Hindustan Times Faces Flak For Publishing an Article By MJ Akbar
Former MoS for external affairs and senior journalist MJ Akbar had stepped down from his post after multiple women had accused him of rape and sexual harassment during the #MeToo movement in India.
Less than a month after his resignation, MJ Akbar finds himself in a not-so-difficult situation. On Thursday, he published a column for the Hindustan Times on the finance ministry and the RBI.
‘Women Face Defamation, While His Bylines Go Up’
‘Are We Normalising Crimes Against Women?’
Indian Media, A Repeat Offender?
This is not the first time that a man who has been accused of sexual harassment has been given a platform by a media outlet to redeem himself.
A couple of days after The Wire’s Vinod Dua was accused of sexual harassment, he was given a freewheeling video opportunity to respond. He went on his show Jan Gan Man ki Baat on The Wire to mock the #MeToo movement.
Notably, Dua was under an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) investigation instituted by The Wire to look into the allegations against him, when the 318th episode was published on Tuesday, 16 October.
In the video episode, Dua claimed that the movement against sexual harassment has shifted focus from “significant issues” to reportage of “people being accused of sexual harassment and those being named in this movement.”
Chetan Bhagat, who has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women women was also given a platform to redeem himself by the India Today group. He was invited to speak at the Sahitya Aaj Tak festival in New Delhi, where he said that he and his wife are like Shiv and Parvati. He also discredited allegations against him.
With Hindustan Times being the latest media outlet to let a powerful man with credible accusations of sexual assault and harassment use their platform as if nothing happened, it can be said that Indian media is a repeat offender.