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‘Better Late Than Never,’ Says Ghazala Wahab on MJ Akbar Quitting

After Union minister MJ Akbar’s resignation, Ghazala Wahab speaks to The Quint.

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Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

Ghazla Wahab, one of the accusers who have levelled allegations of sexual harassment against MJ Akbar told The Quint, “It (resignation) could have happened on Sunday. But better late than never.”

In a telephonic interview, Wahab, who’s the executive editor of the magazine Force, said that she ‘feels vindicated’ and ‘very, very happy’ after Akbar’s resignation.

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‘This (Resignation) Could’ve Happened on Sunday’

Responding to the question whether there was an unwarranted delay on part of the BJP-led government in taking a call on Akbar’s ouster, Wahab said:

“I don’t know whether it was an unwarranted delay on part of the BJP. But yes, this could have happened on Sunday; it would have been nicer, more satisfying. But better late than never.”
Ghazala Wahab to The Quint

On 6 October 2018, Ghazala Wahab, a former journalist at Asian Age, had created a storm with her article in The Wire in which she had recounted horrific details of sexual advances by former editor MJ Akbar.

Since then 20 journalists who have worked at the Asian Age have come out in the open, calling out MJ Akbar and willing to give testimony in the court.

MJ Akbar, former editor and author, resigned as the Minister of State for External Affairs following allegations of sexual harassment by more than a dozen women journalists.

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‘Wanted to Lend My Voice’

Talking about her decision to share her trauma of sexual harassment that happened 21 years ago, Wahab says, ‘she thought of adding her bit to the MeToo movement’.

“When the story started coming out on social media, I thought of adding my bit to the Twitter. But I held myself back as I did not want part of something which was flimsy and could not stand ground so I deliberated on it and lot of my former colleagues were sending me messages that I must come out with my story.”
Ghazala Wahab to The Quint

Ghazala says she gave it much thought before deciding to share her story of harassment, a known fact in journalistic circles, till the survivors decided to name and shame the Union minister.

“Something clicked and I thought may be this is the time that I should also lend my voice to the movement and so I wrote about it.”
Ghazala Wahab to The Quint

On the defamation suit filed by Akbar against journalist Priya Ramani, Wahab says that Ramani is ‘not alone in this fight’.

“Priya is not alone in this fight. All the women who have been part of this campaign are supporting her and they will stand by her.”
Ghazala Wahab to The Quint
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‘Akbar’s Resignation, A Success of India’s MeToo’

Wahab agrees that it was the mounting pressure from these 20 journalists that explains Akbar’s decision to resign. Deeming Akbar’s resignation as ‘success of India’s MeToo movement’, Wahab says she feels it’s one of the many feats achieved in last few weeks.

“This is one in the line of successes we’ve seen in the last few weeks. A lot of top heads have rolled in different areas and other organisations. So, it’s part of the MeToo movement.”
Ghazala Wahab to The Quint

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Topics:  MJ Akbar   #MeToo   MJ Akbar Resigns 

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