A day after ducking a question from journalists asking him to put forth his stand on the many sexual harrassment allegations that women have come out and levelled against numerous personalities, Congress president Rahul Gandhi Friday extended his support to the #MeToo movement, saying truth needs to be told loud and clear. The Congress president said that it was it was about time that everyone learns to treat women with respect and dignity.
On Thursday, Gandhi had refrained from commenting on the issue saying it’s a big issue and he will definitely speak on it. Taking to Twitter today, he expressed happiness over the entire movement and said that space for those who don’t treat women with respect and dignity is closing.
India’s own #MeToo movement, which has seen many women coming out and sharing their stories of alleged sexual violence, has gathered pace over the last fortnight with support pouring in from various quarters.
“It’s about time everyone learns to treat women with respect and dignity. I’m glad the space for those who don’t, is closing. The truth needs to be told loud and clear in order to bring about change,” Gandhi tweeted along with the MeToo hashtag.
It’s about time everyone learns to treat women with respect and dignity.
I’m glad the space for those who don’t, is closing. The truth needs to be told loud and clear in order to bring about change. #MeToo
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 12, 2018
The MeToo movement has hit the entertainment and media industry the most. One of the many accused is MoS External Affairs MJ Akbar who has been accused by several former women colleagues of sexual harassment when he served as an editor at various media organiations, Gandhi was asked to comment on the same on Thursday.
The first accusation came up from journalist Priya Ramani, formerly of India Today, The Indian Express and Mint. Ramani, in her piece written in October 2017 for Vogue India, had narrated her experience “with an editor” when she was 23 years old and he was 43. On Monday, Ramani revealed it was Akbar who had done this. “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,” she said. Since then, as many as six women journalists have accused the minister of the inappropriate behaviour.
In reaction to the development, BJP’s ally Shiv Sena has already demanded the resignation of MoS External Affairs MJ Akbar over the charges of sexual harassment. “This should be taken very seriously…. such allegations are very serious,” Shiv Sena spokesperson Manisha Kayande said. “If BJP believes in transparency then there should be an investigation… I think he should resign and face the enquiry and after the enquiry, the party can take up a call,” she added.
Akbar, who is reportedly out of the country, is yet to react to the allegations. Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra were seen refraining from commenting on the controversy.
Source: Financial Express