After being accused by 20 women about sexual harassment since a fortnight under the tidal wave of #MeToo in India, Union Minister MJ Akbar resigned from his government post. This is seen as a huge triumph of the #MeToo movement, while the accused minister said that he resigned “to seek justice and clear his name from the false allegations”.
Just a few months after the arrest of Harvey Weinstein, the #MeToo storm reached Indian shores and hundreds of women spoke about the sexual harassment and misconduct by their colleagues and men in power at workplaces. The first #MeToo experience accusing former journalist and currently a union minister MJ Akbar was posted by his former colleague at The Asian Age – Priya Ramani 8th October. The allegations of sexual harassment were backed by 19 other women who had worked with Akbar previously and had similar experiences.
— ANI (@ANI) October 17, 2018
While the government, the External Affairs Ministry and PM remained silent about the accusations on one of their ministers, the aftermath of #MeToo reached the evil. Caught in the #MeToo controversy, MJ Akbar resigned from his position as union minister in the External Affairs Ministry of India, today. In a brief statement, he said that he is resigning from his position to seek justice at court and clear his name from the “false allegations levied against him, and also in personal capacity”. Akbar upheld his stand saying that the allegations as “false, fabricated and deeply distressing” and also sued Priya Ramani with a defamation case on Monday.
In response, Priya Ramani said that she will fight the case and that she is not alone, all 20 of them will testify their statements against Akbar in the court. While the resignation of Akbar is a triumph for the revolutionary movement, the women who were victimised years ago seek justice in the courts too. As the women get ready to jab down the evil, India just got its own version of Harvey Weinstein – the enormously powerful and privileged minister who saw his fall as #MeToo effect.