14 Oct 2018
#MeToo: Accused of sexual-harassment, MJ Akbar won't resign from Cabinet
Written byShalini OjhaIndia
MoS External Affairs, MJ Akbar, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by several women, will not resign and has vowed to take legal action against the accusers.
Addressing the media at his residence, Akbar said the allegations were a ploy ahead of general elections.
He claimed the allegations caused irreparable damage to his reputation and goodwill.
Here's more about this.
Akbar questions the intent of accusers, says there's no story
Akbar's name cropped up in the #MeToo movement after journalist Priya Ramani shared a story she wrote for Vogue last year.
She said the article began with her Akbar story. On this, Akbar, a former editor, said, she didn't name him earlier as he didn't do anything wrong.
"If I didn't do anything, where & what is the story? There's no story," he said.
Here is the full statement of Akbar
Pertinent to remember Ms RamaniMs Wahab kept working with me even after these alleged incidents; clearly establishes they had no apprehensiondiscomfort. Reason why they remained silent for decades is very apparent,as Ms Ramani has herself stated, I never did anything: #MJAkbar— ANI (@ANI) October 14, 2018
Earlier, Akbar returned from Nigeria, was asked for his comments
Akbar was in Nigeria on a diplomatic trip and returned to Delhi this morning. At the airport, journalists asked him for his comments on the allegations, and he promised a statement would be released soon.
He is the most influential person to have been hit by the #MeToo storm.
Several women have accused Akbar of sexual harassment when he was an editor.
Government had left the decision on Akbar
According to insiders, Akbar had become untenable for the government after his name cropped up.
Government sources said the allegations didn't fall in line with the Centre's idea of women empowerment, which was promoted through schemes like 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' or 'Ujjwala' program.
Apparently, the government had left the decision of leaving or continuing in the Cabinet on Akbar.
Akbar's misconduct was an open secret, claimed journalists
Several women, who worked under Akbar in various capacities, accused him of sexual harassment. The details of the assault are horrifying.
Journalists, who spoke up, said Akbar's behavior was an open secret, he used to call young women to hotel rooms under the pretext of interviews and behaved poorly with them.
One journalist recalled he pulled her bra strap at the office and ogled at her breasts.
Accusers recalled the horror unleashed on them by Akbar
In a detailed account for The Wire, journalist Ghazala Wahab said he kissed her forcefully, and it was his harassment which drove her to quit the job.
Another accuser, Majlie de Puy Kamp, said Akbar sexually harassed her when she was an intern with the Asian Age. She was his friend's daughter, 18 years old, while he was 56 at that time.