Test Metoo

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TV and cinema writer- director Vinta Nanda, c. 1994, at the peak of her career (and power within the TV industry), during the making of the mega-hit TV serial, Tara.
In 2018 Nanda accused TV and cinema actor Alok Nath of having raped her.
Raya Sarkar, the law student who made a list of predatory academics

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Contents

2017

Raya Sarkar’s list of predators in academics

Sexual harassment by professors: 33 colleges named in Raya Sarkar’s Facebook post |25th October 2017 | New Indian Express

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

Those accused

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 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.

Gautam Adhikari

Journalist

Accused of

Sexual misconduct

Former DNA Editor-in-Chief Gautam Adhikari has been accused of sexual harassment by two women who worked under him

His Defence

He has denied the allegations (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

Resigned as senior fellow at Center for American Progress

Vivek Agnihotri

Director

Accused of

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’.

His defence

Vivek Agnihotri issued a statement through his lawyers stating that Tanushree Dutta’s allegations are false, frivolous and vexatious. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

Vivek Agnihotri has served a legal notice to initiate defamation action against the actress.

M J Akbar

Priya Ramani makes the first allegation

One of the most high profile men to be accused is M.J. Akbar, the current minister of state for external affairs and a former journalist. Multiple women have come on record to accuse Akbar of harassment and inappropriate behavior. He has not commented on the allegations and an official from the Ministry of External Affairs said it had no comment when contacted by TIME. (Kamakshi Ayyar | TIME)

UNION MINISTER

Accused of

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, HARASSMENT AND INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR

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.

His defence

The Union minister has called all the allegations against him false and fabricated. He has further accused Priya Ramani of "wilfully, deliberately, intentionally and maliciously" defaming him. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

Akbar has 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 continues to be the Union minister of state for external affairs.


Five lady journalists back her

Krishn Kaushik , Somya Lakhani | Five women journalists on MJ Akbar's statement: ‘Stand by accusations, will fight’ | October 15, 2018 | Indian Express


Hours after Union minister M J Akbar rejected allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment and suggested they may have been guided by political motives, five of the women journalists who accused him said they stood by their statements. Two of them said they were disappointed by Akbar’s reaction, but they were not surprised.

Suparna Sharma, Resident Editor, The Asian Age, told The Indian Express, “I stand by my testimony of the two incidents — one in which he plucked my bra strap, and the other when he stared at my breasts. I also stand by the fact that he did the same with other women in the office. I am disappointed with Akbar’s response but I am not surprised. This is going to be a longish battle, and the next step in many cases is a legal step.”

Sharma said that for her, “it was not over yet”, and that she was speaking to friends for “legal advice”.

Responding to Akbar’s question, “Why has this storm risen a few months before a general election? Is there an agenda?”, New York-based journalist Majlie de Puy Kamp (30), said: “I am not a citizen, I cannot vote. I do not have a political agenda. Plus, I have a paper trail. My father wrote an email to Akbar about the incident to which he responded. I have evidence. I am disappointed but not surprised by his statement. I am, however, very comfortable with my story.”

Puy Kamp has accused Akbar of forcibly kissing her when she was interning at The Asian Age in 2007.

Priya Ramani, who on October 8 outed Akbar as the unnamed editor she had mentioned in a piece she had written in October 2017 in Vogue India, told The Indian Express Sunday: “Akbar has decided to brazen it out. There is no conspiracy against Akbar, none of us — unlike him — have any political ambitions. We are speaking up at great cost to our personal and professional lives.”

Ramani also said, “The truth is the best defence in any defamation case. I’m not worried.”

Freelance journalist Kanika Gahlaut, who worked with Akbar from 1995 to 1997, too said, “I stand by whatever I said.” Gahlaut had told The Indian Express that she wasn’t sure “if everyone got hit (on)”, but “I certainly did, and my friend did”.

Shutapa Paul, who had tweeted about her experience with Akbar on October 10, told The Indian Express Sunday that she will “not be intimidated by my tormentor and cower down”. She said: “I am shocked and dismayed. M J Akbar’s brazen shaming of all of us is evidence of his sense of entitlement and power. Our fight is the fight for every woman; a fight for justice, a fight against feeling violated in the workplace and in daily life.”

#MeToo: 20 Women Journalists Speak Out Against MJ Akbar, Ask Court To Consider Their Testimonies | Huffington Post

19 of them are former or current employees of 'The Asian Age'.


A day after Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar filed a defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani, 19 former and current employees of The Asian Age wrote a petition asking New Delhi's Patiala House Court to consider their testimonies against the minister. The 20th woman who has signed the petition worked for Deccan Chronicle.

Akbar, a former journalist and editor, had launched The Asian Age in 1994. He filed a case against Ramani, who was one of the first women to call out Akbar on Twitter for his predatory behaviour during the #MeToo movement.

Firstpost.com quoted the petition as saying:

When Ms. Ramani spoke out against him in public, she spoke not only about her personal experience but also lifted the lid on the culture of casual misogyny, entitlement and sexual predation that Mr. Akbar engendered and presided over at The Asian Age.

Ms. Ramani is not alone in her fight. We would request the honourable court hearing the defamation case to also consider testimonies of sexual harassment of some of us at the hands of the petitioner, as also of the other signatories who bore witness to this harassment.

The women said in their petition that Akbar continued to enjoy power and "demonstrated through his legal actions... his refusal to introspect, acknowledge or atone for his actions".


Akbar said that the "scandalous allegations leveled" by Ramani were "ex facie defamatory and have not only damaged his goodwill and reputation ...in his social circles and on the political stage, established after years of toil and hard work." The defamation plea said it also ruined Akbar's "personal reputation in the community, friends, family and colleagues, thereby causing him irreparable loss and tremendous distress".

Ramani stood by her allegations and said in a statement on the same day, "I am deeply disappointed that a union minister should dismiss the detailed allegations of several women as a political conspiracy," Ramani said.

"By instituting a case of criminal defamation against me, Mr Akbar has made it clear, rather than engage with the serious allegations that many women have made against him, he seeks to silence them through intimidation and harassment," she added.

Chronology

Women vs MJ Akbar: From allegations to resignation - how it happened | October 17, 2018 |India Today


The BJP lawmaker, senior journalist-turned-politician MJ Akbar, is by far the most powerful man on the growing list of public figures named in India's #MeToo uprising.


HIGHLIGHTS

MJ Akbar was first accused by columnist Priya Ramani, who had written about him in an article for a magazine in October 2017 -- without specifically identifying him.

The incident took place when Priya was 23 years old and Akbar 43. More than ten women, since then, have come forward and accused Akbar of sexual harassment.

MJ Akbar, finally, resigned ten days after Priya Ramani accused him. Speculation is rife that it was the Prime Minister's Office that intervened and made the junior minister do so.

It all started with one woman standing up against her harasser and now, the #MeToo chorus is being heard in every corner of the country. The campaign took India by storm with women naming men who sexually harassed them.


The BJP lawmaker, senior journalist-turned-politician MJ Akbar, is by far the most powerful man on the growing list of public figures named in India's #MeToo uprising.

He was first accused by columnist Priya Ramani, who had written about him in an article for a magazine in October 2017 -- without specifically identifying him.

The incident took place when Priya was 23 years old and Akbar 43. More than ten women, since then, have come forward and accused Akbar of sexual harassment .

OFFICIAL DENIAL ON AN OFFICIAL TRIP

Akbar was on an official trip to Africa when these allegations emerged.

On his return, initially, he refused to comment on the matter. But when pressed on by the media to speak up, he gave a one-line comment: "A statement will be issued later on."

He later called the allegations of sexual harassment against him as "fabricated" and "spiced up".

"The allegations of misconduct made against me are false and fabricated, spiced up by innuendo and malice. I could not reply earlier as I was on an official tour abroad," he said, adding, "accusations without evidence have become a viral fever among some sections. Whatever be the case, now that I have returned, my lawyers will look into these wild and baseless allegations in order to decide our future course of legal action."

Akbar also questioned the veracity of the allegations, and said, "Why has this storm risen a few months before the general elections [the 2019 Lok Sabha election]? Is there an agenda? You be the judge. These false, baseless and wild allegations have caused irreparable damage to my reputation and goodwill."

He then filed a criminal defamation suit against Priya Ramani.

STANDING THEIR GROUND

"Ms Ramani is not alone in her fight." The words began a request, made by 20 former staff members at the Asian Age and the Deccan Chronicle, that their testimonies against Akbar be considered in court.

"What Mr Akbar has demonstrated through his legal actions is his refusal to introspect, acknowledge or atone for his actions that have caused immense pain and indeed harm to many, many women over the years," the 20 journalists willing to testify in court said in a statement.

Ramani, they said, "spoke not only about her personal experience but also lifted the lid on the culture of casual misogyny, entitlement and sexual predation that Mr Akbar engendered and presided over at The Asian Age."

"We would request the honourable court hearing the defamation case [against Ramani] to also consider testimonies of sexual harassment of some of us faced at the hands of the petitioner, as also of the other signatories who bore witness to this harassment," they said.

The journalists who wrote in support of Ramani are:

1) Meenal Baghel (Asian Age 1993-1996)

2) Manisha Pande (Asian Age 1993-1998)

3) Tushita Patel (Asian Age 1993-2000)

4) Kanika Gahlaut (Asian Age 1995-1998)

5) Suparna Sharma (Asian Age 1993-1996)

6) Ramola Talwar Badam (Asian Age 1994-1995)

7) Kaniza Gazari (Asian Age 1995-1997)

8) Malavika Banerjee (Asian Age 1995-1998)

9) A.T. Jayanthi (Asian Age 1995-1996)

10) Hamida Parkar (Asian Age 1996-1999)

11) Jonali Buragohain (Asian Age)

12) Sanjari Chatterjee (Asian Age)

13) Meenakshi Kumar (Asian Age 1996-2000)

14) Sujata Dutta Sachdeva (Asian Age 1999-2000)

15) Hoihnu Hauzel (Asian Age 1999-2000)

16) Reshmi Chakraborty (Asian Age, 1996-1998)

17) Kushalrani Gulab (Asian age 1993-1997)

18) Aisha khan (Asian Age 1995-1998)

19) Kiran Manral (Asian Age 1993-1996)

20) Christina Francis (Deccan Chronicle 2004-2011)


MORE SKELETONS FROM THE CLOSET

The final nail in the coffin was a blog -- Maybe MJ Akbar Didn’t Harass Me Years Ago. Maybe I Imagined it All -- in which another woman accused Akbar of sexual misconduct.

In the blog, Swati Gautam claimed Akbar met her in his hotel room dressed only in his bathrobe when she was a student in Kolkata and went to invite him as a guest speaker for an event at St Xavier’s College.

The door opened and the Bathrobe welcomed me. Mr Bathrobe was on the bed while I was kind of squirming on the single sofa in the room, unable to exactly fathom what in hell was the matter with the world which seemed perfectly normal sometime back, she wrote.

Another woman journalist, Tushita Patel, recounted her first meeting with the Union minister when she was a trainee in the Telegraph in 1992. She wrote that Akbar had found out her home phone number and would call her incessantly asking her to meet him.

You opened the door dressed only in your underwear. I stood at the door, stricken, scared and awkward. You stood there like the VIP man, amused by my fear. I did go in and carried on blabbering out of fear till you finally put on a bathrobe, she wrote in her account.

Patel, in the same blog, accused him of molesting her twice while she was working in Hyderabad in the Deccan Chronicle in 1993.

THE END?

MJ Akbar, finally, resigned ten days after Priya Ramani accused him. Speculation is rife that it was the Prime Minister's Office that intervened and made the junior minister do so. But, is it the end?

Older news reports

‘‘The Times of India’’

20 women offer to testify against Akbar

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

New Delhi:

A day after junior external affairs minister M J Akbar filed a defamation case against Priya Ramani, 20 women journalists came out in her support and urged the court to hear their testimonies against him.


“We would request the honourable court hearing the defamation case to also consider testimonies of sexual harassment of some of us at the hands of the petitioner, as also of the other signatories who bore witness to this harassment,” the 20 women, who worked with Akbar at The Asian Age in the 1990s, said.

Many journalists have accused the minister and former editor of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour.

Another former colleague levels charge at Akbar

On Monday, M J Akbar filed a defamation case against Priya Ramani, who has accused him of inappropriate behaviour. In response, 20 women journalists wrote a petition on Tuesday condemning his behaviour and “the culture of casual misogyny, entitlement and sexual predation that Akbar engendered and presided over at The Asian Age”. Former journalist Tushita Patel also became the latest to join in the allegations against Akbar.

In the statement, the women said, “What Akbar has demonstrated through his legal actions is his refusal to introspect, acknowledge or atone for his actions that have caused immense pain and indeed harm to many women over the years.”

Hours after returning from a trip to Africa, Akbar issued a statement saying accusations without evidence have become a “viral fever” among some sections.

Ramani on Monday said she was ready to fight the defamation complaint, and expressed disappointment over the minister’s statement.


Hours after returning from a trip to Africa, Akbar issued a statement saying accusations without evidence have become a ‘viral fever’ among some sections

Finance co staffer thrashed for seeking sex to give loan

A video surfaced on Tuesday of a woman raining blows on a man in Karnataka’s Davanagere after he allegedly sought sexual favours from her. The 42-year-old man, a manager at a private housing finance company, demanded sex to sanction her home loan of Rs 15 lakh, reports said.

The viral video shows the woman thrashing Devaiah, with a wooden stick and slapping him with her slipper. The woman had gone to the office of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd a week ago and applied for a housing loan. Devaiah asked her to submit necessary documents for sanctioning the loan. But he kept delaying the sanction, even after she submitted all documents. TNN

PIL urges inquiry before FIRs lodged in ‘delayed’ cases

A public interest litigation filed in the Bombay high court has urged the court to direct a preliminary inquiry before registration of first information reports regarding allegations of sexual harassment. The petition by Narsimha Charitable Trust has sought directions to the police to follow Supreme Court’s guidelines in the Lalita Kumari case to hold a preliminary inquiry in delayed general complaints in connection with sexual harassment arising from the #MeToo movement. The petition, filed by advocate Sunny Punamiya, says the nation has seen a “stark rise” in complaints of sexual harassment, especially in the film industry, and the movement has gained momentum and mass support with victims coming forward. TNN

Vikas Bahl

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’’)

FILM DIRECTOR

Accused of

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

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'.

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

Hrithik Roshan has distanced himself from the director who was helming his upcoming film ‘Super 30’.


Filmmaker Bahl used to hold me tight, smell my hair: Kangana | The Times of India

‘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

The Times of India

Bahl’s accuser: Don’t want to pursue case

Swati.Deshpande@timesgroup.com

Mumbai:

“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?”

Dibakar Banerjee

Bollywood film director

Accused of

Sexual misconduct

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.”

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

No action as of now.

Chetan Bhagat

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)

Writer

Accused of

Inappropriate messages

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.

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

The author has decided that he will not participate in the Bangalore Literature Festival citing other commitments, according to the organisers of the event.

Tanmay Bhat

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’’)

Abhijeet Bhattacharya

Singer

Accused of

Sexual harassment

The Bollywood singer allegedly harassed a flight attendant at a pub.

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

Action yet to be taken.

Anirban Blah

TALENT MANAGER

Accused of

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

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.

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

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.

George.Mendonca |Outed as ‘predator’, Kwan co-founder tries to kill self | The Times of India


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.”

Utsav Chakarborty

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)

COMEDIAN

Accused Of

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.

Defence

Following the allegations, Utsav tendered a long apology on his Twitter handle. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

All the videos featuring the actor have been delisted by AIB.

Mukesh Chhabra

Casting director

Accused of

Sexual harassment

Two aspiring actresses have accused casting agent Mukesh Chhabra of sexual harassment.

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

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.

Suspended

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,

Jatin Das

PAINTER

Accused of

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Entrepreneur Nisha Bora has accused him of sexually harassing her 14 years ago. Writer Garusha Katoch accused the artist of sexually harassing her.

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

No action as of yet.


Entrepreneur accuses Jatin Das of harassment, painter denies charges| Oct 2018| The Times of India


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.


18/10/2018 #MeToo: Second case surfaces against Das|Writer Accuses Him Of Sexual Harassment


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

Raghu Dixit

Singer

Accused Of

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.

Defence

Following the accusations, Raghu Dixit acknowledged one victim’s allegations and reportedly apologised for the same. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

No action as of yet

Gaurang Doshi

FILM PRODUCER

Accused of

SEXUAL ASSAULT

Gaurang Doshi is accused of sexually assaulting actress Flora Saini.

His defence

Gaurang Doshi denies all the allegations and says he is being victimised. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

Flora Saini has sent a legal notice to Gaurang Doshi

Vinod Dua

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).

JOURNALIST

Accused of

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.

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

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.

Sachin Garg

Writer

Accused of

Sexual harassment

The novelist has been accused of sexual harassment by an anonymous woman.

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

No action as of yet

Subhash Ghai

DIRECTOR

Accused of

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.

His defence

The filmmaker has denied all the allegations levelled against him. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

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)

Kanan Gill

Comedian

Accused Of

Inappropriate behaviour

The comedian-actor has been accused of inappropriately touching a group of women while inebriated.

Defence

Following the accusations, Kanan Gill extended an apology to the person concerned. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

The woman has accepted the apology and doesn’t intend to pursue the matter any further.

Prashant Jha

Journalist

Accused Of

Inappropriate behaviour

A woman alleged that Jha sent inappropriate messages to her on WhatsApp. Screenshots of the conversation with Jha were also posted on Twitter.

Defence

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’’)

Current Status

HT media said that a sexual harassment committee will look into the allegations

Gursimran Khamba

Comedian

Accused of

Forceful kissing, harassing and emotional abuse

The comedian has been accused of forcefully kissing, harassing and emotionally abusing a woman.

His defence

Gursimran Khamba reportedly admitted that he behaved inappropriately. However, he has denied harassing the woman. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

Khamba has been temporarily removed from the comedy collective AIB. A channel has cancelled the upcoming season of a show that features him.

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

Mayank Jain

Journalist

Accused Of

Sexual harassment

The journalist has been accused of sending lewd messages to women. Many women have accused him of sexual harassment and misbehavior.

Defence

He has not publicly responded to the allegations (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

Jain resigned from Business Standard

Rahul Johri

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])

BCCI CEO

Accused Of

INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR

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

Defence

The Committee of Administrators has sought an explanation from Johri (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

No action yet

Sham Kaushal

ACTION DIRECTOR

Accused of

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

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.

Defence

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’’)

Current Status

No action as of yet

Rajat Kapoor

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.”

ACTOR/DIRECTOR

Accused of

SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR

The actor has been accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour by two anonymous women and a journalist.

His defence

Rajat Kapoor apologised on Twitter stating that he has tried to be a decent man all his life. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

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.

Atul Kasbekar

Fashion photographer and Bollywood film producer

Accused of

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.

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

Ellipsis Entertainment plans to file a complaint with the cyber crime cell on the anonymity of the Twitter handle which has zero followers.

Sajid Khan

DIRECTOR/ACTOR

Accused Of

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.

His Defence

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’’)

Current Status

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,


Kailash Kher

Singer

Accused Of

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

Defence

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’’)

Current Status

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.

Bhushan Kumar

T-Series chairman

Accused of

Sexual harassment

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.

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

Kumar has lodged a police complaint against the anonymous person.


Lost film because I refused to sleep with T-Series honcho Bhushan Kumar, claims actress | October 14, 2018 | India Today


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.

Anu Malik

Music composer/ Singer

Accused Of

Sexual Harassment

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.

Defence

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’’)

Current Status

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.”

[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

Mumbai:

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

Aditi Mittal

COMEDIAN

Accused of

KISSING WITHOUT CONSENT

Aditi Mittal has been accused by Kaneez Surkha of forcefully kissing her on stage without her consent.

Her defence

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’’)

Current Status

No action as yet

Karim Morani

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)

C Gouridasan Nair

Journalist

Accused of

Harassment

New Delhi-based journalist Yamini Nair has accused Nair of harassing her in 2005 while she was working in Chennai as a cub journalist.

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

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.”

Alok Nath

ACTOR

Accused of

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.

His response

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’’)

Current Status

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.

Satadru Ojha

Journalist

Accused of

Sexual harassment, misuse of power

The Kolkata Times journalist has been accused of sexual harassment by two former colleagues.

His defence

He has called the allegations malicious and defamatory. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

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.

Nana Patekar

Then, 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’’)

ACTOR

Accused of

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

Bollywood actor Tanushree Dutta has accused Nana Patekar of sexual misconduct during the shooting of ‘Horn ‘OK’ Pleassss’ in 2008.

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

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.

Ashish Patil

VP - BRAND PARTNERSHIPS AND TALENT MANAGEMENT & BUSINESS AND CREATIVE HEAD - Y-FILMS

Accused of

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION

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.

His defence

Patil has denied the allegations. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

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

Kangana Ranaut

ACTOR

Accused Of

PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL ABUSE

Actor Adhyayan Suman has alleged that Kangana abused him physically and emotionally during their relationship.

Defence

No response yet

Suresh Rangarajan

EXECUTIVE

Accused of

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.

His defence

Rangarajan has not responded to the allegations. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

Tata Motors has sent him on leave and said that an objective enquiry will be conducted.

Toshi Sabri

Music composer

Accused of

Sexual harassment

Singer Varsha alleged that Toshi groped her and forced himself upon her when he was inebriated.

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

No action as of yet

Arjan Sarja

POPULARLY KNOWN AS "CTION KING", HE HAS WORKED IN TAMIL, TELUGU, KANNADA AND ALSO IN FEW MALAYALAM AND HINDI FILMS.

Accused of

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

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.

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

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.

Soumik Sen

Director/Screenwriter

Accused of

Molestation

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".

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

No action as of yet

Suhel Seth

AD-MAN/CONSULTANT

Accused of

INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR

Suhel Seth has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, including filmmaker Natashja Rathore, a journalist and two others who remain anonymous.

His defence

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 ended his contract

Fahad Shah

Journalist

Accused of

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.

His defence

He has denied the allegations against him. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

No action yet.

Vipul Shah

Director Vipul Shah was accused by Iranian actress Elnaaz Norouzi for harassing her calling her to his hotel room.

Mushtaq Sheikh

Bollywood scriptwriter

Accused of

Sexual harassment

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.

His defence

Mushtaq Sheikh is unavailable for any comment or clarification. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

No action as of yet.

Vicky Sidana

Casting director

Accused of

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.

His defence

Sidana has not yet responded to the allegations against him. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

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.

K R Sreenivas

Journalist

Accused Of

Sexual harassment

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

Defence

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’’)

Current Status

Sreenivas has resigned as Times of India's Hyderabad resident editor

Zulfi Syed

MODEL/ACTOR

Accused of

FORCIBLE SEXUAL ADVANCES

The model-actor has been accused by a photojournalist of making forcible sexual advances.

His defence

Zulfi has apologised for his actions. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

No action as of yet

Ajit Thakur

CONTENT HEAD

Accused Of

INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR

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.

Defence

He has not yet to responded to the allegations against him. (From ‘‘The Times of India’’)

Current Status

The Screenwriters' Association committee will hear the writer's story and upon her consent, an action will be taken.

Vairamuthu

Lyricist

Accused of

Sexual harassment

Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu has been accused of sexual harassment by many women, including playback singer Chinmayi Sripaada.

His defence

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’’)

Current Status

No action as of yet


Multiple predators in one organisation

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)

Fairoz Khan, NSUI chief, resigns

NSUI chief quits following sexual harassment charges | Oct 2018 |The Times of India


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.”

Madras Academy drops 7: Ravikiran, Thyagarajan, Easwaran, Raja Rao, Sriram, Ramesh, Vaidyanathan

Kamini Mathai & Saranya Chakrapani | TN academy drops 7 musicians from performers’ list |Oct 2018| The Times of India

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.


Symbiosis Law School suspends Srinivas Methuku

Symbiosis suspends prof over ‘harassment’| Oct 2018| The Times of India


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

Symbiosis media institute director sent on leave | Oct 2018| The Times of India


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.

zzz

The accusers

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

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

The authors of this page include:

KAMAKSHI AYYAR | 'People Feel There's a Chance of Being Believed.' India's #MeToo Movement Gathers Momentum | October 12, 2018 | TIME

#MeToo storm gathers force: More biggies fall by wayside, October 9, 2018: The Times of India

See also

Rapes in India<> Rapes in India: court verdicts <> Rape definitions unique to India<> Rapes in India: the legal position after 2013<> <>Rapes in India: Compensation and help for survivors <> Rapes in India: annual statistics

Acid attacks: India

Crimes against women: India

Eve teasing: India

Sexual harassment: India

Sexual harassment in India's media, entertainment, advertising industries

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