MeraNews Network, New Delhi: Veteran journalist and the current minister of state for external affairs in the Modi government, MJ Akbar was on Monday accused of sexually harassing female journalists during his time as an editor of the publication he ran.
Journalist Priya Ramani had in 2017 written an article for Vogue India titled To the Harvey Weinsteins of the world where she recounted her encounter with Akbar at a five-star hotel in Mumbai where she was called for an interview and he had tried to molest her. She tweeted out the link of the article on Monday saying ‘I began this piece with my MJ Akbar story. Never named him because he didn’t “do” anything. Lots of women have worse stories about this predator—maybe they’ll share.’
At least four female journalists have come out so far with stories accusing MJ Akbar of forcing himself on young women under the pretext of interviewing them for jobs at his publication. The journalists said that he would call them into his suite at five star hotels and would try to get dangerously close to them making them feeling uncomfortable. The women feared calling him out back then because he held great influence in the industry and going against him would mean jeopardising their careers.
The country has been hit by its own #MeToo movement now after actress Tanushree Dutta first accused prominent actor Nana Patekar of harassing her on the sets of Horn Ok Pleasss and that the director and the producers were complacent to it and were on Nana’s side. This was followed by several women coming out and calling out influential predatory men from media and comedy industry, of sexually harassing them. Some prominent names included television actor Alok Nath, comedians Utsav Chakraborty and Jeeveshu Ahluwalia and journalists Mayank Jain, Gautam Adhikari and Meghnad Bose.