Union Minister MJ Akbar has submitted his resignation to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) via an email on October 14 over allegations of sexual harassment by a number of women journalists. Such acts, if true, have to be ostracised and the person must be banned from holding any public post. He should not be allowed to stand for any elections.
Are not men expected to be decent where women are concerned? Are not the exact words of George Bernard Shaw, in his potboiler “Pygmalion”, but equivalent to what he was conveying in the relevant context? The ‘metoomovement’ is bringing out of the closet the skeletons one after another. When a prominent media person’s scandal broke out a few years back, it looked like a lone wolf case, but the flock is unravelling itself slowly.
It is clearly understood that many females from different upbringing also make inappropriate advances. They should file with the Women’s association on harassment and get MJ Akbar to pay the compensation if he is proved guilty. Ganging and attacking a person is reprehensible. He has his work and may have a capability which is unparalleled. The fines placed on such misbehaviour on females will satisfy society and prevent him on further mischief and keep his nose on the job. Some people by virtue of their religion may feel justified and virtuous in attacking members of the other communities.
Sushma Swaraj should ensure that MJ Akbar quit office at the earliest. It is disheartening to note that the political parties in general and BJP, in particular, have scores of celebrities with moral turpitude. Is it, besides muscle and money power, a necessary qualification to be a politician? I think he should step down keeping in mind the seriousness of the situation with such a large number of women complaining about his misbehaviour. Looks like, this is the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
More than 10 women journalists who worked with him during his tenure as the Editor in various media organisations have alleged that he made inappropriate advances during job interviews and during work interactions with them.
While the first accuser was a senior Bangalore-based journalist, Priya Ramani, the latest allegation came from a former intern who was 18-years-old at the time she worked with Mr. Akbar. Both the government and the BJP have taken no official stand on whether he should step down, but the clamour for his resignation has grown among the Opposition parties as well as sections of the media over the past week. To achieve something, one has to sacrifice something too.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)