him of Sexual Harassment in 'Vogue' Article
Bennie Garza | 17 October, 2018, 05:07

Some are calling it India's #MeToo movement.

As the number of accusations against prominent men increase, critics are asking why women are going for a "media trial" instead of following due process. More than half a dozen women journalists have accused Akbar of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour when he was working as an editor at different media houses.

The last few weeks has seen a spate of sexual harassment allegations against some of the most powerful men in the country.

India's #MeToo movement is different from America's in other ways.

In 2008, when Menon had complained to her employers at The Bangalore Mirror about workplace sexual harassment, she says they bullied her colleagues into isolating her, so she was rarely assigned stories.

"We have always had zero tolerance for sexual harassment. Now, they're turning on them with discredited criminal defamation cases to intimidate them!"

Indian Women's Press Corps, Press Association of India, Press Club of India, and South Asian Women in the Media issued a joint statement on behalf of journalist organisations asking Akbar to step down as minister until an inquiry into the allegations could be completed.

The accusations first surfaced in a Twitter post by Ramani on 8 October as Akbar began his trip to Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.

He suggested the "storm" of allegations may have been guided by political motivations as India braces for elections in the first half of 2019.

Indian junior foreign minister MJ Akbar has threatened legal action against women who have accused him of sexual harassment and assault.

"It is utterly weird to believe that anything could have happened in that tiny space, and, moreover, that no one else in the vicinity would come to know, in the midst of a working day".

Whilst it is apparent that the accused has resorted to a series of maliciously serious allegations which she is diabolically and viciously spreading in media, it is also apparent that false narrative against the complainant (Akbar) is being circulated in a motivated manner for the fulfilment of an agenda, the complaint said. "The accused (Ramani) has made false, derogatory and malicious imputations against the complainant", the plea said.

Following which, senior journalist Ghazala Wahab in an article in The Wire, penned her harrowing experience with Akbar (he was then the editor of the newspaper) while she was a budding journalist at Asian Age.

In his statement later, Akbar had chose to take legal action against those women, who had accused him of sexual misconduct during his time as the editor of Asian Age and The Telegraph. "The stubborn attitude of the central government and its anti-women stance has shocked the people", she said.

On a day when two defamation cases were filed by Union Minister MJ Akbar and actor Alok Nath, against journalist Priya Ramani and filmmaker and writer Vinta Nanda respectively, Left Right and Centre discusses if victims are being made the criminals in the #MeToo debate in India.

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