#MeToo India: Post Movement Impact, Actions Taken
In just a few days, India’s #MeToo movement has spread like a wildfire forcing several powerful men out of their leadership positions. Not only the survivors are notably being believed but also action is being taken against the sexual perpetrators this time. These men have long enjoyed the glory of their powerful positions and now is the time to face the music for their actions.
Let’s take a look at #MeToo India movement’s powerful impact and the actions that these men are now facing.
Writer and producer Vinta Nanda accused actor Alok Nath of sexually violating her, almost two decades ago. Taking notice, the Cine And TV Artistes’ Association (CINTAA) tweeted on Tuesday, saying that Alok Nath would be sent a show-cause notice to explain why he should not be expelled.
Tanushree Dutta who accused actor Nana Patekar of assaulting her on the sets of the movie Horn ok Pleasss. The incident allegedly took place about 10 years ago. Yesterday, Tanushree approached the Maharashtra State Commission for Women. Soon after, the panel issued notices to Nana Patekar, producer Samee Siddiqui, Ganesh Acharya and director Rakesh Sarang. The Commission has asked the men in question to revert within 10 days with their response.
The commission has also written to the Mumbai police, demanding information concerning the action it had taken on Tanushree’s complaint. Tanushree filed a complaint with the Oshiwara police station on Saturday. The commission has also asked film producers, media houses and cine artist associations to set up an internal committee in order to address complaints filed by women in Bollywood.
A woman, who earlier worked with Phantom Films, accused Vikas Bahl of sexual harassment. She said that Bahl had sexually assaulted her during the promotional tour of Bombay Velvet. In one of her interviews, she recounted how it took her so much time and therapy to get out of the trauma. Anurag Kashyap, acclaimed director and co-owner of Phantom recently announced the dissolution of the production house. Meanwhile, Kashyap also stepped down as the board member of MAMI.
Also, Vikramaditya Motwane, director and Phantom co-owner called out to Vikas’s behaviour terming him a “sexual offender”. Indian Film And Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) has also sent a show cause notice to Bahl after Kangana Ranaut and Nayani Dixit accused him of misconduct. “IFTDA has taken a stern stand against Vikas Bahl by issuing a show cause notice and asked him to respond within one week’s time, failing which his membership will be terminated,” read the statement from IFTDA.
AIB co-founder Tanmay Bhat is said to have been aware of the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against comedian Utsav Chakraborty. Utsav has worked with AIB for a long time now as a freelancer. Subsequently, All India Bakchod took to Twitter and issued an apology saying they messed up and should have cut all ties with Chakraborty once they became aware of the accusations.
The HR department at AIB issued a statement saying Gursimran Khamba would go on a “temporary leave of absence” until further clarity. Gursimran also has been accused of misconduct. The statement also said that Bhat, co-founder and CEO of the group “would step away from his association” with the group until further notice.
Star India’s video streaming platform Hotstar has now cancelled the third season of ‘On Air with AIB’ midway. Hotstar’s official handle tweeted that it will not stand by anything that compromises the respect or safety of women. Amazon Prime Video may also terminate the deal for existing or upcoming shows with the group.
Sreenivas, editor for TOI in Hyderabad, has been sent on an “administrative leave” after seven women petitioned TOI to take action in light of the sexual misconduct allegations him. Many women also chose to speak publicly about their horrific experiences. The petition also contains screenshots and testimonies from each petitioner describing their alleged encounters with him.
MJ Akbar, Minister of state for external affairs, has faced allegations of sexual harassment from the time of his editorial stints in well-known news publications. Seven women journalists have accused him.
Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has said there should be an investigation. “The ministry has a stated position that wherever there is a case of sexual misconduct or abuse qualifying for jail term under criminal law for three years or more, there has to be a probe. There must be investigation. Men in positions of power often indulge in such acts. Now when women have gathered courage to speak up, the allegations must be taken seriously,” Gandhi said on Tuesday.
Business Standard (BS) reporter Mayank Jain, who was accused of sexual harassment, has resigned from his role. The publication has accepted his resignation with immediate effect. Several women journalists took to social media and spoke out against Jain and accused him of sexual harassment. Accusations of workplace harassment also surfaced so after.
A former editor at TOI and former editor-in-chief of DNA, Gautam Adhikari has resigned from his post as senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington DC. His profile page on the centre’s website is currently blank and his name is not there on the centre’s list of experts.
Three women journalists accused Adhikari of sexual harassment. After Sandhya Menon and Sonora Jha first wrote about him, another woman came forward sharing an account of how Adhikari forced himself on her. Tara Kaushal, writer and author of Why Indian Men Rape, wrote a brutally honest post about her #MeToo moment with Gautam Adhikari, then Editor-in-Chief of DNA in 2006.
Commenting on the actions that employers like All India Bakchod and Hindustan Times have taken, Kaushal wondered about the limits of the investigation on the allegations against Adhikari, since he retired years ago. She concluded her post writing, “But what will ever happen to Gautam Adhikari, who has long since retired from the media and lives in the distant US? Apart from some familial and social drama, will he face any tangible consequences? I sincerely hope so.”
Prashant Jha, following allegations of sexual harassment, stepped down as the political editor and bureau chief of the Hindustan Times (HT).
In an email to editorial staff, HT editor-in-chief Sukumar Ranganathan wrote: “Hi all, Prashant Jha has stepped down as the Chief of Bureau and Political Editor of Hindustan Times with immediate effect. The bureau will report to me for the time being.”
Ranganathan will take over charge of the bureau for now, as per reports.