Sexual harassment in India's media, entertainment, advertising industries; academics
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Raya Sarkar’s list of predators in academics
Social media divided over lawyer #RayaSarkar's Facebook post naming academics as sexual harassers
By Online Desk
Raya Sarkar, an Indian lawyer based in the United States, put out a list on her Facebook page, naming and shaming academicians who have been accused of sexual harassment by students.
As several feminists were quick to put out a statement condemning making allegations publicly by naming and shaming people, a response by a Facebook profile named Inji Pennu tagging Raya Sarkar, explained that due diligence was done before making the list public. Inji Pennu’s post said the list was compiled from first-person accounts of women who came forward to speak up, and where the victim wanted to remain anonymous, a friend stood in as alibi. Besides, they had collected data in the form of screenshots, WhatsApp messages, e-mails and call recordings.
Here is the list of colleges in which the alleged sexual harassers worked or continue to work.
1) Jadavpur University, Kolkata
2) Delhi University, New Delhi
3) University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii (US)
4) Ambedkar University, Delhi (AUD)
5) Centre for Studies in Social Sciences (CSSS), Kolkata
6) Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi)
7) Film and Television Institute (FTII), Pune
8) Ashoka University, Sonipat, Haryana
9) Institute of Rural Management Anand (IIRMA), Gujarat
10) St Xavier's College, Kolkata
11) Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata
12) Atomic Energy Higher Secondary Central School, Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu
13) TERI University, New Delhi
14) Scottish Church College, Kolkata
15) University of California, Santa Cruz
16) University of Cambridge
17) Presidency University, Calcutta
18) University of Trier, Germany
19) DY Patil University, Mumbai
20) Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Off-Campus, Tuljapur, Osmanabad dist, Maharashtra
21) Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai
22) University of California, Riverside, California, United States
23) English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad
24) Ramjas College, Delhi University
25) Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata
26) National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi
27) Music Academy, Chennai
28) Hindu College, Delhi University
29) National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore
30) St John's Medical College, Bangalore
31) Christ University, Bangalore
32) Sri Venkateshwara college, Delhi University
33) Oxford University (in this case a student, not a professor)
34) St Joseph’s College, Bangalore
2018: India's #MeToo movement
Allegations of sexual harassment continued to roil the media and entertainment industry on Monday. Comedy group All India Bakchod (AIB), best known for parodies on politics, culture and society, announced on Monday that founder Tanmay Bhat had stepped aside. Bhat admitted he had ignored allegations of abuse against stand-up comedian Utsav Chakraborty and allowed him to continue producing content.(‘‘The Times of India’’)
Next, actor-filmmaker Rajat Kapoor apologised for verbal misconduct after he was called out by two women, a journalist and an assistant film director. Another #Me-Too moment came with directors Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane saying sorry for having taken limited action against director Vikas Bahl, who was a partner at the now defunct Phantom Pictures. Bahl is accused of molesting a subordinate in a hotel room in 2015.(‘‘The Times of India’’)
The face-off between Nana Patekar and Tanushree Dutta too continued to play out; Patekar cited legal advice to cancel a scheduled press conference to rebut allegations of sexual harassment by Dutta. The Times of India on Monday sent a senior journalist on administrative leave pending the closure of an inquiry into allegations against him. Allegations have been levelled against journalists at a number of national papers and media outlets.(‘‘The Times of India’’)
Unnamed minister- predator
Former Asian Age reporter Sonal Kellogg said a minister in the first UPA government “would always greet me with a kiss when I went to meet him”, and that he touched her inappropriately.
Former DNA Editor-in-Chief Gautam Adhikari has been accused of sexual harassment by two women who worked under him
He has denied the allegations (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Resigned as senior fellow at Center for American Progress
Misbehaviour and harassment
Tanushree Dutta has claimed that Vivek Agnihotri asked her to take off her bathrobe and dance in front of another actor despite her not being in the scene. The incident allegedly took place during the shooting of the film ‘Chocolate’.
Vivek Agnihotri issued a statement through his lawyers stating that Tanushree Dutta’s allegations are false, frivolous and vexatious. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Vivek Agnihotri has served a legal notice to initiate defamation action against the actress.
UNION MINISTER (till Oct 2018, when the accusations surfaced)
SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, HARASSMENT AND INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR (in an earlier capacity, when he was a newspaper editor)
Several women journalists, including Priya Ramani, Ghazala Wahab and Shutapa Paul and Tushita Patel came out with detailed accounts of alleged sexual misconduct by Akbar when he held senior editorial positions at various media organisations.
The Union minister has called all the allegations against him false and fabricated. He has further accused Priya Ramani of "willfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously" defaming him. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Akbar filed a defamation case in Delhi's Patiala House court against Priya Ramani. The court has listed the matter to October 18. However, 20 women journalists have come out in support of their colleagues and urged the court to hear their testimonies against Akbar. BJP president Amit Shah has said the charges against the minister will be examined. Akbar continued to be the Union minister of state for external affairs [for a week or so, before resigning].
Vikas Bahl was accused of sexual harassment last year by a former employee of the film collective Phantom Films, for an incident that took place in 2015 in Goa. Bahl's partners Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane came out in support of the allegations, with the former dissolving their production house Phantom. Post this, actor Kangana Ranaut also alleged that Bahl used to 'bury his face in her neck' and 'hold her really tight'.
The filmmaker slapped a legal notice on Anurag Kashyap and Vikamaditya Motwane and accused them of being opportunists. Vikas reportedly stated that the entire case of sexual harassment against him was orchestrated by Anurag and Vikramaditya “as a result of professional jealousy and with the sole intent to defame him, malign his image and destroy his career.” (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Hrithik Roshan has distanced himself from the director who was helming his upcoming film ‘Super 30’.
Bahl, it has been alleged, would "pretend to be drunk", his preferred modus operandi to sexually abuse and assault women.
Phantom Films winds up
After Bahl’s former colleagues at Phantom Pictures, Anurag Kashyap and Vikramditya Motwane, went public to express regret for not having taken action against him, actor Hrithik Roshan, who is working under Bahl’s baton for the upcoming film ‘Super 30’, too reacted. He said, “It is impossible for me to work with any person if he/ she is guilty of such grave misconduct.”(‘‘The Times of India’’)
Phantom’s team announced the company’s closure on Saturday. Kashyap said the film industry was extremely ill equipped to handle allegations of sexual harassment. Actor Kangana Ranaut, who had worked under Vikas Bahl’s direction in the film ‘Queen’, endorsed allegations of misdemeanour against him. However, her statement was dismissed by Sonam Kapoor who felt one could not always take Kangana seriously.(‘‘The Times of India’’)
Bahl’s accuser Doesn’t want to pursue case
Bahl’s accuser: Don’t want to pursue case
“I do not wish to relive any further what has transpired and I request that my presence in this proceeding be dispensed with and I be dropped as a party,” said the woman who had alleged that film director Vikas Bahl had sexually assaulted her three years ago.
In a statement submitted to the Bombay high court on Tuesday, she expressed unwillingness to pursue the matter further with any formal complaint. When asked by Justice S J Kathawalla, her counsel Navroz Seervai said she wants to put the episode behind her and resume her normal life.
Her one-page statement said an “absence of a written complaint or FIR does not and cannot take away from the truth of my statements” made on an online portal about events of the intervening night of May 4-5, 2015. “I affirm and stand by” the statements, she said.
‘I’ll be victimised if I lodge a complaint’
Why I have not made a police complaint is plain to see, if one considers how formal processes have failed to achieve any measure of accountability and lead only to further victimisation of sexual assault survivors.”
Seervai also said she can’t be foreclosed from filing a complaint one or five years down the line. “In these kinds of cases, it is the accuser who faces the heat rather than accused who gets away scot-free,” he said.
The high court judge was hearing a Rs 10 crore defamation suit filed by Bahl against film directors and his cofounding partners of their film production house Phantom Films — Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane — and a few media houses over the #MeToo allegations. Bahl’s case was that Kashyap went to the media with a story about “false’’ allegations out of “professional rivalry” to harm him. Bahl’s counsel Janak Dwarkadas sought interim orders against Kashyap and Motwane from putting up any defamatory posts on social media related to the allegations.
“It can’t be that my client’s reputation is to be tarnished by a person who claims to be victimised, who doesn’t wish to take action and not even file an affidavit,” said Dwarkadas.
Venkatesh Dhond, counsel for the two directors, said no case is made out by Bahl for any such relief. An 11-page affidavit filed by Kashyap said his posts were “true” and he was “in a position to justify them”.
Dhond said, “This matter involves a very large deal of public interest... Our police is not sensitive to plight of women at the receiving end.”
At the end of the hearing, Justice Kathawalla said, “If she says I want to forget the incident and want this to be left behind, should we not respect her wishes?”
But Kangana Ranaut accuses him of creepy behaviour
‘Queen’ actor Kangana Ranaut has alleged filmmaker Vikas Bahl made her feel uncomfortable on several occasions, after a woman employee at Phantom Films reiterated her allegations of molestation against the film director.
Last year, the woman employee at Phantom Films, which had Bahl as one of the partners along side Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena, had alleged that Bahl behaved inappropriately with her during a trip to Goa. In a recent article in Huffpost India, the woman has reiterated the allegations.
According to the report, in October 2015, the woman reached out to Kashyap and detailed her experience but no action was taken while Bahl continued to harass her.
After the article went viral, Kangana Ranaut also raised her voice against Bahl, the director of ‘Queen’. “I totally believe her. Every time we met, he’d hug me and bury his face in my neck, hold me really tight and breathe in the smell of my hair. It took me great amount of strength and effort to pull myself out of his embrace. He’d say ‘I love how you smell K’. I could tell something is wrong with him,” Kangana said. PTI
Bollywood film director
Actress Payal Rohatgi has accused Dibakar of sexual misconduct. Payal said Dibakar tried to take advantage of her in lieu of offering her a role in one of his upcoming films in 2011. Payal claims Banerjee had asked her to “lift her shirt and show him her stomach.” She said that she was punished by the industry for outing Banerjee and “no one called her for an audition again.”
Dibakar Banerjee responded to Bombay Times saying, "I had categoricall cleared my stand then. I have nothing to add." He also forwarded a copy of his earlier statement (made in 2011). (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
No action as of now.
Another prominent name is Chetan Bhagat, a leading author who featured on the TIME 100 list in 2010. Screenshots of inappropriate messages sent by Bhagat to a woman some years ago have been shared on social media. Bhagat did not respond to TIME’s email but has verified the messages in a Facebook post, in which he also apologized, saying “I should have had better judgement.” (Kamakshi Ayyar | TIME)
Author Chetan Bhagat has been accused of sending inappropriate messages to a woman. He has also been accused of sexual harassment by author Ira Trivedi.
Chetan Bhagat has apologised to the girl in case she felt offended when he was trying to flirt with her. He has said that he is not a harasser and the allegations have affected him and his family. Bhagat has denied Trivedi's allegations and shared a screenshot of a 'self-explanatory' mail which the author apparently sent to him in 2013. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
The author has decided that he will not participate in the Bangalore Literature Festival citing other commitments, according to the organisers of the event.
A comedienne had accused his colleague Utsav Chakraborty of sending unsolicited nude pictures of himself and demanding hers in return. This accusation had prompted several other women to also speak up. After this, Bhat announced that he was stepping away from his association with AIB till further notice. Bhat’s fellow founder at AIB Gursimran Khamba was also sent on leave for alleged sexual misconduct. The future of the group is now mired in uncertainty.(‘‘The Times of India’’)
Gaurav Bhatia, MD, Sotheby’s India: AC/ DC allegations
MD Sent On Leave Pending Inquiry On Charges
Just a week before its inaugural auction in the country, Sotheby’s India has sent its Mumbai-based managing director Gaurav Bhatia on leave pending an inquiry into sexual harassment allegations against him. Two of the four complainants are men.
Bhatia was appointed to the position in October 2016 and heads South Asia operations.
The revelations about Bhatia came from Instagram account ‘Scene and Herd’ (@herdsceneand), which has been sharing MeToo stories from the art world. It posted four anonymous accounts of inappropriate touching, forcible kissing and other kinds of alleged sexual misconduct by Bhatia. Two of them pertain to the time when he was employed with luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, and one relates to his current position in Sotheby’s. The last account posted on November 22, alleges physical assault inside a hotel room after a 2014 event when Bhatia was the “top boss at a luxury firm” and the survivor was on the communications team.
“After the event..he asked me to come to his room to close the remaining urgent things…I didn’t see anything coming as I thought he was being chivalrous and didn’t want to make the girls feel uncomfortable by having them in his room. So I being a boy, agreed to accompany him…He went on to physically assault me – during the whole time I said ‘No’ at various points. I was scared & shocked and disturbed for days,” writes one of the male complainants. “I’m now opening up and sharing this because others are speaking up.”
Scene and Herd’ has earlier shared anonymous allegations against artist Jatin Das and Kochi Muziris Biennale co-founder Riyas Komu, which led to the latter stepping down.
Bhatia put in his papers on December 20, 2018.
The Bollywood singer allegedly harassed a flight attendant at a pub.
Abhijeet Bhattacharya denied all allegations against him and reportedly said that only fat and ugly girls are accusing men of harassment. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Action yet to be taken.
Several women including aspiring actress Meira Omar have accused Anirban Blah of sexually harassing them. Blah is the co-founder of talent management agency Kwan.
Blah apologised unconditionally saying, "To anyone I may have hurt, I am sorry. This isn’t revenge for you. This is justice. You should just know that the stories you hear are worse than the truth but whatever the truth, it still makes me a monster in my own eyes ..." (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
The celebrity manager has been asked to step aside from his duties, activities and responsibilities at KWAN (according to the company’s statement dated October 16) after several allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against him in the last few days. On late Thursday night (Oct 18), Anirban was rescued by the police, from the railing of the old Vashi bridge (Navi Mumbai) during an apparent suicide attempt.
Anirban Das Blah attempts suicide
KWAN Entertainment founder Anirban Das Blah was asked to step down from the company he had founded.
Anirban Blah, co-founder of Kwan Entertainment, a celebrity management agency, who was accused of seeking sexual favours from aspiring actors, was rescued by police late Thursday night from the railing of the old Vashi bridge during an apparent suicide attempt. Police had acted on an alert by The Times of India after a copy of his suicide note reached TOIstaff.
Following the tip-off from TOI, joint commissioner of police (law and order) Deven Bharati spoke to his counterparts in Navi Mumbai asking them to rush a team to the bridge. “We managed to save him in the nick of time. If it hadn’t been for TOI’s late-night call, Navi Mumbai police would not have reached him in time. He had got off a cab and was on the bridge when the police team caught him,” Bharti told TOI.
Minutes after receiving the suicide note, TOI spoke to Bharti at 11.07pm. By 12.07am Blah was picked up from the bridge and taken to the police station. He had got out of a cab where the bridge starts and walked towards the centre. “Senior inspector Satish Gaikwad, along with PSI Rohan Bagade and three constables, kept vigil for about 45 minutes on the old Vashi creek bridge. Around 12.05am, they spotted a man walking towards the bridge in the direction of Vashi and was midway. As he climbed the bridge railing, they caught him. He broke down and identified himself as Anirban Das Blah,” said an officer who was part of the operation.
Police then called his wife to inform her about the incident and asked her to come to Vashi police station. The couple was then counselled. Blah told police he intended to commit suicide due to the trauma he and his family was suffering after four women accused him of sexual harassment. Blah was forced by the other partners to step down last week after some of the victims narrated their experiences.
TOI is in possession of an allegation of harassment made by a woman against Blah and has deferred its publication awaiting his response because of hospitalisation. Blah is currently undergoing treatment at a trust-run hospital in Byculla. His wife told TOI that he was not willing to discuss the matter any further.
In the note that Blah put out on Thursday, he had, among other things, stated, “I have tried to be the best friend I can and the best colleague and the best person I can. But unfortunately the monster inside me keeps resurfacing and I’ve tried to bury him and kill him but I can’t.” The note also said, “You will find my body somewhere near Vashi creek. My licence will be with me as identification plus my tattoo. I am wearing blue jeans and a T shirt.”
On Oct. 4, a young Indian writer by the name of Mahima Kukreja tweeted that a popular, Mumbai-based comedian, Utsav Chakraborty, had once sent her an unsolicited photo of his penis. Other women responded by sharing stories of similar behavior from Chakraborty and Kukreja began tweeting screenshots of the messages she received (while blurring out the names of the accusers). She kicked off a firestorm. (Kamakshi Ayyar | TIME)
By the time Chakraborty apologized a day later, scores of Indian women — many of them journalists — had taken to Twitter to detail their experiences of sexual harassment and violation at the hands of senior figures in the media and entertainment industries and, in one case, a government official. The repercussions in recent days have included public apologies, resignations, and the sudden closure of a prominent Bollywood production house after one of its co-founders was accused of sexual assault. (Kamakshi Ayyar | TIME)
The upcoming Mumbai Film Festival has meanwhile announced that it will not show films involving some of the men who have been accused in recent days, while streaming service Hotstar has cancelled the production of a new season of the show On Air with AIB — the comedy group with which Chakraborty was associated. (Kamakshi Ayyar | TIME)
SENDING UNSOLICITED PICTURES
The writer-actor has been accused of sending nude pictures of himself to unknown women and asking for similar pictures in return.
Following the allegations, Utsav tendered a long apology on his Twitter handle. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
All the videos featuring the actor have been delisted by AIB.
Two aspiring actresses have accused casting agent Mukesh Chhabra of sexual harassment.
Mukesh Chhabra has responded to the allegations by issuing a notice to the Mid-Day, which published the allegations. The notice issued by Punam Sawhney, CEO of Mukesh Chhabra Casting Company, requests the details of the complainants and the recorded conversation so that they can place it before ICC. "It is very unfortunate that years of hard work and building is been muzzled with a series of unsubstantiated anonymous allegations," Chhabra told TOI. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Fox Star Studios, the production house backing Mukesh Chhabra’s directorial venture ‘Kizzie Aur Manny’, has announced its decision to “suspend the services” of the casting director-turned-filmmaker until the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) concludes its inquiry into the allegations against him.
Production house Star India announced that it has suspended Mukesh Chhabra, the director of its under-production film ‘Kizie aur Manny’, after several women accused of him of molestation,
Entrepreneur Nisha Bora has accused him of sexually harassing her 14 years ago. Writer Garusha Katoch accused the artist of sexually harassing her.
Padma Bhushan recipient Das has denied the charges saying he has never met her. He said the allegations are leveled against people “for the fun of it”. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
No action as of yet.
Nisha Bora accuses Das
Entrepreneur Nisha Bora took to Twitter to detail an incident from 2004, when she was 28 years old. She said that Das was at a dinner hosted by her father-in-law and asked whether she “had time and willingness to assist him for few days to organise his work material”. She saw it as “an honour to work with a brilliant artist” and went to his Khidki village studio, where she said he molested her. “I picked my bag... and ran home. Never to speak about it. Until now,” she said.
She said that two days later, she received a call from his daughter, actor-director Nandita Das, who wanted to know if “she could help her find a young female assistant (like myself)”.
Das, who is a Padma Bhushan recipient, denied the charges, said he hadn’t met her, and added that allegations are leveled against people “for the fun of it”.
“I am shocked... I don’t know her, I have never met her, and even if I did met somebody somewhere one doesn’t behave like this... It is vulgar,” he said. “There is a game going on, some people are real have done some things while some people are making allegations for the fun of it,” Das said.
So does Garusha Katoch
Artist Jatin Das was named on Wednesday by writer Garusha Katoch in a second allegation against the Padma Bhushan recipient, accusing him of trying to kiss her forcibly when she had interned under him in 2013.
The “renowned painter... tried to take advantage of me when I was 20. Five years too late but it is about time I speak up,” Katoch tweeted referring to a December 2013 incident at Das’ house.
“He leaned in and hugged me tight almost trying to kiss me. I looked away, I had tears in eyes, I am sure he saw them,” said the 25-year-old.
Relating her experience with Das during her first “internship opportunity” at JD Centre of Art, where the painter is the founder-chairman, Katoch describes her daily experience as she started feeling uneasy around him.
She said in her tweets that Das everyday delayed her after her work hours while other interns left the Shahpur Jat office in south Delhi at 4.30 p.m., he would invariably make her linger on till 7 or 8 p.m. piling some job on her at the last moment.
When on Day 3, Das offered Katoch to move in with him in a spare room to save her rent, the writer said: “I felt cagey and my chest tightened. In my mind I knew it was my last day. I will quit.”
He offered her a ride as it was way after her working hours, Katoch said and Uber and Ola were still not there. She said only a year had passed after the “Nirbhaya” episode and she took his offer.
But Das took a detour, she claimed, and first took her to his home in Asiad Village in Hauz Khas to show her a spare room and that’s where he tried to kiss her.
He also tried to put a pair of socks on her “beautiful feet” saying “You must be so cold...I had never felt so disgusted before,” she added.
Katoch panicked and did not know how to reach out to her parents who lived in Himachal Pradesh.
“So why am I speaking now? Not because I am a victim, not because I have any agenda. I am speaking now so that any woman or man going through this at workplace or beyond does not go through what I went through.
“Self-doubt, fear of the powerful figure, fear of the society or or fear of going out is not your destiny. Don’t take 5 years or 10 years to speak up,” she wrote.
Jatin Das could not be reached for comments.
Katoch’s tweets surfaced after conservationist-entrepreneur Nisha Bora accused him of sexual harassment on Tuesday. Das had denied the allegations and called them “ridiculous and vulgar,” adding he did not know Bora. IANS
Editor of Penguin India.
(This case dates to before the Oct 2018 #MeToo movement. Details will be uploaded later.
Forceful kissing and inappropriate behaviour
Raghu Dixit has been accused of forceful behaviour and sexual misconduct by an aspiring singer and another woman, both of whom remain anonymous.
Following the accusations, Raghu Dixit acknowledged one victim’s allegations and reportedly apologised for the same. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
No action as of yet
Gaurang Doshi is accused of sexually assaulting actress Flora Saini.
Gaurang Doshi denies all the allegations and says he is being victimised. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Flora Saini has sent a legal notice to Gaurang Doshi
Vinod Dua cracked lewd jokes, mocked Nishtha’s salary expectations Vinod Dua faces #MeToo heat: Filmmaker Nishtha Jain accuses The Wire journalist of stalking, sexual harassment | By NewsX Bureau | 14 October 2018
(Famous TV journalist) Vinod Dua. Taking to her Facebook handle, filmmaker Nishtha Jain has put out a post accusing Vinod Dua of stalking her and using cuss words against her. According to Nishtha, the incident took place in June 1989 when Nishtha Jain, then a graduate from Delhi's Jamia Mass Communication Centre, met Dua for the first time during a job interview.
Nishtha Jain claimed that she was being interviewed by Vinod Dua for his upcoming political satire show. Jain alleged that even before she could settle in, Dua opened with a lewd sexual joke which made her feel uncomfortable to the core. During the interview, Vinod Dua asked her expectations of salary, to this Nishtha Jain quoted the amount which most of the graduates were getting. She said that she was fine with getting Rs 5,000. Listening to the amount, Vinod Dua insulted her by asking stature (Tumhari aukaat kya hai) (What is your stature).
SEXUAL AND MENTAL HARASSMENT
Filmmaker Nishtha Jain in a social media post accused Vinod Dua of making lewd jokes, demeaning her during a job interview and stalking and trying to grab her when she started working at some other place.
He is yet to respond to the allegations. However, his daughter Mallika Dua has said that she will stand by her father even though it is his battle to be fought. She added that if it all her father is guilty, then it is “unacceptable”. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Vinod Dua is still to respond to sexual harassment accusations. However, online portal The Wire.in, where Dua is a consulting editor, has issued a statement saying the journalist has denied the allegations. "Our Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) has taken cognisance of the allegations levelled against Dua. We await the outcome of their deliberations in the matter," the Wire said in its statement.
The novelist has been accused of sexual harassment by an anonymous woman.
The writer issued a statement saying that he believed the encounter was consensual. However, he apologised for having caused hurt. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
No action as of yet
SEXUAL MOLESTATION, FORCEFUL KISSING
A woman had accused the filmmaker of raping her. Recently, TV actress and model Kate Sharma also accused the director of forcefully hugging and kissing her.
The filmmaker has denied all the allegations levelled against him. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Kate Sharma has filed a complaint against Subhash Ghai.
Director Subhash Ghai was accused of having raped a woman after spiking her drink. On Thursday, a anonymous post was shared on Twitter. The accuser said Ghai often invited her to latenight sessions at his flat. He forcibly tried to kiss her and touch her, and once spiked her drink and drove her to a hotel where he allegedly raped her. Ghai denied the allegations saying, “It is sad that it is becoming a fashion to malign anyone known. I deny strictly and firmly all false allegations like these. If she claims this way, she should go to the court of law and prove it. Justice will be done or I will go for defamation certainly.” (From The Times of India | Oct 2018)
The comedian-actor has been accused of inappropriately touching a group of women while inebriated.
Following the accusations, Kanan Gill extended an apology to the person concerned. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
The woman has accepted the apology and doesn’t intend to pursue the matter any further.
A legendary police officer, a national hero, he indecently fondled a senior lady IAS officer at a party.
(This case dates to before the Oct 2018 #MeToo movement. Details will be uploaded later.
Leading contemporary artist Subodh Gupta has been accused of repeated sexual misconduct by a former co-worker and other women in an anonymous online post.
Describing Gupta as a “serial sexual harasser”, the author of the post alleged “multiple inappropriate advances and unwanted touching... even after clearly saying no”. The accusation was posted on the Instagram account, Scene and Herd, which has been exposing sexual misconduct in the Indian art world. Known best for massive installations made with everyday objects, Delhi-based Gupta has shown and sold his work across the world.
The post recounted multiple instances of sexual misconduct with young women “who had worked with or for him”, including repeatedly asking an assistant to pose nude “even after clearly being refused every time” and offering massages to young women working with him. The post said he “grabbed the hand, touched the stomach, breasts, shoulders, pulled at bra straps, rubbed the thighs, even after the woman pulled away”.
“When confronted by an assistant who witnessed his behaviour, he responded, ‘she just looked so sexy. Ok, maybe, write one email saying sorry, I got too drunk, will that make it ok? I’m the artist, and she just works as an assistant, it should be ok no? What do you think?” the post read.
The journalist has been accused of sending lewd messages to women. Many women have accused him of sexual harassment and misbehavior.
He has not publicly responded to the allegations (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Jain resigned from Business Standard
A woman alleged that Jha sent inappropriate messages to her on WhatsApp. Screenshots of the conversation with Jha were also posted on Twitter.
Jha, in a letter to his editor, said that the allegations have raised moral questions about his conduct. He has stepped down from his position at HT (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
HT media said that a sexual harassment committee will look into the allegations
Indian cricket board’s (BCCI) CEO Rahul Johri was accused of sexual harassment and indecent behaviour. The allegations were taken seriously by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) running the board, with Johri being asked to provide a detailed explanation for his past conduct within a week.
The alleged incident, in which Johri has been accused of taking advantage of the victim by offering her a job opportunity, occurred before his current employment in the BCCI, when he was vice-president and general manager (South Asia) of Discovery Networks. Johri took over as BCCI CEO in 2016.
The COA’s statement said, “The reports disclose allegations of sexual harassment made against Mr Johri, by an unnamed person through a twitter handle. The allegations also relate to his previous employment with a large media house. ([The Times of India])
Johri has been accused of misbehaviour by an unnamed person, who claimed to be an ex-colleague of Johri at the Discovery Channel. The messages were posted on Twitter by an author, Harnidh Kaur, who later stated that she did not want the charges published nor her name used in the context
The Committee of Administrators has sought an explanation from Johri (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
No action yet
Actor Rajat Kapoor was also called out for alleged sexual harassment with two women accusing him of inappropriate behaviour. Kapoor apologised for “having slipped” and said, “All my life I have tried to be a decent man, to do the right thing. If however, I have slipped and through my actions or words caused pain or hurt or trauma to absolutely anybody, please accept my apology.”
SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR
The actor has been accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour by two anonymous women and a journalist.
Rajat Kapoor apologised on Twitter stating that he has tried to be a decent man all his life. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
The Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI) has dropped Rajat Kapoor’s ‘Kadakh’ from the lineup of the upcoming 20th edition of the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival in the wake of the accusations against him.
Fashion photographer and Bollywood film producer
Harassing women with his powerplay
A female actor of the upcoming film ‘Cheat India’ has accused producer Atul Kasbekar and director Soumik Sen of “harassing women with their powerplay” in an anonymous tweet.
Kasbekar’s production house Ellipsis Entertainment has issued a statement denying all the allegations. The statement says that the production house received no complaint from any member of the ‘Cheat India’ unit. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Ellipsis Entertainment plans to file a complaint with the cyber crime cell on the anonymity of the Twitter handle which has zero followers.
Assistant director Nameeta Prakash has accused Kaushal of sexual harassment during an outdoor shoot of a movie in 2006. The action director allegedly invited Prakash to his room for drinks and when she declined, he began persuading her and even showed a pornographic video on his phone.
Kaushal has responded to the allegations by saying that he has always tried to be a good human being, both professionally and personally. He also apologised for unintentionally causing any hurt to anyone. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
No action as of yet
Forceful kissing, harassing and emotional abuse
The comedian has been accused of forcefully kissing, harassing and emotionally abusing a woman.
Gursimran Khamba reportedly admitted that he behaved inappropriately. However, he has denied harassing the woman. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Khamba has been temporarily removed from the comedy collective AIB. A channel has cancelled the upcoming season of a show that features him.
Fairoz Khan, NSUI chief, resigns
Fairoz Khan, head of Congress’s students’ wing NSUI, resigned over allegations of sexual harassment levelled by a colleague. A woman activist of NSUI had accused Khan of sexual harassment in June 2018 in a written complaint to Congress while also speaking out in public. She released her WhatsApp conversation with Khan to allege that he had sought sexual favours to grant her political posts. Taking cognisance of the complaint, Congress constituted a three-member committee headed by Lok Sabha MP and Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev to probe the charges. Speaking to TOI, the complainant said, “The truth has prevailed and I am thankful to Rahul Gandhi for having initiated this action.”
Khan limited himself to saying, “Whatever needed to be communicated has already been done.” He took over as NSUI president in June 2017, the first Kashmiri to hold the position.
It is evident that while the case was dragging on owing to conflicting claims of the two parties, Congress was nudged into taking an urgent decision by the growing MeToo movement.
Saimoon Farooqui, an NSUI office-bearer, said, “Khan had offered to resign in June too but it was not accepted. Now, he has submitted his resignation as the sexual harassment complaint was being raised over and over again. He will move court to prove that the allegations against him are baseless.”
SEXUAL MISCONDUCT AND INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR
Sajid Khan has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, including actors Saloni Chopra and Simran Suri as well as journalist Karishma Upadhyay.
Sajid Khan has not accepted any of the accusations levelled against him. The filmmaker has asked the media and the people to wait for the truth to come out and not pass any judgement. Farah Khan has said the sexual harassment allegations against her filmmaker brother are "heartbreaking" and he will have to atone for them if they turn out to be true. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Sajid Khan said he is taking the "moral responsibility" to step down as director of “Housefull 4” till he can allay the allegations.
Director Sajid Khan quit ‘Housefull 4’ after two women accused him of sexual harassment. Actress Saloni Chopra, his former assistant, described several incidents of personal abuse and said working with Khan was the “most awful time of her life”.
Khan tweeted: “In the wake of the allegations against me and the pressure being put on my family, my producer and the stars of my film ‘Housefull 4’, I must take the moral responsibility of stepping down from my directorial post, till the time I can allay the allegations and prove the truth... Request my friends in the media to kindly not pass judgment till the truth is out.”
The film’s lead actor Akshay Kumar said he too stepped down. He posted: “I’ve requested the producers to cancel the shoot until further investigation. I will not work with any proven offenders and all those who have been subjugated to harassment should be heard and given the justice they deserve.” (From The Times of India | Oct 2018)
Not directing Housefull4
Sajid Khan is not directing Housefull4 anymore,
Sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour
A female journalist recounted how Kher allegedly misbehaved with her during an interview. Following this, singer Sona Mohapatra also spoke out against Kher, claiming he once placed his hands on her thigh
The singer has said that he does not remember the incident recalled by the female journalist, but apologised in case anything has been misconstrued. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
A user on Twitter has claimed that Kailash Kher has threatened legal action against the complainants. However, the singer has not officially acted on the complaints.
Two months later...
[When] Delhi government’s three-day cultural festival, Mayur Utsav, began in Mayur Vihar in east Delhi, its choice of singer Kailash Kher to perform plunged it into a big controversy.
Citing allegations of sexual misconduct against Kher, singer and music composer Sona Mohapatra launched an online petition asking chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy CM Manish Sisodia to “withdraw the invitation” to Kher and “support” the Me-Too movement that exposed several such cases in India.
Riyas Komu, Kochi Biennale
Kerala painter quits post over MeToo
Kochi Biennale Foundation trustee painter Riyas Komu on Friday stepped down from all managerial positions connected with Kochi Muziris Biennale after he was accused of sexual misconduct by an art world professional as part of the #MeToo movement. The allegation against Komu was shared on an anonymously run Instagram account ‘Scene and Herd’ on October 16. TNN
(This case dates to before the Oct 2018 #MeToo movement. Details will be uploaded later.
An anonymous Twitter user, claiming to be an actress, has accused Kumar of propositioning her on the pretext of signing a three-movie contract with his production house.
Producer Bhushan Kumar has denied the sexual harassment allegations against him, saying the claims are being used as a “tool to malign his reputation.” (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Kumar has lodged a police complaint against the anonymous person.
An actress has anonymously come forward with her story of Bhushan Kumar's alleged sexual misconduct.
Bhushan Kumar has vehemently denied the allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against him and said that he will lodge a complaint against the person(s) behind the malicious tweet.
An actress has anonymously accused T-Series head honcho Bhushan Kumar of propositioning her during talks for a three-film deal with his banner. The incident took place [in 2015], according to the woman.
"I met him for the first time in his office, it was a formal meeting and everything was finalised verbally and papers were to be signed the next day," her account on Twitter read.
The next morning, the actress received a call from the office saying that Bhushan wanted to meet her to discuss a three-film contract. They had a "friendly chat", in which he told her that he saw a lot of potential in her and would like to sign her for three films. She was elated and verbally agreed.
Half an hour later, she received a text from him asking to meet at his bungalow that evening. When she expressed her reservations, he messaged her saying that he was "looking for a relationship that involves work and pleasure" and he could make her a "superstar" if she agreed to his proposition.
"I messaged him back saying I don't sleep for work and if this is what I would have to do to get the film, then I am backing out right now. We had a couple of more exchanges where he persuaded me and I kept declining, to the extent that he said that if I opened my mouth about this to anybody, he will not let me survive in this city," the actress wrote.
The next morning, she was told that she had been dropped from the film because she "refused to sleep with the 'boss'".
Bhushan vehemently denied the allegations and told PTI, "I am appalled and anguished to know that my name has been dragged in this #MeToo by some anonymous person(s). The allegations against me are bad on the face of it. I have enjoyed an impeccable reputation and have always maintained professionalism. The tweet has been used as a tool to defame me and malign my reputation."
"I have taken this allegation very seriously and lodging a complaint with the cyber cell of the Mumbai Police to track the mysterious people(s) whose twitter handles have disappeared within seconds of uploading the malicious tweet. I'll take all such actions as I will be legally advised," he added.
Professor Giridhar Madras
IISc sends professor on ‘compulsory retirement’ over ‘sex harassment’
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has asked a senior faculty member to go on “compulsory retirement” after its council investigated a sexual harassment complaint against the professor and found him guilty. Professor Giridhar Madras, 51, a noted chemical engineer, is counted among the top 1% of scientists in the world in his field. IISc director Anurag Kumar said “The minutes have been finalised and the council has ordered that professor Madras go on compulsory retirement.” TOI had earlier reported that the council had been hearing his case and that it had found him guilty of the allegations made by a PhD student. TNN
Music composer/ Singer
Anu Malik has been accused of sexual harassment by about four women so far which includes Shweta Pandit, Sona Mohapatra and two more anonymous victims.
Responding to the sexual harassment allegations made against Anu Malik, his lawyer has issued a statement denying all the allegations as false and baseless. The statement reads, "The allegations made against my client are emphatically denied as completely false and baseless. My client respects the #metoo movement but to use this movement to start a character assasination mission is obnoxious." Anu Malik said that he wants to give a detailed reply after ascertaining the correctness of the account. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Anu Malik said on Sunday that he has decided to take a break from Indian Idol as he is currently unable to focus on his work, his music and the show. *However, Sony Entertainment Television also released a statement which reads, "Anu Malik is no longer a part of Indian Idol jury panel. The show will continue its planned schedule & we'll invite some of the biggest names in Indian music as guests to join Vishal & Neha to judge extraordinary talent of Indian Idol season 10." *Rubbishing all allegations, Anu Malik's lawyer had earlier said in a statement, "The allegations made against my client are emphatically denied as completely false and baseless. My client respects the #metoo movement but to use this movement to start a character assassination mission is obnoxious." * Meanwhile, singer Alisha Chinai has come forward to validate the allegations against Malik, claiming that “every word said and written about Anu Malik is true.”
Shweta Pandit, 3 other women accuse Malik
[https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TOIDEL%2F2018%2F10%2F18&entity=Ar02309&sk=40B8898F&mode=text Malik asked for a kiss, alleges singer| TIMES NEWS NETWORK]
On a day industry body CINTAA (Cine and TV Artistes’ Association) announced a committee to probe allegations of sexual harassment, a young singer from a prominent family of musicians spoke up against a leading music director.
Shweta Pandit, niece of Sulakshana and Vijayeta Pandit and Jatin-Lalit, called out composer Anu Malik for misbehaving with her in 2001when she was barely 15 years old. She described him as a paedophile and said the episode made her consider leaving the industry.
Shweta said Malik’s manager asked her to come to the studio for audition. The composer asked her to wait in a small cabin. She wrote, “It was just him and me there. He asked me to sing without any music as he wanted to hear my voice. He said, I will give you this song with Sunidhi and Shaan but first give me a kiss now.’ He then smiled, what I’d recall the most evil grin I’ve seen. I went numb. I was only 15 years old then, still in school. It felt like someone had just stabbed me in my stomach. I referred to this man as ‘Anu Uncle,’ he knew my entire family for decades and knew us as a respected gharana of musicians. He addressed my father as ‘Mandheer bhai.’ And he does this to his bhai’s daughter?”
Shweta said the incident left her depressed for months. “I could have left the industry but I rethought. Why should I leave my greatest passion for a paedophile like him?” she wrote.
Anu Malik told PTI, “No comments. This is ridiculous. I don’t want to talk about it. Today anyone says anything.”
CINTAA meanwhile announced the setting up of a committee to tackle sexual harassment along Vishaka guidelines. Lawyer Vrinda Grover, actors Swara Bhasker, Raveena Tandon and Renuka Shahane, filmmaker Amol Gupte and journalist Bharati Dubey will be part of the committee. Fifty percent will be women.
However, CINTAA expressed helplessness at taking up cases that are under legal process, like that of Alok Nath. President Vikram Gokhale said they can at best expel proven offenders, not force them out of work. At present, Nana Patekar remains a member as does Tanushree Dutta.
‘Takes a break’ from TV show
Malik takes a break from his TV show
KISSING WITHOUT CONSENT
Aditi Mittal has been accused by Kaneez Surkha of forcefully kissing her on stage without her consent.
Following the allegations, Aditi Mittal reportedly issued an unconditional apology to Kaneez Surkha. She also stated that she had no intention to cause hurt. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
No action as yet
Allegations of rape against producer Karim Morani resurfaced. Morani, who produced Chennai Express and RaOne, had been charged with rape, wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation and cheating in January 2017. He had spent two months in jail. A 21-year-old Delhi-based aspiring actress had alleged Morani took objectionable pictures and videos and sexually exploited her by threatening to post them on social media. (From The Times of India | Oct 2018)
Mukesh, actor/ politician: called Tess constantly, got her hotel room next to his
TV show casting director recalls escape
A casting director has accused Malayalam actor Mukesh of calling her hotel room multiple times and even getting it changed so she could be in the one next to his, saying the harassment nearly two decades ago forced her to fly out.
Tess Joseph said the harassment took place at a Chennai hotel when Mukesh, a CPM MLA, was hosting Ningalkkum Akam Koteeshwaran (you can become a millionaire), the Malayalam version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.
In a tweet on Tuesday she said she had flown out of Chennai with the help of Derek O’Brien, now a Trinamul MP.
Mukesh, 62, played down the allegation in a brief reaction with a Malayalam channel. “I don’t remember any such incident and I don’t know her. Anyone can accuse anyone,” the actor, an influential figure in the Malayalam film industry and its trade body, the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes, said.
“I was 20 years old quiz directing #koteeswaran when the mallu host #mukeshkumar called my room multiple times and then changed my room to beside his on the next sch. My then boss @derekobrienmp spoke to me for an hour & got me out on the next flight. 19 yrs on thank you Derek,” she tweeted.
Her Facebook profile describes her as the India casting director of Hollywood movies, Lion and The Darjeeling Limited, and a former head of TV and production at Derek O’Brien & Associates.
When a person named Suresh Mathew responded by asking whether she actually meant Malayalam actor Mukesh, she responded with a smiling picture of the actor and commented: “Yes it is. Mukesh Kumar actor/politician.”
In a follow-up Tweet, Tess wrote: “I was the only woman in a crew of men. One night when the calls were never ending, I stayed in my colleague(’s) room.”
She also accused the Chennai hotel of being the “worst… enablers”, saying when she had asked why her room was changed, she was “nonchalantly” told that “Mr Mukesh asked for it”.
Phaneesh Murthy, Infosys
The lawsuit was filed by Phaneesh's executive secretary Reka Maximovitch, a Bulgarian American national, complaining of sexual harassment and wrongful termination of her employment. Giving details of the settlement, Infosys chairman and chief mentor N R Narayana Murthy told mediapersons in Bangalore that the company would be paying $3million to the plaintiff.
For details see Infosys .
C Gouridasan Nair
New Delhi-based journalist Yamini Nair has accused Nair of harassing her in 2005 while she was working in Chennai as a cub journalist.
Nair expressed his pain & dismay over the allegation and explained how he viewed the matter. However, he decided not to complicate the matter and immediately offered to go on extended leave. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Taking Yamini Nair's #MeToo post seriously, the Hindu Publishing Group has sent Nair on leave till his superannuation on December 31, 2018.
‘Calls it a day’
In Kerala, veteran journalist and resident editor of The Hindu, C Gouridasan Nair was sent on leave until his retirement in December after he was accused of harassment. The Hindu Group’s chairman N Ram tweeted on Tuesday, “this senior journalist who was not formally named decided not to dig in —but called it a day.”
RAPE, SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR
Several Bollywood actresses have levelled allegations of harassment against Alok Nath after writer-producer Vinta Nanda claimed that she was sexually violated by the actor around 19 years ago. Well-known actors such as Sandhya Mridul and Amyra Dastur, singer Sona Mohapatra and Nath's co-star Navneet Nishan came out about their unsavoury harassment experiences.
Alok Nath has dismissed all the allegations levelled against him. He says it is useless to react to these allegations since "in today’s world, whatever a woman says, only that will be considered.” (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Actor Alok Nath has refused to respond to a notice issued to him by the Indian Film and Television Directors Association (IFTDA) regarding writer-director Vinta Nanda's claim that he sexually violated her 19 years ago. IFTDA has now decided to take strong action against the actor. In his response to the show-cause notice by CINTAA (Cine And TV Artistes' Association), Alok Nath has denied all the allegations against him. He has moved a civil suit against writer-director Vinta Nanda, seeking a public apology and Re 1 as damages.
Nath might have been framed: Court
In a 15-page order allowing actor Alok Nath’s plea for pre-arrest bail in a rape case filed by writer-director Vinta Nanda, a sessions court has observed that “the possibility cannot be ruled out that he has falsely been enroped in the crime”.
The court said it was to be noted that while Nanda remembered the entire incident, she didn’t recall the date and month when it had happened. “In view of all these facts the possibility cannot be ruled out that the applicant has falsely been enroped in the crime,” judge S S Oza said.
Nanda filed a case in October 2018 after she first publicly alleged, as the #MeToo movement gained momentum, that Nath had raped her more than once 19 years ago.
On the 20-year delay in registering the FIR, the court said there was no period of limitations for offences under Sections 376 (rape) and 377 (unnatural sexual offences) of the Indian Penal Code.
However, it said while there was nothing on record to show Nath had threatened her or made any promise for not lodging a report, Nanda had not done so immediately for her own benefit.
Nath’s custodial interrogation not necessary: HC
So far as the reason to delay in lodging the FIR is concerned, the complainant stated in the report itself that she consulted with her friends regarding lodging of report but they told her that applicant is a big actor and her all companies (sic) were already shut, therefore no one would believe her story, hence she did not file complaint against the applicant,” the court observed.
The court also said since both the accused and complainant were married (separately), a medical examination would be a mere formality and no useful purpose would be served by it. It said the actor’s custodial interrogation was also not necessary. “It is to be noted that (the) incident took place at the house of (the) complainant, therefore no possibility to destroy the evidence,” the court said.
The order said while Nanda had sent a detailed police complaint in writing on October 17, 2018 for registration of FIR, on the basis of a second report dated November 20, 2018, the FIR was registered against Alok Nath. The court said prima facie, it was revealed that there is some variance in the two complaints. “However, whether same would amount to omission or contradiction is a matter of trial,” the court said.
During arguments for relief, Nath’s lawyer had contended that perhaps the complainant’s allegations were inspired by the unrequited and unreciprocated love and affection she had for the actor. Opposing his anticipatory bail plea, Nanda’s advocate had told the court that being ultramodern and having alcohol did not give Nath the right or licence to rape and brutalise. Further, it was said the first complaint filed by her was only a cover letter with an attachment of a photocopy of the post she had put up on Facebook on October 8, 2018.
Granting anticipatory bail on a surety of Rs5 lakh, the court said Nath was not to visit the vicinity of Nanda’s house.
Sexual harassment, misuse of power
The Kolkata Times journalist has been accused of sexual harassment by two former colleagues.
He has called the allegations malicious and defamatory. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Charges are being invesitageted by a special committee set up by BCCL, Times of India's parent company, pending which he has been transfered out of Kolkata.
Joint winner of Nobel Prize. Accused by junior colleague.
(This case dates to before the Oct 2018 #MeToo movement. Details will be uploaded later.
Bollywood actor Tanushree Dutta has accused Nana Patekar of sexual misconduct during the shooting of ‘Horn ‘OK’ Pleassss’ in 2008.
Nana Patekar denied the allegations citing them as false accusations by the actress. He described Tanushree’s claims of sexual harassment a ‘lie’. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Tanushree Dutta has filed an FIR with the police against Nana Patekar, choreographer Ganesh Acharya, director Rakesh Sarang and producer Samee Siddiqui. In response, Patekar has slapped Dutta with a legal notice and demanded a written apology from her. Meanwhile, he has pulled himself out of the movie “Housefull 4”, saying he does not want to cause inconvenience to the people involved with the project.
Tanushree Dutta, Kukreja accuse him
in September, actress Tanushree Dutta accused film veteran Nana Patekar of misconduct with her on a film set in 2008. (Patekar has denied the allegation; Dutta has filed a police complaint.) The case sparked an outpouring of other #MeToo allegations on social media. Now Kukreja’s tweet has started a fresh wave and prompted the compilation of a list — consolidated from stories across social media platforms and shared as a Google spreadsheet — with more than 80 men on it, many of them prominent. (Kamakshi Ayyar | TIME)
The actor cancelled Monday’s scheduled press conference where he was to address allegations made by Tanushree Dutta. But he briefly met reporters outside his residence in Mumbai’s Andheri West, where he again termed her accusation a lie. “I said this 10 years ago too. What was true then remains true today. My legal team has asked me not to speak. Otherwise why will I not talk to you all,” he said. “I will follow what my lawyer has said. So please pardon me.”(‘‘The Times of India’’)
Meanwhile, Dutta’s lawyer said she was out of town and expected to return to Mumbai on Tuesday. Thereafter, she would record her statement before Oshiwara police. He added that two other victims who were eyewitnesses to the incident, would also present their statement.(‘‘The Times of India’’)
The Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA) offered to address Dutta’s sexual harassment allegation against Patekar “by conducting a fair and expeditious inquiry”. The body had earlier admitted it failed to take up the matter when she complained to them in 2008. CINTAA is also keen to hear Patekar’s version.(‘‘The Times of India’’)
Case against Nana false, says police
MUMBAI: The Oshiwara police on Wednesday filed a report before an Andheri magistrate court stating that the case of sexual harassment filed by Tanushree Dutta against co-actor Nana Patekar was "false". As there was no evidence to prosecute Patekar, the police said while attaching their B Summary or case closure report, they were closing the case.
The police report added Tanushree had filed the case "because of a misunderstanding and without malicious intent". The case, lodged in October 6 2018, had marked the launch of the #MeToo movement in India.
Police stated the actress had, after first filing a complaint with CINTAA (Cine and TV Artistes Association) in March 2008, "settled the matter" the same month after a meeting with the production house for the film Horn 'OK' Pleassss. At the meeting, which took place in front of officials of CINTAA and IFTPC (Indian Film and TV Production Council), the cops said, it was agreed the producers would pay Tanushree "Rs 5 lakh + 10% service tax, and the matter would not be stretched any further."
A 'B Summary' report is filed when police have no evidence to file a chargesheet against an accused.
Tanushree had lodged an FIR with Goregaon police in 2008 but had later alleged cops had not added sections related to sexual harassment while registering an assault case. Last year's October 10 FIR lodged at Oshiwara police station contained that section and named Patekar and three others: choreographer Ganesh Acharya, director Samee Siddique and producer Rakesh Sarang. She alleged she had been harassed by Patekar between March 23 and 26, 2008 during a dance sequence on the sets.
The 51-page police report, which The Times of India has seen, has attached to it statements of at least 13 persons shown as witnesses, including choreographer-actor Daisy Shah. All witnesses whose statements have been recorded by police have claimed they did not witness any untoward incident when the item song was being shot.
Tanushree had alleged in her FIR that the director and producer had informed her the item number "would be a solo song" and, after she said she "would not enact or perform any lewd or uncomfortable steps," "committed to ensuring my comfort level." According to her, she was told "Patekar would only have one line in the song, which they would shoot separately. However, he was present on all four days and kept touching me under the pretext of teaching me how to dance."
Police stated they found Tanushree's claim that she was not told Patekar would be in the item song was not true. Also, she was informed about all changes made to the item number, the cops stated.
According to the police report, "Producer Rakesh Sarang, choreographer Ganesh Acharya, actor Nana Patekar and director Samee Siddique said they had informed the actress while signing the movie that a male dancer would be doing the song with her. Tanushree's claim that Patekar touched her inappropriately and used lewd comments was not supported by any of the junior artistes and dancers present on the sets. They said they did not see any such act done by Patekar."
Choreographer-actor Daisy Shah, among the witnesses, noted in her statement that "as Nana Patekar was not good at dancing, she (Daisy) and her male partner were showing him dance steps. On March 26, 2008, Patekar came early for practice and at around noon Dutta came on the sets. All dancers were on the sets while Patekar stood behind Dutta. Suddenly, Dutta left the sets, fuming. No one knew what happened and why she left. The producer and director tried to convince her to come out of her vanity van, but she didn't. Later the shoot was called off. We learnt about the allegation later. But no one witnessed any act where Patekar had touched her from behind."
Tanushree's lawyer Nitin Satpute said police had acted negligently in order to protect Patekar. Statements of many witnesses-among them "hair dresser Aliza, Wasim and Mir"-had not yet been recorded, and the statement of one "Shyni Shetty" had been recorded only partly, he said. Police had only recorded statements of those who knew nothing, Satpute alleged. "Police have not investigated properly, so we will oppose the B Summary report and file a writ petition in the Bombay high court," he said.
The police report stated that as per the agreement between the producers and Tanushree in the 2008 meeting before CINTAA officials, the producer was asked "not to relay anything" shot during the period when the alleged harassment took place. Also, if any future date were to be fixed for shooting with the actress, another Rs10 lakh with service tax was to be payable as per the pact.
Asked why she had been quiet for 10 years, the actress, who has been living in the US for the past two years, had said: "From the moment I landed in India, I fielded speculations about why I was away from the industry and whether I was kicked out for my unprofessional behaviour 10 years ago. I had to set the record straight." She also claimed her prospect of getting a "dream job in Manhattan" was quashed by the "web of lies' the internet threw up.
She added she never approached anyone back then because "even a basic FIR I filed didn't get its due response. Before I could reach cops, they had filed a counter FIR". She claimed her entourage members were harassed periodically for many years before her parents decided to drop the case.
Mumbai police had also posted armed personnel outside Tanushree's residence after she said that MNS chief Raj Thackeray had threatened to carry out a "violent attack" on her when she accused his henchmen of vandalising her car on the film's sets at Patekar's behest.
Soon after, Tanusree submitted an application to the Amboli police seeking arrest and carrying out of narcoanalysis, brain-mapping and lie director tests on all four named in the case, stating they were "highly influential" and claiming witnesses were willing to record statements but were unable to do so as they were scared of the accused.
VP - BRAND PARTNERSHIPS AND TALENT MANAGEMENT & BUSINESS AND CREATIVE HEAD - Y-FILMS
Activist Japleen Parischa shared an anonymous actress's post in which she claimed that Ashish allegedly took her on a drive and tried to kiss her.
Patil has denied the allegations. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
YRF has sacked Patil in the wake of the allegations.
YRF fires him
Yash Raj Films YRF fired YR-Films’ creative and business head Ashish Patil in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him
PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL ABUSE
Actor Adhyayan Suman has alleged that Kangana abused him physically and emotionally during their relationship.
No response yet
MISBEHAVIOUR WITH FEMALE EMPLOYEES
A journalist recently posted screenshots on her Twitter account accusing Rangarajan, chief of corporate communications at Tata Motors, of misbehaving with women employees.
Rangarajan has not responded to the allegations. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Tata Motors has sent him on leave and said that an objective enquiry will be conducted.
(This case dates to before the Oct 2018 #MeToo movement. Details will be uploaded later.
Singer Varsha alleged that Toshi groped her and forced himself upon her when he was inebriated.
Toshi has completely rubbished the allegations against him and said that there is no truth in them. He further called the allegations baseless. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
No action as of yet
POPULARLY KNOWN AS "CTION KING", HE HAS WORKED IN TAMIL, TELUGU, KANNADA AND ALSO IN FEW MALAYALAM AND HINDI FILMS.
Kannada actress Sruthi Hariharan, through a Facebook post, has accused co-star Arjun Sarja of inappropriately touching her during the shoot of ‘Vismaya’. Later at a press conference, Sruthi said four other actresses had also narrated similar experiences, but they remained anonymous.
Arjun has denied the allegations levelled against him by Sruthi. He said, “I never expected this. I have acted with 60-70 heroines in 150 movies, but no one has pointed fingers at me. I plan to sue Sruthi Hariharan for these allegations.” (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Sruthi’s accusations have left the Kannada film industry divided. While former Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce president Sa Ra Govindu accused Sruthi of making false allegation and director Arun Vaidyanathan defended Arjan, Sruthi received support from various quarters. Actor Prakash Rai wrote on his facebook page, “Sruthi Hariharan is indeed a talented actress in Sandalwood. Similarly, we shall not forget that senior actor Arjun Sarja is also our pride. But, even though Arjun has denied the charges, he must apologize to her for hurting her on that day." Shraddha Srinath also tweeted in Sruthi's support. ruthi also got support from actresses Neethu Shetty and Ragini Dwivedi.
An anonymous actor has accused "Cheat India" director Soumik Sen of molestation. In an anonymous post, the user said her recent experience of working with Sen on "Cheat India" was "rather disturbing".
Although Soumik Sen has himself not responded to the allegations, Ellipsis Entertainment, which is co-producing 'Cheat India', has said that they have not "received any complaint of inappropriate behaviour by him". It added that they will file a complaint with the cyber crime cell to look into the matter. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
No action as of yet
Suhel Seth has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, including filmmaker Natashja Rathore, a journalist and two others who remain anonymous.
In her allegation against adman Suhel Seth, journalist Mandakini Gehlot has written: "Suhel reached out -- I figured for a quick hug -- and planted a big sloppy kiss on my mouth, I felt his tongue inside my mouth. I was so stunned and I said something like 'Suhel, you can't do that'."
When asked to comment on the allegations, Seth said he would issue a statement on Twitter but is yet to address the issue. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Tata Sons end his contract
Tata Sons, the promoter of major operating Tata group companies, has severed ties with celebrity consultant Suhel Seth following allegations of sexual misconduct by several women, according to a company official. Earlier this month, the Tata group had stated that it “has noted” reports of the allegations against Seth and was “looking into” the issue of its association with the brand consultant.
According to a source, ever since several women, including model Diandra Soares, filmmaker Natasha Rathore and writer Ira Trivedi, accused Seth of sexual misconduct, Tata Sons stopped dealing with Counselage, a brand consultancy firm promoted by Seth. PTI
Sexual harassment, Misbehaviour
At least 3 women have accused the journalist of sexually molesting them. An intern, who worked with Shah, has also accused him of sexual misconduct.
He has denied the allegations against him. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
No action yet.
Director Vipul Shah was accused by Iranian actress Elnaaz Norouzi for harassing her calling her to his hotel room.
TV actor Rahul Raj Singh has accused Mushtaq of sexually harassing him ten years back, because of which he had to suffer a set back in his career.
Mushtaq Sheikh is unavailable for any comment or clarification. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
No action as of yet.
Sexual harassment, Attempted Rape
Two aspiring actresses have accused Vicky Sidana of sexually harassing them in an interview to Mid-Day. Post the allegations, actress Kritika Sharma also spoke out against Sidana, accusing him of attemped rape.
Sidana has not yet responded to the allegations against him. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Kritika tried to register an FIR against Sidana at Versova police station, but the cops said they wanted to investigate the matter first since the incident took place 5 years ago.
Now lawyer Seema Sapra has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court against former attorney general Soli Sorabjee, alleging that the 88-year-old veteran lawyer has sexually harassed a number of women. Sorabjee denied these allegations.
K R Sreenivas
Many women journalists have come forward and accused the TOI journalist of sexual harassment at the workplace. A female journalist accused him of touching her inappropriately in 2008
Sreenivas has said that charges against him will be investigated by an internal complaints committee of BCCL. He said he has submitted himself to the investigation. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Sreenivas has resigned as Times of India's Hyderabad resident editor
Ravi Srivatsa, accused by actress Sanjjanaa Galrani, who later apologises
Three weeks after Kannada actress Sanjjanaa Galrani accused director Ravi Srivatsa of harassing her during the shooting of ‘Ganda Hendathi’ 13 years ago, she apologised to him.
“I was very young when it happened to me and was disturbed, but today things are different. My intentions were not to hurt anyone in the industry or members of the directors’ association. I am very sorry,” she said.
Galrani had claimed that Srivatsa had forced her to enact intimate scenes which she wasn’t comfortable with. She had signed up for only one kissing scene but was eventually asked to shoot 15 such scenes, which were not demanded by the script. The actress also alleged that Srivatsa had threatened and yelled at her during the shoot.
Refuting the charges, Srivatsa questioned the reason behind her silence all these years and accused her of using #MeToo as a platform. “None of her accusations is worthy… why did she sign the film when the script was narrated to her before the shoot… I demand an apology,” he had said.
Following this, Srivatsa complained to the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce and the Kannada Film Directors Association claiming that the actress had tarnished his image by making false allegations.
Senior Sandalwood actors intervened and held discussions with both the actress and the director even as an informal investigation was underway. Actor Ambareesh requested Galrani to take back her words for making such “baseless allegations” against a member of the directors’ association of the Kannada film industry, following which Galrani apologised to Srivatsa.
FORCIBLE SEXUAL ADVANCES
The model-actor has been accused by a photojournalist of making forcible sexual advances.
Zulfi has apologised for his actions. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
No action as of yet
Editor of investigative magazine Tehelka (‘sensation’). Accused by junior colleague.
(This case dates to before the Oct 2018 #MeToo movement. Details will be uploaded later.)
A young writer from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has accused Thakur, the Content Studio Head at Reliance, of forcing her to have alcohol and asking inappropriate questions about her sex life.
He has not yet to responded to the allegations against him. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
The Screenwriters' Association committee will hear the writer's story and upon her consent, an action will be taken.
Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu has been accused of sexual harassment by many women, including playback singer Chinmayi Sripaada.
The lyricist has dismissed all the allegations against him as false and said that the women who have accused him have ulterior motives. He has asked the women to file a case against him. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
No action as of yet
Multiple accused in one organisation
All India Radio
Shahdol, then Delhi, Dharamshala, Kurukshetra, Obra, Rampur, Sagar
With the #Me-Too campaign in the country gaining in strength, nine women employees of All India Radio’s Shahdol station in Madhya Pradesh have gone public with their complaints of sexual harassment against the assistant director (programme) of the station, Ratnakar Bharti.
Despite a police complaint against him and the internal complaint committee of AIR declaring him guilty a year ago, Bharti remains stationed, at present, at the AIR headquarters in New Delhi, though apparently under the “strictest vigilance watch”.
Meanwhile, the services of the women — all casual broadcasters — have since been terminated.
Similar instances of sexual harassment have also been received from Dharamshala, Obra, Sagar, Rampur, Kurukshetra and Delhi stations.
Speaking to TOI, AIR director general Fayyaz Shehryar said, “Every incident that has been reported has been probed by the internal complaints committee. In the Shahdol instance, after the ICC verdict, Ratnakar Bharti was transferred immediately from Shahdol and he remains under the strictest vigilance watch at DG headquarters.”
The Action Taken Report (ATR) furnished by the public broadcaster on November 30 acknowledges receipt of nine cases of sexual harassment against the accused officer, Ratnakar Bharti, of All India Radio. It also says the charges against the officer, then assistant director programming of the Shahdol station, were proved during the enquiries conducted by the internal complaints committee (ICC) and that it had recommended the strictest action against him.
Though the public broadcaster does not name Bharti, the ATR report says the disciplinary authority accepted the recommendations of the ICC and “imposed a major penalty of reduction to a lower pay scale by two stages for one year and no increment during the reduction period” on the officer. The report to NCW also said Bharti was transferred as an administrative measure on October 31, 2018.
Listing a set of “preventive measures” to improve working conditions for women employees, the public broadcaster said AIR has started to post women programme executives as station in-charge, that it has installed CCTVs at vantage points, and has started to provide transport to women staff at odd hours.
Development Management Institute: Hanumankar, Niraj Kumar
Development Management Institute's director and dean under scanner
The woman said she complained on October 5 to DMI sexual harassment committee chairperson professor Amrita Dhiman, who took her to dean Niraj Kumar’s chamber.
An assistant professor at the state government’s prestigious Development Management Institute here has alleged that she was sexually harassed by its director Hemnath Rao Hanumankar and dean Niraj Kumar, a charge the officials denied.
The woman, a Patna resident and a PhD holder from one of the country’s most prestigious engineering schools, joined the Development Management Institute in July 2016. On October 24 this year, she registered an FIR with the Gandhi Maidan police station against the duo.
She has alleged that Hemnath, who was then a dean, used to ogle at her. After Hemnath became director of the institute in March 2018 he started seeking sexual favours from her and other women and she was threatened with loss of job when she refused, the assistant professor has alleged in her letter on the basis of which the FIR (no. 529/18) has been registered.
The woman said she complained on October 5 to DMI sexual harassment committee chairperson professor Amrita Dhiman, who took her to dean Niraj Kumar’s chamber .
“Dean Niraj pressured me to give in to the demands of the director at which I became angry and walked out of his office. I sat on a sofa outside and started crying. He (Niraj) came there, caught my hand and pulled me inside his chamber and started touching me without my consent. He again asked me to accept the demands of the director,” the woman has stated.
She has alleged that Hemnath and Niraj colluded to harass her, and said the October 5 incident could be ascertained from CCTV footage.
The police have registered a case under IPC sections 354 (assault or criminal force on woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354D (following a woman and contacting or attempting to contact her repeatedly to foster personal interaction despite a clear indication of disinterest by such woman; stalking), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
The assistant professor told The Telegraph that she tolerated the harassment for long but finally decided to fight. “I had also written to various authorities including the governing board chairman Anup Mukerji, but I was asked to meet the director. How can a person against whom I am complaining redress my problems?” she asked.
She has stopped going to the institute and asserted that she would pursue the case even if she loses her job. “I was a full-time faculty at DMI, but I was asked by the present director to appear again for faculty recruitment seminar and was tagged as a visiting faculty after working there since 2016. This was a ploy coerce me to accept his demands,” she said.
When contacted, DMI director Hemnath told The Telegraph that the woman concerned “has been a problem character”.
“She was hired as an adjunct faculty for one year and was given another two years by the former director, K.V. Raju, who is being investigated for various wrongdoings at the institute and with whom she had a good rapport,” he claimed. “Her job term ends in June next year and she is trying to force us to make her a full-time faculty. Her allegations are prompted by job insecurity and some conspiracy by former director Raju to stall investigations against him.”
DMI dean Niraj also called the allegations “baseless” and said that the FIR had been wrongly registered “by a person who has been terminated from service at various places where she has worked”.
The dean added: “She is an adjunct faculty and wants to be regularised without following the process. The case has been registered by her to put undue pressure on us.”
The police have spoken to other employees of the DMI. Bihar State Women’s Commission chairperson Dilmani Devi has also written to Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaaj to provide an action taken report within 10 days.
Happy mcgarrybowen: Iyer, Das, Dasgupta, Swamy
Happy mcgarryBowen CEO Kartik Iyer, MD Praveen Das, senior creative director of Happy Creative Services, Bodhisatwa Dasgupta and national creative director of iProspect India, Dinesh Swamy, stepped down.
Parent company Dentsu Aegis said, “We believe in providing a safe environment at our workplaces which is free from any kind of harassment. We have a zero tolerance policy (in this regard).”
The Hindustan Times
Responses from several companies and organizations has been swift, especially from newsrooms, where many instances of sexually inappropriate behavior are alleged to have taken place. The Times of India, Quint and the Hindustan Times have set up internal investigations, while HuffPost India has voiced its support for women accusing two former employees of inappropriate conduct. Prashant Jha, a bureau chief at the Hindustan Times, stepped down after allegations were made against him and Mayank Jain, a reporter with Business Standard, resigned after being accused. (Kamakshi Ayyar | TIME)
The Hindustan Times also announced it would hold mandatory weekly workshops on sexual harassment. All of this represents a seismic shift in media workplace attitudes. As recently as 2013, a managing editor was accused of trying to downplay sexual assault accusations made against a senior journalist at the publication Tehelka. (That editor vigorously denies any attempted hush-up and the journalist is currently facing trial.) (Kamakshi Ayyar | TIME)
Madras Academy drops 7: Ravikiran, Thyagarajan, Easwaran, Raja Rao, Sriram, Ramesh, Vaidyanathan
In light of sexual abuse allegations levelled against senior members of the Carnatic music fraternity under the #MeToo campaign, the Madras Music Academy announced its decision to drop seven artistes from its December season list this year.
The debarred musicians — N Ravikiran, OS Thyagarajan, Mannargudi A Easwaran, Srimushnam V Raja Rao, Nagai Sriram, R Ramesh and Thiruvarur Vaidyanathan — have been prominent regulars during the ‘Margazhi’ music season over the years. Chitravina player Ravikiran, 51, was the recipient of the Music Academy’s coveted Sangeetha Kalanidhi title last year.
He emphasised that while these were allegations and the academy wasn’t judging the seven musicians guilty, “unbiased people in the field” had been consulted on the artists before drawing out the list. “We’ve looked at detailed incidents of serious nature that have come to light about these artists before making this decision This is not a legal action,” said Murali.
Patekar, Acharya, Sarang, Siddiqui
(Actress) Tanushree Dutta has filed an FIR with the police against Nana Patekar, choreographer Ganesh Acharya, director Rakesh Sarang and producer Samee Siddiqui. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)
Symbiosis Law School suspends Srinivas Methuku
Days after allegations of sexual harassment was levelled by a group of students against an assistant professor, the Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad, said that it has suspended Srinivas Methuku, the faculty member.
After receiving complaint from a group of eight girls, the institute constituted an internal complaints committee as per the University Grants Commission guidelines. “The ICC interacted with the victims who claimed that they felt uncomfortable by his actions. As an interim action, we suspended the assistant professor on October 15,” said Vidya Yeravdekar, principal director of Symbiosis International University.
Symbiosis media institute: Anupam Siddhartha on leave
The director of Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication was sent on leave after several former and present students of the institute wrote a letter alleging he had harassed and bullied them. Anupam Siddhartha was sent on leave, pending inquiry, after 100 students signed a petition detailing harassment meted out to them, principal director of Symbiosis Society, Vidya Yeravdekar, said.
Tanushree Dutta (>Nana Patekar)
‘THIS IS A MILESTONE, NOT THE DESTINATION ’ (Saying MeToo changed their lives| 14 Oct 2018 | The Sunday Times of India)
Tanushree Dutta, actor, who has filed an FIR against Nana Patekar
It has been an extremely difficult couple of weeks, especially when I was the only one speaking. I couldn’t back down because I felt I had to hold the fort for others to come forward. Today, I feel it was worth it.
The way the MeToo movement has grown is unprecedented. I’m happy that many have found the courage to tell their stories. Healing cannot happen if you can’t speak about what has happened. We’ve always had stray cases coming up and getting silenced. There is so much resistance to talking about these issues, but silence is complicity. The onus of taking it forward should be on the first person the survivor speaks to.
This is not just a woman’s issue. It is a human issue. If women find retribution, then men will also find the courage to speak up. Unless we recognise that we have a problem, we will not solve it. This shame and secrecy is what emboldens perpetrators. This is a social disease which is rotting the soul of our nation. It needs the bitter pill of truth.
Bollywood did not respond for the first one or two weeks. Now they’ve had to take a stand for their own sake, because it was making them look bad. Actions speak louder than words. Though CINTAA has apologised, I’m waiting for them to take action. Production houses getting dissolved or actors disassociating themselves from movies — those are concrete steps.
I know I will get justice. People will be taken to task for what they have done. It gives me a sense of satisfaction that I was a source of motivation, and was able to restore people’s faith in the system.
I wouldn’t want to bask in the glory of this moment. I am not celebrating yet. Just three weeks back, it was a taboo. This is a milestone, not the destination.
As told to Sonam Joshi
Mahima Kukreja (>Chakraborty)
‘THE INTERNET FELT LIKE AN OPEN WOUND WHERE EVERYONE WAS HURTING’ (Saying MeToo changed their lives| 14 Oct 2018 | The Sunday Times of India)
Mahima Kukreja , writer, activist and comic, who called out YouTuber Utsav Chakraborty
It’s been the craziest week of my entire life. Monumental for me personally, and for women at large in India.
It was emotionally trying to relive my story, not knowing fully what will follow as consequences of me speaking out, and also listening to so many other women and helping them to get their stories out. The internet felt like an open wound where everyone was hurting. All of it has taken a toll but there is also a sense of cathartic relief and empowerment that we are finally doing something about it. We are taking our power back and it feels like closure for a lot of us.
I came out with my story because there was an overwhelming need to tell the truth. People deserved to know that someone might not be who they appear to be and has hurt a lot of women; that there has been complicity and lack of action taken. Later that night, as women started publicly coming out about other men in positions of power, I felt it was a time of justice and reckoning. It became a thing larger than myself. Drawing courage from others, everyone just took it up and started telling their own stories and coming together to offer any resources and help.
If I gave the courage to one woman to speak out and she gave to courage to another and so on, it felt like a victory to me. I did not anticipate it would become so huge. There was a simmering anger and resentment because women have had enough but the timing, the platform, all of it coming together — was a surprise to me as well.
I was glad to see some accountability, justice being served, and steps being taken in the right direction. It needs to go on. There needs to be real-life reparation and reaffirmation. Women need to have each other’s back. Men need to own up and take responsibility. If men call out other men, then the movement will accelerate at a much faster pace.
Truth is power. And it’ll change the world.
As told to Sonam Joshi
Sandhya Menon (>Sreenivas, 2 others)
Sandhya Menon accused three editors
“I wish there was a nicer way to drive the point home for men but they don’t listen,” says Bengaluru-based journalist Sandhya Menon, who took to Twitter in Kukreja’s wake to accuse three different editors at leading daily papers of touching her, texting her inappropriate comments, and forcibly kissing her when she worked with them in the past. (The latter editor, Gautam Adhikari, told TIME that he had “no recollection at all of these incidents from many years ago.” The first two have, respectively, gone on administrative leave and kept silent.) (Kamakshi Ayyar | TIME)
Things have been slowly changing, however. There have been isolated, though important, instances of women taking workplace harassers to court; one, involving the former head of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, could prove to be a watershed case. (Kamakshi Ayyar | TIME)
‘THE ROOT OF MY SHAME GOT PULLED OUT’ (Saying MeToo changed their lives| 14 Oct 2018 | The Sunday Times of India)
Sandhya Menon , journalist, who called out 3 scribes
I started off being angry. The trigger was the horrible apology comedian Utsav Chakraborty had put out which was full of self-pity. I felt men who harass women are not worried about harming another person, they are just worried about getting caught.
The first 12 to 13 hours, I was not too emotional, I just let it be out there. I had called out senior people and named the newspapers and that was the catalyst for a lot of women to speak up. There was a flurry of tweets at me, and at that moment I was not surprised that so many women had faced it. But I was surprised that so many women were willing to come out and say it; they had simply been waiting for someone with credibility to come out and talk about it.
For me, it was like being on an emotional roller coaster. Each time I read a story, it was like a blow. I was baffled that one person could repeatedly do this. Earlier, when I blogged about the various incidents of harassment I hadn’t named people as I felt I may have done something to attract it. But when so many women came out and told their stories, the root of my shame got pulled out.
After a couple of days, I thought I must clearly define what my message was going to be so a few of us got together and began collating the stories that had come out. Other people also stepped forward to help — a lawyer offered legal help pro bono, a therapist offered services in case anyone wanted to talk about their experiences.
For me, it was a moment of reflection as to why I didn’t want to work in newsrooms anymore. I have spent three years in therapy for bipolar disorder but I realised that these traumatic experiences were still very much a part of me. I didn’t imagine in my wildest dreams this would be healing for me, and though I don’t use the words ‘trauma’ or ‘victim’ for myself I am healing.
I am just tired now but am also at a scary place. We are poised on the edge of change, and it could go one way or the other. I want every woman who has spoken up to go forward. My aim is to see that at least 10 of those complaints go to the National Commission for Women. Only with this step will it go beyond naming and shaming on Twitter. Right now, I feel both hope and fear. I am hopeful that it will be taken forward but fearful that the women who have shown courage will get tired and go back.
Disclosure: The three journalists Menon named includes senior TOI journalist K R Sreenivas, who has since quit As told to Priya M Menon
Sandhya Mridul (>Alok Nath)
‘I COULDN’T SLEEP THAT NIGHT. NOT OUT OF FEAR BUT THE LACK OF IT’ (Saying MeToo changed their lives| 14 Oct 2018 | The Sunday Times of India)
Sandhya Mridul , actor, who has accused actor Alok Nath of harassment
What I put out there wasn’t just on an impulse. In fact, I’d been thinking about it for almost a year now. But it didn’t feel like it was the right time yet or couldn’t dig deep enough to word it. I didn’t know if I trusted anyone, yet I knew it was time because there were platforms to do it now. I also felt that the onus was on a person like me to say and start something and be a part of this movement. While I realised it was my responsibility, I felt like a coward for not doing it. When Tanushree Dutta broke her silence, the conflict inside me seemed to grow and almost burst forth. At the same time, I was busy travelling and tried to push away the thoughts. I kept struggling with it because I wanted them to be my words from my heart and my truth. I didn’t want it to be a media circus or a publicity stunt. When Vinta broke out with Alok Nath, I knew I had to do it. Not just for myself but to support her. So I sat for three nights and everything started pouring out, flashing inside my head so clearly, visuals of 20 years ago. My heart was pounding when I put it out there but in less than 15 minutes when I saw what it did, the catharsis started. Keeping it bottled inside myself for so many years changed me as a person. I wasn’t always a reticent, asocial person. But the incident made me a far more closed person than I actually am. It made me distrustful of signing a lot of work. I stopped going for parties and premieres until last year.
Now that it was out, it was almost something physically leaving my body. I couldn’t sleep that night. Not out of fear but the lack of it. Felt so much lighter in my stomach, and different physically. Of course, I had fears that I wouldn’t be believed but I had to rise above them to break patriarchy and the male dominant mindset. That’s what being brave is also about. When people ask, ‘Why didn’t they come out before?’ it’s because it is ingrained in women to tolerate anything and be lauded for their sahan shakti. We have been silenced for too long with trying to live up to that. Sahan shakti does not mean silence anymore and I’m happy that women have decided to show they have a voice because that was one of the biggest problems in our system too.
I’m just happy that everyone is speaking — women speaking for women, men speaking for women, women speaking of and for men — and I’m glad that I’m a link in this chain.
As told to Mohua Das
Vinta Nanda (>Alok Nath)
‘I TRUST THE WORLD NOW. I DIDN’T TRUST IT THE DAY BEFORE’ (Saying MeToo changed their lives| 14 Oct 2018 | The Sunday Times of India)
Vinta Nanda , writer-producer, who has alleged abuse by Alok Nath
The last time I spoke out there wasn’t a supportive and enabling environment in the industry, and the world at large. Nobody said a single word. The only reaction was that I stopped getting work. It was a really bad phase.
When CINTAA (Cine & TV Artists Association) supported Tanushree Dutta, it was a trigger for me. I’ve been in the industry since 1985, and it’s the first time that an association that governs it stood up for a woman. When I told my mom I want to come out, she said please don’t because we had been through an emotional cycle already, and the fact that no one supported me was even more painful. Yet, I just knew that the moment was now or never. The next morning, I put up this post. In an hour, it went viral. The first person from the film industry who called me was Vidya Balan, who I hadn’t spoken to in 20 years ago. That started the deluge.
It was exhausting to talk about it again but it was like purging. I needed to end the silence, to get it out of the system, to be heard and told that what happened with me was wrong and feel the support.
The only negative reaction I got after speaking out was the question — why are you coming out after 10 years. But it takes a long time to process the experience of abuse and articulate it. Even if someone finds an opportunity 50 years later, they should come out.
It has made a big difference to my life overnight. I’m feeling lighter as a person, more comfortable in my own skin. I wasn’t born to be a person who could be caged and I was in a cage for 20 years. It’s like I have been released from the captivity that I had endured for 20 years. I have had support from unknown quarters and people telling me how proud are of me. I trust the world now. I didn’t trust it the day before.
In the last few days, there have been dramatic changes in the industry. CINTAA has given me 100% support. The institutions that govern the industry have announced plans to create an enabling environment for women in the industry. I hope women will be emboldened and know there is somewhere they can go and speak out. That is the change. When this happened to me, there was a predator who knew I had nowhere to go. That same predator turned into a serial offender. I was weeping when I read what Sandhya Mridul went through.
Had I somewhere to go to then, these girls would have never had to go through the trauma I did.
It is not about revenge. I’ve done this because I wanted to relieve myself of the burden once and for all. I forgave the universe a long time back for what happened. My justice came to me when I woke up the next morning and found that others had spoken because I had spoken up.
I have found my closure.
As told to Sonam Joshi
Sushmita Sen: Coca Cola gives Rs95lakh tax-free compensation
See Income Tax India: Laws > Sexual harassment damages
Shutapa Paul (>MJ Akbar)
‘THERE’LL BE CLOSURE ONLY WHEN ACTION IS TAKEN’ (Saying MeToo changed their lives| 14 Oct 2018 | The Sunday Times of India)
Shutapa Paul , editor, NewCrop, called out journalist-turned-politician MJ Akbar
Soon after my Twitter thread, I received massive support. Several former colleagues and friends, many of them male, reached out to me as well as strangers. There are, however, a few people who knew about my ordeal and are yet to break their silence. I hope that when the time comes, they will as well. I am glad I made this revelation. I have battled this inner turmoil since the actual incidents took place in 2010-11. Back then I was not in an emotional state to take this fight head on as I had just lost my father. But even then, I remember, I had discussed with my mother if I should report this harassment to editors at India Today. My over-protective mother, who was also grieving for her dead husband, strongly advised me to quit this toxic environment. But when Priya Ramani’s account came out, I knew I would be doing myself, and all other women, grave injustice by staying silent. For me, there will be closure only when I see some action being taken against M J Akbar. I feel both anxiety and hope right now. I’m anxious as the person who did what he did to us at that time is in a more powerful position today. I am hopeful because I have faith in India’s executive. If the executive disappoints, then hopefully the judiciary will give us justice. As told to Shobita Dhar
Chinmayi Sripaada (>Vairamuthu)
‘WHEN I POSTED MY TWEET, I WAS TREMBLING AND SHAKING’ (Saying MeToo changed their lives| 14 Oct 2018 | The Sunday Times of India)
Chinmayi Sripaada , singer who accused Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu of harassment
After I tweeted about the harassment, I had an almost physical reaction. If you read all the stories shared anonymously, you will see that many women said they were trembling and shaking. Even when I posted my tweet, I was trembling and shaking. You know then exactly what it means to talk on a public platform about somebody groping you.
The relief came much later, and yes I did cry. It was cathartic, there was a lot of pent-up anger. But the majority of the reaction has been positive; my family is my pillar of strength. My mother has stood up for me and my husband and parents-in-law only want to ensure I am safe. I feel as if I have put down a weight that I had been carrying inside me.
The most beautiful thing happened on the sets of a Telugu music show on Wednesday. I am a judge on the panel and there was a moment towards the end of the show where one of the contestants said that it is not required for someone of my stature to come out and say what I did and that they believed me. Even the grand jury comprising playback singers said it and I broke down. I was overwhelmed by emotion when I heard someone say that they believe me.
On Twitter, musician Shakthisree Gopalan has defended me and said that she has only love and admiration for me for being fiercely honest and doing the right thing. Composer Ghibran has tweeted in my support and actually said thank you. I feel happy and light now.
As told to Priya M Menon
Juvenile delinquency in India Especially the section 'Rape by juveniles'
Sexual harassment in India's media, entertainment, advertising industries; academics