#MJ Ak­barMustGo

Mid Day - - COMMENT -

The #MeToo move­ment here is gath­er­ing the mo­men­tum of a tor­nado, and has al­ready felled some small fry. A few names that have come up in the shame­ful out­ings, how­ever, seem to have es­caped un­scathed.

The big­gest one of them all be­ing M J Ak­bar, for­mer ed­i­tor of The Asian Age and cur­rently min­is­ter of state for ex­ter­nal af­fairs in the Union govern­ment. Nine women have al­ready come out on so­cial me­dia ac­cus­ing the ju­nior min­is­ter of sex­ual ha­rass­ment dur­ing the course of his ex­ten­sive ca­reer as a jour­nal­ist.

Jour­nal­ist Priya Ra­mani’s tweet call­ing out Ak­bar as a sex­ual preda­tor set the ball rolling. Women be­gan to share their own ab­hor­rent ex­pe­ri­ences with Ak­bar.

They have de­scribed how he made them feel un­com­fort­able by set­ting up in­ter­views in ho­tel rooms, turn­ing up at their homes un­in­vited, car­ry­ing bot­tles of al­co­hol or turn­ing up uni­vited ‘for cof­fee’.

While his col­leagues at the Cen­tre are non-com­mit­tal on the al­le­ga­tions, de­spite prod­ding by the me­dia, the Op­po­si­tion is bay­ing for his res­ig­na­tion. And, rightly, too. He must be set up as an ex­am­ple of in­tol­er­ance to­wards misog­yny.

Sex­ual de­vi­a­tion at the work­place by peo­ple in power must be den­i­grated. Power be­ing mis­used to hu­mil­i­ate and abuse those weaker and in a po­si­tion of help­less­ness can­not and should not be­come ac­cept­able. Most vic­tims of sex­ual ha­rass­ment have said that they had com­plained to the HR de­part­ments of their work­places, but the fact that noth­ing much was done seems to have only served to em­power men like Ak­bar.

There are mur­mur­ings that the BJP govern­ment will ask Ak­bar to go when he re­turns from his of­fi­cial trip to Nige­ria on Sun­day. We hope that’s true. The time has come to make the per­pe­tra­tors pay.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.