Me Too movement (India)

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The Me Too movement in India is seen as either an independent outgrowth influenced by the international campaign against sexual harassment of women in the workplace or an offshoot of the American "Me Too" social movement.[1] Me Too began gaining prominence in India with the gaining popularity of the international movement, and later gained sharp momentum in October 2018 in the entertainment industry of Bollywood, centered in Mumbai, when actress Tanushree Dutta accused Nana Patekar of sexual harassment.[2] This led to many in the news media, Indian films and government development sectors accused by women speaking out their experiences and making allegations of sexual harassment by the men involved.[3]

Although India’s #MeToo movement has drawn inspiration from the United States’, it differs in key ways. Unlike the allegations against high-powered film producer Harvey Weinstein, which were investigated and reported by established news organizations, the accusations in India have erupted on social media, with women using their Twitter handles or Facebook pages to share their stories. And unlike in the United States, where First Amendment rights strongly protect free speech, defamation laws in India allow the criminal prosecution of women who are unable to prove public allegations against their abusers, with a maximum jail term of two years. These obstacles to the implementation of fair justice emboldened female activists to work towards strengthening an existing Indian law, the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, which had been poorly implemented since it was enacted in 2013.[4]

As of mid-October 2018, the social "Me Too" campaign of India continued to grow and be covered by major media outlets as a topic of importance, with victims outing their abusers on a nearly daily basis.[5] The movement has since resulted in major social consequences for several of those accused, such as firing or resignation from their jobs, condemnation and disassociation from members of their respective industries, and indignation against their actions from their fans and/or the public at large. Similarly, accusers have also been the target of countersuits from the accused, even as they often have social support and added coverage from the media.[6]

Origins in India[edit]

Malayalam film industry[edit]

A regional precursor to the "Me Too" movement in India was a 2017 rape court case in the Malayalam film industry in the state of Kerala. While the case did not gain national coverage or social inspiration on a larger scale, it did inspire a select number of individuals within the industry to speak out against abuse and to take a stand for women's freedoms, similar to the Harvey Weinstein case in the US, which occurred later in the year. It also provided a vantage point for comparison between the responses of two film Indian industries, Malayalam and Hindi, and the contrasting responses that they respectively received from their societies based on how socially widespread the events were perceived to be.

On 17 February, 2017, a Malayalam actress was assaulted by a group of men.[7] The primary accused for hiring the men was actor Dileep, who was arrested in July 2017, before the Me Too movement had begun on a wide scale in Hollywood.[8][9] This sparked something similar to that movement in the Malayalam film industry.[9][10] A year later, in 9 October 2018, Bollywood casting director Tess Joseph posted an allegation against Malayalam actor Mukesh on twitter.[11] She stated that Mukesh phoned her and asked to move to a room near Mukesh's room in the hotel.[12][13][14]

In May 2017, inspired by the events of Dileep's case, the organization Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) was formed by several prominent women in the Malayalam film industry, including actress Manju Warrier, editor Beena Paul and director Anjali Menon. They sought to "address the gender issues within the industry, which include lack of security, basic security and to ensure women's participation in the industry's activities."[15]

In June 2018, the (WCC) strongly condemned the decision of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) to reinstate actor Dileep into their organization after his rape trial.[16] In a Facebook post, they questioned the decision, asking whether the organisation did not find anything wrong in reinstating a person accused of sexual assault, even before the completion of the trial. It termed the decision “reeking of misogyny” as “an insult to the survivor.” The General Secretary of AMMA, Edavela Babu, responded to the post by telling The Hindu that the organisation need not respond to “every Facebook post,” and that "“The members of WCC could have come to the AMMA general body meeting and raised their issues... We don't even know who the other members are." Speaking about the decision-making process, he said the decision to oust Dileep was reversed as due process was not followed. He noted that "the executive committee asked the general body to take a decision on this. The general body chose to freeze the earlier decision. Before we could present the resolution, questions were raised in the meeting on this issue. It was a unanimous decision to reinstate him.” The also noted that the case against Dileep was yet to be improved in court.

In October 2018, after the 'Me Too' movement gained national traction, Director Anjali Menon wrote a blog about the incident; in her post, she highlighted how the Malayalam film industry has remained silent on the alleged actress abduction case. Menon wrote about the Bollywood script-writer Vinta Nanda’s #MeToo accusation. She praised the swift reaction of Mumbai’s film industry in backing Vinta Nanda and questioned why the Malayalam film industry hasn’t woken up and started any “proactive action supporting the survivors”. [17]

Influence of Hollywood's "Me Too" Movement[edit]

After allegations on Harvey Weinstein, the use of the #MeToo hashtag on social media with respect to the event spread quickly in India,[18][19] where sexual harassment is commonly referred to by the word 'eve-teasing', a term described as misleading, tame, and diluting the seriousness of the crime.[20] In response to #MeToo, there have been attempts to teach Indian women about workplace rights and safe reporting, as well as educate men about the scope of the problem.[18][21] Some have likened #MeToo to a 2012 social movement which followed a violent gang rape in New Delhi that later resulted in a woman's death, which caused the Indian government to institute harsher punishments for rape.[19][22][23] Others have suggested there was underlying public anger over a Delhi rape conviction that was overturned by Judge Ashutosh Kumar a month before against filmmaker and writer Mahmood Farooqui, ruling that a "feeble" no was not enough to revoke consent because it was typical for one partner to be less willing. The case is being appealed to the Supreme Court.[22][24] Activist Jasmeen Patheja, head of Blank Noise, stated #MeToo's power is in demonstrating India can no longer ignore the scope of the problem.[19] Kaimini Jaiswal, a lawyer at the Supreme Court of India, stressed the importance of teaching women how to read, especially in rural villages, because most women in these areas are illiterate and completely financially and emotionally dependent on a male relative.[23]

Blogger Sheena Dabolkar's viral #MeToo tweet resulted in the boycott of Khodu Irani's popular Pune pub, High Spirits, by several well-known performers.[18][25][26] Several women mentioned Mahesh Murthy, which initiated a police case in January 2018.[27] Trends Desk of The Indian Express wrote many Indian men are speaking up as a part of #MeToo, including discussions about consent and how some men are also abused.[28][29] Rina Chandran of Reuters said #MeToo is ignoring the 600 Thousand women in India who are currently sex workers against their will, and are typically poor without education or family.[30]

There were reports of mass sexual assaults during the 2018 New Years celebrations in Bangalore, which have been associated with #MeToo. The incidents were initially dismissed by the police until someone uploaded CCTV footage of the assaults to social media.[23] Home Minister G. Parameshwara, Abu Azmi, and other officials came under fire for stating "western" women's clothing and values were the cause of the rapes, and indicated women's families should not allow them to go to parties or major celebrations.[23]

Several lists of alleged rapists and harassers started spreading on social media in India, including "The List" which initially included the names of about 60 highly respected academic men. The List was posted on October 24, 2017 by activist Inji Pennu and an Indian student in California named Raya Sarkar, who alleged they personally confirmed every incident.[31][32] This list has resulted in criticism against #MeToo because the allegations were unverified before they started spreading on social media. Some of the victims from the list have come forward to explain they were ignored, mistreated or retaliated against when they tried to pursue action.[33] Sarkar has defended The List, saying that she posted it only to warn her friends about professors and academics to avoid (mostly upper caste men), and had no idea it could become so popular.[32] A second list came out a week later that was made by women from lower caste background and included more names, bringing the total up to around 70.[31]

Twelve prominent Indian feminists dismissed The List in a formal letter, saying they understand that the justice system is typically tilted against victims, but unverified claims make things harder for the feminist movement.[31][34] Writers Rhea Dangwal and Namrata Gupta responded that most victims from the list were poor students who tried to go through official channels without success or recourse, while every single man on the list has the ability to defend themselves socially and legally.[31]

Tanushree Dutta's allegations[edit]

Actress Tanushree Dutta's allegations of sexual harassment against Nana Patekar in 2018 was catalyst of the "Me Too" movement in India

On 26 September 2018, after having been out of the Bollywood spotlight for about a decade, actress Tanushree Dutta gave an interview to Zoom TV in which she publicly accused Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on the sets of the 2009 movie Horn 'Ok' Pleassss.[35][36] This declaration would be seen as the catalyst of the Me Too movement in India, similar to one which happened in the U.S. a year earlier with Harvey Weinstein, in which more and more women in the entertainment industry would publicly announce high-profile individuals who had sexually exploited them.[37] Dutta had first made the allegations against Patekar in 2008, filing a complaint with the 'CINTAA'(Cine & TV Artists Association) but no action was taken as the case was considered a criminal case. The allegation was repeated in 2013 in an interview,[38] and again largely ignored. It was not until her September 2018 statements that the CINTAA apologized to Dutta, admitting that the "chief grievance of sexual harassment wasn't even addressed[in 2008]" but added that since the case was more than three years old, they could not reopen it.[39][40][41][42][43][44]

Janice Sequeira, a journalist, backed her allegations, claiming to be an eyewitness of the incident(coz she was probably paid to do so.).[45] She also alleged that filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri had told her to remove her clothes and dance with Irrfan Khan to act on the sets of Chocolate. She said Irrfan Khan and Sunil Shetty stood up for her during this episode.[46][47] Vivek refuted all such allegations and shared that it is an attempt to get publicity by Tanushree Dutta and to malign his image in a legal notice sent to her.[48] The assistant director of Chocolate, Sattyajit Gazmer, also turned down Tanushree's claims.[49]

In an Interview Tanushree said "He (Nana Patekar) called the MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena) party to bash up my car. He was behind everything and was supported by choreographer Ganesh Acharya".[50] In a video from 2008, that went viral on the internet, goons are seen thrashing Tanushree's car. A journalist named Pawan Bharadwaj, was seen thrashing the car's windshield with his camera, who later clarified that he attacked her car because earlier, he had a fight with Dutta's team.[51] A defamation case was filed against her for her comments about MNS party.[52] She was also served with two legal notices from Nana Patekar and Vivek Agnihotri.[52] On 6 October 2018, Dutta filed an FIR at Oshiwara police station against Actor Nana Patekar, Director Rakesh Sarang, Choreographer Ganesh Acharya and Producer Sami Siddiqui.[53]

Changes in Regulation[edit]

On 17 October, 2018, the Producers Guild of India (PGI) recently issued a statement which called for what was termed an 'Extraordinary General Meeting', which would enable the amendment of their by-laws to ensure inclusion of two main items:[54]

  1. All members, existing and new, will be asked to sign a declaration that affirms that their workplaces have implemented or instituted 'The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013' as demanded by law. The notice further adds that each member, necessarily ought to sign the declaration within 30 days of receiving it.
  2. the guild has a right to expel any member if he/she is found to have engaged in sexual harassment by the guild's Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).

It notes that the committee aims at enabling each guild member to implement and execute the processes mentioned in the act and to ensure highest standards of safety for employees and crew members whether in offices or on sets of productions.[55]

Impact[edit]

Entertainment[edit]

Phantom Films[edit]

In October 2018, in an interview with Huffington Post India, a former employee of Phantom Films accused director Vikas Bahl of sexually harassing her on the sets of film Queen (2014).[56] Later the movie lead actress Kangana Ranaut accused him in support of the former employee of sexual misconduct.[57][58] Following this, Nayani Dixit, the Kangana's co-star in the movie, also accused him of sexual misconduct.[59] As a result, the company announced its dissolution on 5 October, 2018,[60] largely in response to the sexual assault allegation on Bahl by a former Phantom employee, which was reported in 2015.[61] The other three founders, Kashyap, Motwane, and Mantena, all issued statements on Twitter confirming the company's disbanding and moving on to independent projects.[62]

All India Bakchod (AIB)[edit]

Stand-up comedian and popular YouTuber Utsav Chakraborty, who works a freelancer with the comedy group All India Bakchod, has been accused of sending women lewd messages and photos via social message apps. The allegations against Utsav blew up when a Twitter user named Mahima Kukreja put up a Twitter post, accusing the comedian of sending her an unsolicited genitalia pic and then pleading with her not to make his act public as it would "ruin" his career.[63] Most[citation needed] of the comedians within his circle including Kunal Kamra and Tanmay Bhat knew about his behaviour of harassing minor girls but opted to keep quiet and work with him.[64] On 8 October 2018 Gursimran Khamba gave clarification on some sexual harassment allegations reported by an unknown girl. She accused Khamba of sexually assaulting her. Khamba on the other hand denied the allegation, claiming that the relationship was consensual.[65] On 16 October 2018, Yash Raj Films (YRF) terminated the services of Ashish Patil who was their Vice-President of Brand Partnerships and Talent Management, and Business and Creative Head for Y Films, after he was accused of forcibly kissing and advancing on an anonymous asipiring actress. The anonymous woman texted her #MeToo story to an activist who tweeted screenshots with the woman's permission.[66]

Housefull 4[edit]

On 12 October 2018, after accusations from several women of abusive and perversive sexual behavior, director Sajid Khan announced that he would step back from the production of his upcoming film Housefull 4, until he has time to clear his name.[67] Actor Akshay Kumar also made a statement on Twitter, confirming Sajid's stepping away and also halting shooting of the film until further notice.[68] Later in the day, actor Nana Patekar noted that he would also be leaving the film, due to his own accusations from ex-actress Tanushree Dutta.[69] On 14 October, it was announced that Farhad Samji, who co-directed Housefull 3, would be replacing Sajid Khan as the director.[70] On 15 October 2018, The Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association issued a showcause notice to Khan. “Your...actions have brought disrepute to Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association,” read the notice. It further noted that they expected an explanation from Khan "for such offensive behaviour within seven days of the receipt of the notice for further action as per the rules and regulations… In case of no reply, ex-parte decision would be taken.”[71]

Alok Nath v. Vinta Nanda[edit]

In October 2018, veteran character actor Alok Nath was accused of rape by TV producer Vinta Nanda who worked with him in the TV show Tara in the mid-1990s.[72] Alok Nath has denied the allegation.[73][74] Subsequently, actresses Renuka Shahane, Himani Shivpuri, Sandhya Mridul and Deepika Amin have either admitted to knowing about Nath's predatory behaviour or written about instances where they themselves have been assaulted by him.[75][76][77][78][79] On 15 October 2018, Nath sued Nanda for defamation, asking for a written apology and 1 as compensation. He has filed the case jointly with his wife Ashu Nath.[80] The Cine and TV Artistes Association (CINTAA) sent Mr Nath a show-cause notice on Vinta Nanda's post. The association asked why he should not be expelled from CINTAA. The actor urged that the notice be withdrawn, that he was innocent until proven guilty. In response to Alok Nath's lawsuit, on 15 October Vinta Nanda's lawyer responded: "She will not be intimidated by threats and defamation suits which are primarily meant to delay and distract from the gravity of the allegations." Alok Nath had earlier been quoted by ABP News as saying he could "neither deny nor agree" with Ms Nanda's account of rape and violation on Facebook. The writer had not named him but had identified him as the "Sanskaari actor" who played the lead on her show "Tara".[80]

KWAN Entertainment[edit]

On 16 October 2018, entertainment talent management agency KWAN announced that founder Anirban Blah has been asked to step down after four women accused him of harassment in an account published by mid-day. In a statement, KWAN said," We have asked Anirban Blah to forthwith step aside from his duties, activities and responsibilities at KWAN, its subsidiaries and affiliates with immediate effect." The company, which promotes high-profile celebrities such as Deepika Padukone, Tiger Shroff, and Ranbir Kapoor, has a Prevention of Sexual Harassment committee in place.[81]

Varun Grover[edit]

On 9 October 2018, writer-comedian Varun Grover was accused of sexually harassing a woman during his college years. The incident is said to have happened in 2001, according to the woman, his junior. However, Grover denied all the alleged claims of sexual harassment against him in a statement. In a Twitter post, Grover said, “I completely, totally, categorically deny all the allegations being made. The screenshot in question is untrue, misleading, and defamatory to say the least. Issuing a detailed statement soon.” The Twitter post was followed by a detailed statement in which he determined to "clear my name from this defamatory tactic. Till then, keep #MeToo alive and don’t let such stary cases hamper your spirit.”[82] On 16 October, Grover published an open letter on NewsLaundry.com, noting that while he respected the #MeToo movement, he found that it could be potentially dangerous for those accused who are innocent: "Do I occasionally feel like a victim of an agenda? Yes. And would I still say “Believe All Women”? Yes. But please bring in the checks to differentiate it from “Believe All Screenshots."[83]

Vairamuthu[edit]

Vairamuthu, Tamil poet, lyricist, author and a recipient of various awards including the Padma Bhushan and Sahitya Akademi Award was accused of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment by several women singers and artists from the Tamil film industry.[84] [85]A few women described their allegations anonymously, but Singer Chinmayi used her Twitter account to highlight the instances of intimidation and harassment she suffered at his hands. Following her, Sindhuja Rajaram, an artist, photographer and musician based in California, United States also accused Vairamuthu and detailed the harassment she faced due to Vairamuthu.[86] Vairamuthu remained non-comittal about the allegations against via Twitter.[87]

News and media[edit]

  • After multiple allegations of sexual harrassment, mental torture and sending explicit material, the Resident Editor of the Times of India (a leading publication in the country), K.R. Sreenivas, resigned on 13 October 2018.[88]
  • On 8 October, Prashant Jha stepped down as the Chief of Bureau and Political Editor of the Hindustan Times, a leading daily newspaper, after charges of sexual harassment filed against him by a former employee.[89]
  • On 14 October 2018, film director Nishtha Jain in her Facebook post accused The Wire anchor Vinod Dua[90] of stalking, slobbering and sexually harassing her in June 1989.[91] Dua's daughter Mallika Dua said that she will let her father fight his battle and will stand by him.[92] On 17 October, Dua in a statement on the sexual harassment accusation against him mocked the #MeToo movement as "trivial" in an election year in the latest episode of his The Wire show 'Jan Gan Man Ki Baat'. Dua said he was suspending his show for a week for The Wire to probe the sexual harassment allegation against him.[93][94]
  • On October 10, Stalin K of Video Volunteers was accused by an intern from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai of sexual misconduct. Subsequently, TISS has issued an advisory dissociating itself from him and Video Volunteers. After this, several other instances of sexual harassment has also surfaced in the media that are currently under investigation by the ICC of Video Volunteers.[95]

Politics and law[edit]

Minister of State (MOS) of External Affairs[edit]

In October 2018, the Minister of state for External Affairs, Mobashar Jawed Akbar (MJ Akbar), has been accused of sexual harassment by several female colleagues through the 'Me Too' Movement in India.[96][97][98][99][100] At least ten allegations have emerged against Akbar, the first public servant in high office to be accused. Akbar's colleagues at the Centre, including Smriti Irani and Maneka Gandhi, have acknowledged the online testimonies against him and called for a probe. The Ministry of Women and Child Development on Friday announced that a panel would be set up to examine the existing legal framework for harassment at work.[6]

In mid October 2018, a 41-page letter was written to Delhi’s chief metropolitan magistrate by Akbar which accused journalist Priya Ramani of “willfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously defaming the Complainant [Akbar], on wholly and completely false, frivolous, unjustifiable and scandalous grounds.” In a statement, Ramani said she was “deeply disappointed” with Akbar’s decision to take legal action against her. “By instituting a case of criminal defamation against me, Mr. Akbar has made his stand clear: rather than engage with the serious allegations that many women have made against him, he seeks to silence them through intimidation and harassment.”[4]

On 16 October, journalist Tushita Patel (wife of Aakar Patel, director of Amnesty International) published an article on Scroll.in detailing incidents of sexual harassment by Akbar during meetings with him in the early 1990s, when Akbar was the editor-in-chief of the Deccan Chronicle, and Patel was a senior sub-editor. In a calmly indignant tone, Patel narrated separate incidents in which Akbar indecently exposed himself to her, and also forcibly kissed her, leaving her traumatized. She ended the article affirming the power of the solidarity and union of his female victims, who would be vocal against him in court proceedings: "The same sisterhood of solidarity that held our hands through the darkest times of our lives will come out only because you continue to be brazen. We are not confused, conflicted or vulnerable any more. Our time to speak is now – when we don’t have to run to a police station to lodge a complaint before anyone would give us a hearing."[101] M.J. Akbar resigned from the post of Minster of State for External Affairs on 17 October, citing to fight in the personal capacity against the allegations made on him.[102]

On 18 October, the Editor's Guild of India posted an official statement that requested Akbar to withdraw his defamation case against his accusers, and also offered legal and other support to any of the affected women (present or in the future) in his case or others: "If any of them were to need legal advice or assistance, the Guild will do the best it can to help and also appeal to eminent lawyers to represent them pro bono."[103]

Also on 18 October, Akbar's hearing for his defamation case began at the Patiala Court House in Delhi. Akbar himself was not present, but was represented by advocate Geeta Luthra. Luthra said that "at this stage all that she has to show is that Akbar's reputation has suffered, and that the allegedly defamatory remarks were read by others." The court said that it will record his statement on October 31.[104]

National Students Union of India (NSUI) national president[edit]

On 16 October 2018, Congress president Rahul Gandhi accepted the resignation of NSUI national president Fairoz Khan after charges of sexual harassment surfaced against him. Khan, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir, resigned from the post of the Congress student wing president on Monday after a woman Congress worker from Chhattisgarh levelled charges of sexual harassment against him amid the ongoing #MeToo movement. The party had set up a three-member committee to look into the issue. Khan, while denying the charges on him, said the allegations are hurting the party’s image and hence he would like to step down from the post.

The woman had first complained against Khan in June 2018. She had met Rahul Gandhi and other senior members of the party, demanding strict action against the youth wing president. She had also accused Khan of sexually harassing her sister and some other women from the party. She also lodged a complaint against him in the Parliament Street police station, saying that she feared for her life.[105]

Education[edit]

Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication (SCMC)[edit]

Alumni of the Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication (SCMC) in Pune took to social media to share harrowing accounts of harassment by some faculty members and their seniors; about 10 students and alumni of the college shared their ordeals, charging two faculty members and some senior students of harassment and molestation. [6] They also said that the institution failed to take concrete action against the accused faculty members. Soon afterwards, SCMC authorities issued an apology on Facebook and promised an investigation by the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).[106]

Dr Vidya Yeravdekar, principal director of Symbiosis Society said that the Symbiosis University Management is "doing its best to abide by UGC rules." He noted that a "high power internal complaints committee, comprising of the vice-chancellor, dean, registrar and the director of the institution, has been constituted." The committee, he said, will take necessary steps to investigate any claims and consequences.[107]

Challenges[edit]

Although India’s #MeToo movement has drawn inspiration from the United States’, it differs in key ways.[4] Unlike the allegations against high-powered film producer Harvey Weinstein, which were investigated and reported by established news organizations, the accusations in India have erupted on social media, with women using their Twitter handles or Facebook pages to share their stories.[4] Also, unlike the United States, where First Amendment rights strongly protect free speech, defamation laws in India allow the criminal prosecution of women who are unable to prove public allegations against their abusers, with a maximum jail term of two years.[4] These obstacles to the implementation of fair justice emboldened female activists to work towards strengthening an existing Indian law, the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, which had been poorly implemented since it was enacted in 2013.[4]

As of mid-October 2018, the social "Me Too" campaign of India continued to grow and be covered by major media outlets as a topic of importance, with victims outing their abusers on a nearly daily basis.[5] The movement has since resulted in major social consequences for several of those accused, such as firing or resignation from their jobs, condemnation and disassociation from members of their respective industries, and indignation against their actions from their fans and/or the public at large. Similarly, accusers have also been the target of countersuits from the accused, even as they often have social support and added coverage from the media.[6]

Criticism[edit]

In article "Whoa #MeToo, Hold Your Horses…" journalist Seema Mustafa says "...the woman bottled up and seemed to be encouraged by MeToo to share. This is a big achievement to my mind, but at the same time, engaging with criticism -- especially from those on the same side of the fence -- will only strengthen a movement..."[108] Where as journalist Tavleen Singh in her column "Fifth column: Why I am not MeToo" in Indian Express criticized the MeToo movement participants in India as "..So illiberal are the ‘liberals’ leading the MeToo movement that to express the smallest misgivings provokes a torrent of abuse on social media..."[109] Govind Krishnan V in his Firstpost article "#MeToo: Accusations against men can’t be construed as guilt; calculus of probability should account for innocence" concurs with Seema Mustafa's sentiments saying "...The pity of all this...is that MeToo ends up shutting out and disengaging from outside critiques which are intended to strengthen the movement, not demonise it."[110] Govind Krishnan V further calls in his view in his article that, "..This requires conversations that are more nuanced and richer and have space for debate, disagreement and dissent. It requires deeper forms of engagement and a collective will to develop a self-critical discourse that can generate the kind of intellectual spade work which is required. Historically, feminism has evolved, precisely because it has shown the ability to be self-reflective.[110]

Journalist Seema Mustafa expresses her reservations about "tone and tenor of the MeToo movement on the social media......it is a generational gap, or perhaps the trial of both --- the accuser and the accused --- on the social media is too unsavoury to digest..."; "..problem with this movement..is its inability to differentiate between the man who is guilty of rape and sexual assault from the man who solicited a woman with a drink, or an unacceptable text message. The movement offers the same ‘punishment’ for all. The same response, and the same reaction. " Journalist Govind Krishnan V concurs in his article with this Seema Mustafa's arguments saying,"...This has remained a cardinal challenge for India’s MeToo, which it has not yet succeeded in overcoming. There have been too many cases where everything ranging from flirting, opening moves, clumsy passes, sleazy behavior, disrespecting boundaries, married men expressing sexual interest, all have been clumped together under sexual harassment."[110] Seema Mustafa also says "..movement that is so exclusive and by its very nature is confined to the upwardly mobile elite in a couple of big cities with no resonance whatsoever in the smaller districts and villages....can such a movement in a country like India where the majority is excluded --- including the girls working under harrowing circumstances in regional purposes --- actually carry legitimacy beyond a point? And be successful in confronting patriarchy in the manner intended? These are questions that come to mind, and are not condemnations of the movement itself."[108]

Seema Mustafa further says, "movement is too subjective, it is arbitrary. It has no responsibility. All I require is the right gender, access to Twitter, and I can level any allegation against anyone for it to be believed hook, line and sinker and for the man to be pilloried beyond belief. I am not saying that the women are lying, most will not be. But there will be the one, or the two, who would name a man for reasons other than harassment. And then what? After all old fashioned jurisprudence does warn against collateral damage, and does speak of justice as a concept where an innocent man is not framed, even if it means the guilty get away.[108]

She further asks "Yes men have lost their jobs and we are proud of this success of MeToo. But on what basis? Where is the enquiry, where is the evidence, where is all that as journalists we require before we even publish a story. The point is behind every tweet there is a subjective story, and that is important in our final verdict----since we have become the mob with the power to try and hang even before the accused has a chance to defend himself..."[108]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goel, Vindu; Venkataraman, Ayesha; Schultz, Kai (2018-10-09). "After a Long Wait, India's #MeToo Movement Suddenly Takes Off". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "India's #MeToo: Some of the sexual harassment charges that have surfaced this month".
  3. ^ Faleiro, Sonia. "India's #MeToo Moment Came Late, but It Will Be Transformative".
  4. ^ a b c d e f "After a deluge of #MeToo allegations, Indian men claim they are the ones under attack". Washington Post. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b Goel, Vindu; Venkataraman, Ayesha; Schultz, Kai (2018-10-09). "After a Long Wait, India's #MeToo Movement Suddenly Takes Off". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d "It's officially a week since India's #MeToo movement started. Here is a list of all those accused. - The Indian Economist". M.dailyhunt.in. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Kerala: Women in Cinema Collective criticises film body's 'inaction' on sexual assault case". Scroll.in. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Malayalam actor's abduction, assault: Kerala court allows Dileep access to all case documents". Scroll.in. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Malayalam director Anjali Menon calls industry stand on #MeToo allegations a 'highly disturbing one'". Bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Women in Cinema Collective accuses AMMA of shielding accused in sexual assault case". Hindustantimes.com. 14 October 2018. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Took 19 yrs but here is my story". Twitter. 2018-10-08. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Now, Malayalam actor Mukesh faces 'Me Too' heat". Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  13. ^ "'Mukesh called my room many times': Casting director Tess Joseph's 'Me Too'". The newsminute. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
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