Twitter has once again exploded with allegations of sexual harassment as more and more women around the globe are taking to the #MeToo movement to break their silence. This time, the allegations have hit the Indian standup comedy scene and the media industry.
The media has often been accused of going after sexual harassers while protecting their own. However, on Friday, several women journalists started sharing stories of what had happened to them at their workplace. While some of them wrote about these incidents on social media platforms, others chose to do so in media groups and networks.
As we've seen in several instances of the #MeToo movement, once an allegation surfaced against an individual, many other testimonies of similar behaviour about the person began to emerge.
Journalist and writer Sandhya Menon alleged that senior Times of India editor KR Sreenivas had behaved in an inappropriate manner with her several years ago. She also tweeted similar stories that other women had come forward to share with her about KR Sreenivas.
Since I'm calling them out.â€” Sandhya Menon (@TheRestlessQuil) October 5, 2018
Let me tell you about @KRSreenivas who is currently resident editor @toi Hyderabad (I think) who offered to drop me back after a day's work.
We were about to launch Bangalore mirror back in 2008 and I had just moved to this city.
Following this, other women, a few anonymous, shared their accounts of alleged harassment at the hands of the same editor.
I was 20/21 and interning with Femina, Bangalore (which shares an office with TOI) during my summer break. Sreeni lived in my neighbourhood. I bumped into him while running an errand for my mother and he asked where I lived, told me where he lived, general chit-chat.â€” Pavitra Jayaraman (@Pavitra_J_) October 5, 2018
Meanwhile, employees of the Times of India have written to their editors asking for a thorough and swift investigation into the allegations, reminding them that the newspaper which has actively covered #MeToo must practice what it has preached.
Further, Sandhya alleged that senior editor Gautham Adhikari had allegedly kissed her forcibly. Writer and professor of journalism Sonora Jha also accused of Gautham of molesting her in a similar fashion.
Sandhya - Thank you for exposing Gautam Adhikari. He sexually harassed me when I was Chief Of Metro Bureau at Times Of India Bangalore. He was Executive Editor. Called me to his hotel room to discuss flexible hours and then the same assault you described - sick kiss from a toad.â€” Sonora Jha (@ProfSonoraJha) October 6, 2018
Sandhya shared other women's accounts of sexual harassment on her Twitter page. One of them has accused author and film and drama critic Kiran Nagarkar of molesting her in a hotel room when she'd gone to interview him.
Most woman journalists probably know a hotel room assaultâ€” Sandhya Menon (@TheRestlessQuil) October 5, 2018
This about Kiran Nagarkar pic.twitter.com/32lut5Zsd3
A journalist has alleged that writer, journalist and cultural critic Sadanand Menon sexually harassed her. Sadanand has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple persons already. He recently dropped the course that he was teaching at the Asian College of Journalism following protests by students and others.
Journalist Anoo Bhuyan has alleged that Mayank Jain of Business Standard made unwelcome sexual advances at her. Journalist and Feminism in India editor Japleen Pasricha also shared a similar experience, including screenshots of the conversation she had with him.
#Metoo Yesterday was very triggering for me especially after reading @AnooBhu's thread against Mayank Jain. I shared my creepy exp with him with Anoo and asked her to share anon. But today after reading all those threads, I want to speak out too.â€” Japleen Pasricha (@japna_p) October 6, 2018
Other women journalists have spoken about what happened to them without naming the perpetrator.
#MeToo A present day Deputy Executive Editor of a news channel once approached me to sleep with him. I was a newbie at work and he was a super senior. Please note - this was my first job. I was also more naive, ignorant, indecisive and confused.â€” Rashmi Sinha (@Rashmi6S) October 5, 2018
When I started out as a cub reporter, a senior colleague once shouted me down during an argument at a social gathering in a pub. "I am not used to women speaking to me this way, you better keep quiet before I lose my cool." I was shaking when I got back home. (1/n)â€” Nikita Saxena (@nikita1712) October 5, 2018
Reading the horrid experiences of media women, from creepiness, dick pics, workplace harassment to sexual assault, I remember all the creeps, tone deaf despos,self-proclaimed "romantics" I've encountered. My stomach churns, my mind is a whirl. Men, are YOU introspecting? #MeTooâ€” Rohini Mohan (@rohini_mohan) October 5, 2018
So so proud of all the women in media and elsewhere who are coming out and sharing their experiences of being sexually harassed. This needs to stop. #MeTooâ€” Padma Priya D (@priyakamal) October 5, 2018
#MeToo #MeTooIndia During my time at @TimesNow, head of the guest team was known around the office for his unprofessional behaviour and crass remarks. Everyone knew & everyone ignored. He works at @republic now - sick how we disregard workplace harrassment.â€” Dilpreet (@dilpreettaggar) October 6, 2018
Journalist Sheena has been compiling all the accusations that have come up on her Twitter timeline.
Perhaps the trigger was actor Tanushree Dutta speaking up once again about how Nana Patekar allegedly sexually harassed a decade ago on the sets of the film Horn Ok Pleassss. She also spoke up about how writer and director Vivek Agnihotri had passed sexually coloured remarks at her. Even though Tanushree has been slapped with legal notices from the two men, several from Bollywood have spoken out in support of the actor.
However, even though social media is abuzz with the stories shared by women journalists, the accounts have been largely ignored by mainstream media. Many women journalists have pointed out that their workspace does not have an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) as mandated by law and that these committees, even if they exist, are toothless because the harassers are in a position of power to influence it.