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97 Lawyers To Allegedly Defend MJ Akbar, To What Extent Will Men In Power Go? 

Minister of State for External Affairs, MJ Akbar has filed a defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani. He has called her accusations of sexual harassment against him a political conspiracy.

Minister of State for External Affairs, MJ Akbar has filed a defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani. He has called her accusations of sexual harassment against him a political conspiracy.

The #metoo movement triggered off by Tanushree Dutta is still going strong in the country. One after the other shocking revelations has been made, adding some powerful names to the infamous list of harassers. One of these names is that of Mr. MJ Akbar – Minister of State for External Affairs.

He has been accused of sexual harassment by journalist Priya Ramani when he was an editor in the field of journalism a decade ago. Post her revelation, more than ten women journalists have come forward to disclose incidents of sexual misconduct by him, usually during job interviews.

After maintaining silence in the beginning, MJ Akbar has now given a statement saying that allegations against him are false and fabricated. Furthermore, he has filed a defamation case against Priya Ramani, claiming that this entire story has been made up to malign his name before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

As per Priya, this is just another tactic to silence her. In a statement, Priya Ramani has responded to the legal notice –

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A recent news item also reported that 97 lawyers would be working on this case to defend MJ Akbar. Though the law firm has given their own explanation regarding the numbers, many prominent personalities like Barkha Dutta have ridiculed so many lawyers fighting against one woman.

For years now, men in power have acted with impunity and harassed women without any fear of consequences. They felt that their position will always act as a buffer and no woman would dare to raise her voice in protest against them. Even if she did, she would not have the credibility that they enjoy.

They did not foresee how a revolution would suddenly turn the tide against them. Women have decided to stand together and support each other. One after the other skeletons are tumbling out of the closets, and those named are now running to find some way to reclaim their ‘pristine reputations’.

Filing a defamation case may well be the only recourse left for those accused if they want to regain any integrity. It is true that most of these instances have happened years ago and are coming out only now. But the fact that women remember every detail of what happened means that the incident has left a lasting emotional scar on them.

Fear, shame, career issues were some reasons why women kept quiet for almost a decade, but the collective protest has given them the courage to speak up now. This movement is like wildfire, which has now caught and will continue to burn till it scorches all those who acted like predators. In the days to come, many such cases can be expected. Let’s hope that the justice system supports the truth and those who have done wrong are punished.

Editor’s note: This is a developing story that will be updated periodically.

Image Sources: Twitter, & Wikipedia, By Mubasshir Mushtaq – Submitted to OTRS, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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