A year after the hashtag #MeToo helped women name and shame their sexual predators globally, it has finally reached the Indian shores. While last year too women in the country took to social media addressing the issue, in the past few days #MeToo is gaining grounds once again in the country on a larger scale. After comedian Utsav Chakraborty was accused of sexual harassment by a woman, many other social media users have come forward explaining the ordeals they faced at workplaces.
Incidents of molestations narrated by a number of journalists, activists, editors about their seniors show how harassments are common in offices. With these sexual predators being powerful people with fame, money and strong connections, victims often refrain from complaining against them or even talking about it. However, with movements like #MeToo and Time's Up, women are finally gathering the courage to talk about such incidents showing the real nature of these abusers. Post #MeToo Movement, Number of Workplace Sexual Harassment Claims Rise in US.
Here are some of the tweets:
I am sharing this again today because I am fed up of being proper and dignified. Because I am fed up of the lies, the complicity of top people, the gaslighting, the firefighting when it comes to complaints against #SexualHarassment. #Metoo pic.twitter.com/9HgzcANlnI
— Neha Dixit (@nehadixit123) October 5, 2018
Many social media users lashed out at comedy group AIB for not taking action against Utsav despite being aware of sexual harassment allegations against their former employee. Following which, AIB took to Twitter apologising for not acting upon the information they had received. Their statement reads, "Since yesterday we have been trying to introspect and process what we did wrong, and everything that came during our conversations all feel like excuses in hindsight and the fact of the matter is that we messed up."
Here is another incident of sexual molestation (Read the series of tweets):
I don't know what Soham has done. If you give me context, I will personally out him and will support any police action that needs to be taken against him.
For everyone: Soham was one of the founding partners in my old production house. https://t.co/bXrll4Zs6k
— Sumedh Natu (@sumedhnatu) October 5, 2018
He has apologised multiple times. In fact, he messaged me right now asking me if the anonymous account was me.
This was not the first time Soham harassed. In the summer of 2013, I was staying with @AneeshaSrini and Pratikshya Mishra. He spooned me while I was watching a movie.
— Hamsini Hariharan (@HamsiniH) October 5, 2018
Another incident of sexual harassment at a workplace not been taken seriously:
Anyone - man or woman - who has ever worked at DNA will know the company has/had its fair share of creeps/harassers. Yes, there was a Vishakha Committee but it was just there for show. Complaints made to them in confidence somehow magically ended up becoming a public.
— Joanna Lobo (@thatdoggonelady) October 5, 2018
— Anoo Bhuyan (@AnooBhu) October 4, 2018
When workplaces become unsafe for women:
After reading your tweets an old colleague called and told her story. Similar story another time period. She quit but her boss is still with the newspaper...And quite powerful these days.
— MANJUL (@MANJULtoons) October 5, 2018
After Utsav was publicly accused by women, he put up a series of tweets accepting his mistake and apologising for it. Following which comedians Sapan Verma and accused of catcalling, however, he denied the claims. Dr Christine Blasey Ford & Brett Kavanaugh Hearing: America’s National Sexual Assault Hotline Saw 147% Increase in Calls During Ford’s Testimony.
Hello! What has happened yesterday has been extremely appalling & heart-breaking.
However, I can very confidently verify that this below did not happen.
I'm also happily open to any investigation by any authorities.
Thank you. https://t.co/U0P5gqowuf
— Sapan Verma (@sapanv) October 5, 2018
In a second statement, AIB said the comedy group member Tanmay Bhatt knew about the allegations against Utsav and had confronted him in a "personal capacity". It reads, "Sometime after Utsav stopped being an AIB employee, Tanmay Bhat received specific detailed allegations about him in private and personal conversations. Tanmay confronted Utsav in a personal capacity- which led to Utsav calling the victim, leading to further harassment. At the time the accuser did not wish to pursue any further legal action." Mumbai Police replied to the woman's tweet saying, "We have followed you. Request you to inbox your number. We will look into this on priority."