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PM maintains silence. Minister bringing shame to campaign!

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on October 19, 2018 with No Comments

The statement by the minister of state for external affairs M. J. Akbar and his subsequent action of sending a legal notice to Priya Ramani came as a shaming moment for the government he serves. Over a week after Priya Ramani named M.J. Akbar nine other women posted their stories of sexual hardship carried out by M.J. Akbar who called him a “sexual predator”, that the minister came out with a statement. The outrage by these women range from suggestiveness to outright molestation. All these stories highlight how M.J. Akbar during his professional career in the field of journalism was creating trouble for his female colleagues. He only decided to resign from the post when the number of those leveling allegations against him went past a dozen.
M.J. Akbar called the allegations “fabricated”, and took the rescue from the fact that the accusations had come just months before a general election and implied that those who are accusing him have political motivations. Following the chosen track, the minister carried out his threat of going to the court. At the same time, the asked the people to sit in judgment. Though Akbar comes to the ministry through the indirect route of Rajya Sabha, he is asking people to vote for his party and thus unbound him of the charges in the eyes of the voters.
Cabinet colleagues of M.J. Akbar but for Maneka Gandhi have maintained a silence over the issue. Maneka Gandhi too has too spoken only about having a mechanism in place to handle cases of sexual harassment. The ministers have not shared their thoughts on whether a person facing allegations of being a “sexual predator” should continue to be in the union cabinet. Can the Prime Minister of India be expected to run a campaign to “save the girl child”, and at the same time retain a minister who has his conduct and moral values under question. More than the fate of an individual minister, it’s about the intent of the Prime Minister. By making such a statement and deploying a team of 97 lawyers, the minister has the support of the Prime Minister and the party leadership. By failing to ask M.J. Akbar to step down, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has sent a message that is indeed unfortunate. The message is about government’s attitude to harassment and the protection of women at workplaces. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given an impression that he is standing behind M.J. Akbar and while doing so, he hasn’t understood that he has failed the India’s women and has created an impression that nobody in his government or the BJP can do any wrong. Yet again Prime Minister Modi has maintained silence. Neither he has said a word on the #Metoo nor has he defended or criticized M.J. Akbar. Prime Minister Modi was silent when leaders from his party and sympathizers in Jammu were holding marches in support of the accused in the rape and murder of an eight year old child in Kathua. He was silent over BJP MLA from Unnao, Kuldeep Singh Sengar. Prime Minister Modi is now expected to break his silence on issues agitating the minds of the Indians.


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