One of the latest names to surface in India’s #MeToo movement is that of the Times Of India editor Satadru Ojha. Ojha, who is the editor of TOI supplement Calcutta Times, has been accused by three former female employees of inappropriate behaviour and sexual misconduct.
Following the allegations, the Times Of India has released a statement saying, he ‘is being relieved of his current duties and relocated to a different role and city to facilitate an unbiased investigation.’
The first account against Satadru surfaced when a former employee of Calcutta Times, Nasreen Khan, wrote a piece against his behaviour on a news portal.
In her account, Nasreen alleges that Satadru had told her that she can’t continue to work in Calcutta Times unless he “pleases him” or keeps him “happy”. During her stint at Calcutta Times from 2013 to 2015, Khan says she was repeatedly mistreated by Satadru, and in spite of complaints to the BCCL management and HR, these complaints were not taken cognizance of.
“Mr Ojha had earlier called me up several times while I was home to say how I could enjoy extra days off to spend time with my kid if only I knew “how to play my cards well”. On one particular occasion when I was home nursing my sick child, he (Satadru) called again with the same sweet temptation. I lost my cool and shouted at him to never call me and to communicate with me either via SMS or emails only. My kid, despite being ravaged by high fever, understood something was wrong. The effect it had on her came out recently.Excerpt from Nasreen Khan’s account.
After this incident, Nasreen alleges her stories were pushed back from the front page, her interviews deliberately delayed, and that concerted attempts were made to ruin the sources that she’d made in the entertainment industry.
When Nasreen took this up with the HR and superiors in the Times Group, she was told things like he was “under therapy” and that “Bosses are like husbands who need to be adjusted with.”
She then went on to narrate other events of harassment, like a sleazy article being published under her name, receiving rape threats in the middle of the night, and finally, her professional accounts being hacked.
Nasreen’s claim was corroborated by another former Calcutta Times employee who took to Facebook to say this:
Soon after, another former employee, Amita Ghose, who now works for Republic TV, also came out with her own harrowing account of what she faced with Satadru.
Ghose, amongsother things, alleges that it was not just her, but also another male colleague who had to face harassment from Satadru because they (Ghose and the male colleague) were getting friendly with each other.
Satadru Ojha, in a tweet, has denied all allegations against him: