Published On : Tue, Oct 9th, 2018

#MeToo: Sushma Swaraj ignores question on MJ Akbar

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj ignores a question put to her on action if any to be taken against her colleague and junior minister (Home Affairs) MJ Akbar.

Akbar, a former editor, has been accused by several journalists of sexual harassment. The Ministry of External Affairs has refused to comment on this issue and has said no action has been initiated in the matter as of now.

Journalist Priya Ramani tweeted, referring to an article she wrote for the Vogue magazine in 2017.

The Vogue article was an open letter to Dear Male Boss that referred to a purported job interview in a hotel room in Mumbai that appeared to have taken place in 1994 as the age of the Boss then was put at 43.

The account said I escaped that night, you hired me, I worked for you for many months even though I swore I would never be in a room alone with you again.

The article written in the backdrop of the Harvey Weinstein #MeToo movement did not name the editor, when she wrote the piece in October 2017.

But yesterday, Ramani, along with a host of other journalists outed Akbar citing several incidents of sexual harassment.

Another woman wrote in to say, she was called to Akbar’s hotel room for an interview for Asian Age, in Kolkata’s Taj Bengal in 1995. She clarifies that he didn’t actually “do” anything, but that “the whole experience of an interview sitting on a bed in a hotel room followed by an invitation to come over for a drink that evening was rattling and deeply uncomfortable”. She declined the job offer.

The Telegraph today put out a story #MeToo finger at Union minister naming him. Akbar is the founding editor of The Telegraph and was with the newspaper till 1989.

Will Sushma Swaraj sack Akbar or will Akbar step down on moral grounds?