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M J Akbar, Alok Nath named as India's #MeToo fire rages on

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai/New Delhi 

The #MeToo fire raged on Tuesday, charring carefully built up reputations as more women narrated their experiences in the wide spectrum of with Union M J Akbar and amongst those named for their alleged actions.

While External Affairs refused to answer a question on the allegations against her junior minister, the ripples of the movement to call out those who had allegedly sexually harassed women, verbally or physically, were felt across the media and entertainment industry.

As the debate around what constitutes and concerns over due process intensified across newsrooms, drawing rooms and platforms, several senior journalists joined the list of those "named and shamed" by women.

Expressing its gratitude and solidarity towards women journalists for their courage, the said in a statement that it is committed to ensuring that the legal rights the victims and the accused are not violated.

"The Guild extends its total support to all women journalists, who suffered a disadvantage in their careers, physical or mental trauma, as a result of any sexual predation," it said.

Perhaps the most harrowing experience to be shared was by Vinta Nanda, who accused the "most Sanskaari person", as is known, of raping her more than once 19 years ago.

and TV Artists Association Tuesday said it would send Nath a show-cause notice.

"Dear @vintananda I am so so sorry... Unfortunately we've to follow the due process. I urge you to file a complaint against this vile creature, we extend you full support," CINTAA wrote to

Nanda, best known for the TV show "Tara", gave a detailed account of the alleged assaults in a lengthy post Monday night, the latest expose in the #MeToo movement sweeping which started last fortnight with alleging that she was harassed by veteran during a film shoot in 2008.

did not name Nath but referred to her attacker as "the most Sanskaari (cultured) person", a sobriquet attached with the actor courtesy his on-screen image of playing the goody-goody father, uncle and grandfather.

She alleged that Nath sexually assaulted her on more than one occasion after he was fred from the 1993 show for misbehaving with its lead actor,

Confirming that she was indeed talking about him, told later in the day, "It has been the nucleus of my every situation. I lost my confidence as a and as a human being. It changed me fundamentally."

Nanda added that she would be meeting to decide further course of action.

Reacting to the allegations, Nath told News, "Neither I am denying this nor do I agree with it. It (rape) must have happened, but someone else would have done it. Well, I do not want to talk much about it as for the matter if it has come out, it will be stretched."


Nishan also backed Nanda's account and said, "I dealt with the four year harassment by slapping the man in question and it is done and dusted."

#MeToo also moved out of the Hindi film industry Tuesday with Malayalam actor-turned MLA Mukesh being accused by Tess Joseph, a woman casting director, of harassing her in 1999 during the shooting of a television show.

An MLA of the ruling CPI(M) and the host of several popular TV shows, Mukesh rejected the charges and said he did not even remember the shooting of the programme.

Writer-lyricist Varun Grover was also accused in an anonymous post but issued a strong denial, saying nothing in it was true and he was ready to go through an inquiry to prove himself.

The comedy collective AIB, and filmmaker felt the repercussions of the allegations of and molestation.

The of Moving Image (MAMI) announced that the festival will drop AIB's "Chintu Ka Birthday" and Rajat Kapoor's "Kadakh" from its showcase in the light of allegations against them.

Bahl will no longer be associated with Kabir Khan's "83".

Though Bollywood's biggest and most powerful have been mostly quiet on the issue, actor Tuesday backed the movement but stopped short of commenting on individual cases.

"The #MeToo movement has gained momentum in present times, the world has become smaller with social media, one voice is becoming larger. What is nice is that the media is becoming allied and propelling voices that need to be heard and giving them platform," she said.

said they have taken note of the spurt in the number of cases and have issued Bahl a show cause notice. It said it has set up a Women's Grievances Redressal Cell to safeguard the interest of women artistes.

The said it is in the process of gathering detailed information of the various allegations that have come to light in the media.

The movement also had its naysayers.

Like who backed Patekar and asked, "#MeToo movement is important but what is the relevance of making allegations against anybody ten years later?"

As the movement gathers momentum, more skeletons are likely to come out of the cupboard with more women saying #MeToo, said activists.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 09 2018. 20:15 IST
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