#MeToo movement, the social media movement which grabbed eyeballs last year has reached the Indian shores, taking away a number of Bollywood celebrities, actors, directors, producers, cricketers, politicians and even renowned journalists who are rather responsible to be the voice of sufferers.
In the latest development, India Today group responded to a sexual harassment allegation made by former employee Rukmini Sen, who had accused Aroon Purie and Kalie Purie of being “complicit” in “playing with the well-being of their women professionals” and for “delaying the process of justice” over a sexual harassment, involving group’s News Director – Supriya Prasad.
The media house has however rejected the allegation laid by Sen. In a statement issued on Tuesday on it official website, the group enlisted certain facts in the case detailing the time period of Sen’s tenure and the actions taken by the firm in connection with sexual harassment complaint.
The group stated that, “The India Today Group did everything possible to pursue and address the issue. In putting out a one-sided version on social media and misrepresenting facts, we think Ms. Sen is being unfairly malicious towards the Group. Towards this, we are considering appropriate legal action.”
In the statement, the group also accused Sen of not responding to their mail or attending any of the sexual harassment committee meetings despite being informed about it on multiple occasions.
This was after the former India Today woman journalist wrote a detailed Facebook post alleging that she was let down by her then employer. Rukmini Sen claimed that India Today Group did not act firmly to deal with a sexual harassment case against one of its top TV executives when she complained of sexual harassment in 2012
In a Facebook post, Sen wrote –
“Year 2012-2013. For one and a half years India Today group and I exchanged numerous mails about formation of a proper sexual harassment committee so that I could present my case against Mr Supriya Prasad. Aroon Purie/ Kalie Purie/ India Today group didn’t take any action in my sexual harassment case for a year. They delayed the process of justice. India Today Group/Aroon Purie/ Kalie Purie haven’t done anything since then ie for last six years.”
“It took India Today Group one whole year to form a sexual harassment committee of sorts. However, this new SHC didn’t have the mandatory external member in it (who was supposed to be either well known in the field of law or women’s movement). I insisted that I must be called in front of a proper sexual harassment committee and that my work place owed it to me. I also refused to present my case in front of a half baked SHC.”
“After a year and a half of my pursuing the case with the legal and HR team of India Today and my repeated refusal to present my case in front of a committee that didn’t have the mandatory external member the fake committee sent me a mail that they had decided that Supriya Prasad (male Boss) was innocent because among some other vague reasons apparently I knew him from before…whatever that meant.”
It is evident that after the Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta levelled allegations against actor Nana Patekar, women are openly calling out their sexual harassers. Along with celebrities, women journalists have been taking to Twitter and Facebook to post allegations against their male colleagues. KR Sreenivas, Gautam Adhikari, Meghnad Bose, Siddharth Bhatia, Ishrath Jahan are some of the names that have surfaced recently.