In­dia’s #MeToo move­ment

Deccan Chronicle - - WRAP-UP -

Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion onethird of women world­wide are af­fected by sex­ual vi­o­lence. It is time the gov­ern­ment treated #MeToo as a le­gal emer­gency in In­dia.

In­dia is fi­nally wak­ing up to its sex­ual ha­rass­ment prob­lem. In­dian ac­tress Tanushree Dutta call­ing out vet­eran film ac­tor Nana Patekar for ha­rass­ing her at the sets of one of her films in 2008, wit­nessed the #MeToo mo­ment ex­plode into a move­ment in In­dia. Over­com­ing trauma and em­bar­rass­ment, work­ing women from the me­dia, Bol­ly­wood and stage com­edy fra­ter­nity shared their ex­pe­ri­ences of sex­ual as­sault and ha­rass­ment by call­ing out their tor­men­tors on so­cial me­dia.

The mes­sage sent out by the out­pour­ing — namely, that there has been a dis­re­gard for mak­ing work­places and com­mon spa­ces free of ha­rass­ment.

Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer Har­vey We­in­stein, was ac­cused of sex­ual mis­con­duct — in­clud­ing rape — by over 70 women. Skele­tons tumbled out of other clos­ets, both in the US and else­where. Scores of women be­gan to say #MeToo, not just in English.

Raya Sarkar, a law stu­dent kick­started the In­dian arm of #MeToo last year in academia. The list, met with a lot of re­sis­tance and a counter cam­paign to si­lence the whis­tle blower.

Oprah Win­frey, In a pow­er­ful speech at the Golden Globes, framed the #MeToo move­ment as the lat­est episode in a long his­tory of women’s re­sis­tance to sex­ual ha­rass­ment and vi­o­lence. But, even now, the con­tours of what con­sti­tutes sex­ual ha­rass­ment re­main murky. With the #MeToo move­ment gain­ing mo­ment, hope­fully men will fi­nally be held ac­count­able and forced to re­spond.

—AP

Jour­nal­ists hold plac­ards as they shout slo­gans dur­ing a protest against sex­ual ha­rass­ment at the work­place in New Delhi on Sat­ur­day. Ac­tresses and writ­ers are flood­ing so­cial me­dia with al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment and as­sault, re­leas­ing pent-up frus­tra­tion.

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