The Network of Women in Media (NWMI- Kerala chapter) and activist KM Shahjahan strongly opposed the participation of C Gouridasan Nair, journalist and former resident editor of The Hindu’s Kerala bureau, in an event organised by Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) Vichar Vibhag. Gouridasan Nair, whose name cropped up in a MeToo allegation last year, was supposed to be one of the guests at the commemoration meeting of D Vijayakumar, a journalist who passed away recently.
However, hours before the event was to commence, Gouridasan’s name was dropped from the event.
Last week, the Thiruvananthapuram committee of KPCC Vichar Vibhag (Intellectual Cell of the Congress) had announced that Gouridasan will be one of the guests at the event organised at the press club. The NWMI strongly condemned the invitation extended to a person accused of sexual harassment.
“Inviting a person who is accused of sexually assaulting even children at public events is equivalent to humiliating women. It is a disrespect to D Vijayakumar, who had never let go of ethics in his journalistic career, to allow such a person (as Gouridasan) to take part in his commemoration gathering,” read the statement by the forum for women in media professions.
Advocate K Vinodsen, District Chairman of Vichar Vibhag, which is the Intellectual Cell of the Congress, confirmed to TNM that Gouridasan did not take part in the event, which was held on Wednesday evening.
He also said that Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala, who was also supposed to take part in the event, opted out at the last minute.
“This morning, I received a call from KM Shajahan, former Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan's personal staff. He said not to allow Gouridasan to take part in the event as he is accused of harassing women, including children. Shajahan also said that if he participated, black flags will be raised against Ramesh Chennithala at the event,” Vinodsen told TNM.
He added, “I apprised Gouridasan of the matter. He then later informed that he did not want to disrupt the event organised for his late friend, Vijayakumar.”
Former MLA Palode Ravi, Cheriyan Philip, Mission Co-ordinator for Haritha Keralam and District Congress Committee president Neyyattinkara Sanal were among those who finally took part in the event.
In October 2018, Yamini Nair, a Delhi-based journalist, had written a long post in connection with the #MeToo movement. She wrote in detail about the sexual harassment she faced from a man she considered a guru and a mentor she respected. She did not name anybody in the post.
However, another woman commented on the post, identifying Gouridasan as Yamini’s harasser. The woman also alleged that she too was sexually harassed by him.
A few weeks later after the post, N Ram, Chairman of The Hindu Publishing Group, had told TNM that The Hindu had asked Gouridasan Nair for an explanation, but he said he wanted to go on leave instead. On October 17, Gouridasan resigned from his post of Resident Editor, The Hindu, Kerala.