MJ Akbar-Priya Ramani verdict today: About three years have passed since one of India’s most high-profile #MeToo cases came to light.
Between 2017 and 2018, journalist Priya Ramani accused former Union Minister and prominent journalist MJ Akbar of sexual harassment. After she spoke up, prompting more women to charge Akbar with similar allegations, he slapped a defamation case on her. A Delhi court is set to pronounce a verdict in that case today.
When Ramani’s #MeToo allegations came to light, the movement against harassment and abuse of women was still in its nascent stages in India. That the journalist took on a figure as powerful as Akbar then was hailed as a watershed moment in India’s feminist movement.
As India awaits the Priya Ramani verdict, here is what women are saying online
Prominent women, including from the fields of journalism, law, writing, are claiming that the Priya Ramani verdict will purportedly determine the course #MeToo takes in the country henceforth. Many are responding with the #IStandWithPriyaRamani hashtag. Here are some reactions.
Supreme Court advocate Karuna Nundy lauds Ramani and her lawyer John for fighting “a courageous, excellent case.”
Whether or not Priya Ramani and Rebecca John succeed against MJ Akbar's claim that he didn't sexually harass multiple women, they have fought a courageous, excellent case. More power to such feminist, justice oriented litigants and lawyering. #istandwithpriyaramani— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) February 10, 2021
Journalist Harinder Baweja emphasises, “Let’s not forget: multiple women have graphic accounts.”
Extremely important verdict in the @mjakbar case. The judgement will determine the importance of women raising their voice against sexual harassment in the workplace. Let’s not forget: multiple women have graphic accounts. #istandwithpriyaramani— Harinder Baweja (@shammybaweja) February 9, 2021
Writer Subhakeerthana says, “For women, the courage to identify an abuser in power IS NEVER smooth. Believe people.”
The verdict DOESN'T matter. For women, the courage to identify an abuser in power IS NEVER smooth. Believe people. Realise that someone can be good to you, and horrific to someone else. #IStandWithPriyaRamani— Subhakeerthana (@bhakisundar) February 10, 2021
Media watcher Harini Calamur claims, “i have heard too many first person accounts of the man, even before he became a politician.”
#istandwithpriyaramani – because i believe her.— Harini Calamur (#StayHome) (@calamur) February 10, 2021
and, i have heard too many first person accounts of the man, even before he became a politician….
Women on the significance of the Priya Ramani verdict
Journalist Dhanya Rajendran wrote on Twitter, “With Priya Ramani. This is an important fight she fought for us all.”
Suhasini Haidar, meanwhile, wrote, “The process itself has been a learning for us all….Priya Ramani’s courage is inspiring.”
Wishing Ramani luck, Rohini Singh wrote, “When a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women. Your courage is inspiring.”
Views expressed are the author’s own.