India

#MeToo started by people with ‘perverted minds’, says BJP Minister

Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan, in a shocking statement has said that the #MeToo movement has been launched by people with ‘perverted minds’.

He added that he ‘wondered if it was fair to level accusations over incidents which took place years ago.’

The BJP leader made the comments in response to questions posed by reporters amid the raging #MeToo storm which has demolished the ‘carefully cultivated reputations’ of many distinguished personalities in the field of media and entertainment industry including celebrated journalist and former Union Minister M J Akbar.

Akbar, who edited many mainstream publications before joining politics, resigned as Union Minister of State for External Affairs on Wednesday after a host of his former women journalist colleagues accused him of sexual harassment.

“If someone makes an allegation that such a thing happened…..when the incident happened we were playing together while in class 5….Would it be fair?

“This (MeToo movement) is the result of the behaviour of some people who have perverted minds,” Radhakrishnan, Union Minister of State for Shipping and Finance said.

Noting that the ‘MeToo’ movement had sullied the image of the country and women, he wondered if it would be right for men to start “making similar accusations like them”.

“That will be such a big insult….Will it be acceptable?” Radhakrishnan said.

As many as 20 women have accused M J Akbar of sexually harassing them when he worked as a journalist. Akbar has filed a defamation case against a senior journalist, who accused him of sexual misconduct.

While denying all the allegations, Akbar in his statement had said that allegations against him are ‘false and fabricated, spiced up by innuendo and malice.’

The Editors Guild of India (EGI) on Thursday said the resignation of union minister MJ Akbar is a ‘result of several women journalists’ courage to fight for a high principle—gender equality in the newsroom.’

The Guild added that the ‘women have shown courage, Akbar should show ‘grace’ and withdraw defamation case he has filed against one of women who has accused him of sexually harassing her.


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