I recently shared my thoughts on #Me Too campaign by a set of ladies who were molested or ill treated by their male colleagues, co-stars, friends and relatives in the distant past, but the matter seems to be serious enough to merit more than one blog. The mint fresh casualty of the campaign has been Minister for State for External affairs M J Akbar. Akbar has been a trend setter of sorts. He excelled in journalism taking the magazines and publications he edited to unprecedented heights. He remained a well read writer and author whose views on various social and political aspects made difference. He became one amongst handful of Muslims to align with BJP and the party rewarded him with Ministership. Everything seemed to be going well for this eminent personality till the rage of Me Too fire singed him. What started with an unnamed reference by one journalist is now turning out to be a flurry of accusations by the past victims of Akbar’s lewdness. Another shocking revelation is ever dependable, fiercely independent and orator par excellence adman Suhel Seth being named by one former model having crossed all limits of modesty at a social event! Suhel joins long list of perpetrators that already seems to be growing longer and longer! Several people, especially celebrities, seem to be on tenterhooks fearing revelation of their names for the past acts!
It is so unfortunate that what takes years of hard work, achievements, good work and contribution to build a stature or reputation can get sullied in no time! MJ Akbar has had years of great work as an editor, journalist and author behind him! Suhel Seth spoke from his heart fearlessly voicing his views aftermath 26/9 terrorist attack on Mumbai! His firebrand expression of angst won him a whole lot of lifelong admirers! Anu Malik has endeared himself to music lovers through years of distinguished work and he remains unchanged as a judge on India Idol season after season! It has just taken a moment of past indiscretion ( except Alok Nath, no one else has so far been accused of rape and the incidents mostly related to seeking a sexual favour rather than doing so forcibly) to bludgeon the reputation built over the years of distinguished existence!
I had earlier written a blog on interesting thoughts displayed on Church hoardings, which are not only thought provoking but at times very topical! I read outside a church ” Forgiveness is very dear to God and should be practised by everyone- he, she, you and Me Too! If indiscretion was rather minor, made too far away in the distant past and really not impacted the life of the victim other than momentary (or even prolonged) mental agony, now that the objective of the campaign is achieved and it is unlikely that respected men will indulge in such indiscretions in future, can the victims forgive their tormentors and move ahead ?
2 thoughts on “# Me Too- Fire rages on”
Arvind, I always find your views very reasonable and balanced. Yes, after so many years if the victims now decide to forgive and forget and move on, surely, why not? Specially if the indiscretions were minor. The perpetrators being who they are, will surely not indulge in repeat misadventure. My problem is when cynicism is displayed, when strong judgements are formed without knowing the facts. When people make this debate an issue of personal prestige.
Thanks Anindya because you know I highly value your views and feedback! My second blog on the issue ( and more can’t be ruled out) is testimony to the fact that I am deeply impacted by this incident! I also agree that no matter should be trivialised as those who are directly affected by it feel traumatised for long long time!