#MeToo MJ Akbar: Grabbed me and kissed me hard – Tunisha Patel

#MeToo movement has become worst nightmare for the Union minister MJ Akbar. Recently MJ Akbar filed the defamation suit against 14 accusers for sexual harassment. Now 20 more accusers along with Tunisha Patel #MeToo accused him of the sexual harassment during #MeToo movement. All 20 women have written petition who were part of Asian Age in 1994 launched by MJ Akbar. They are requesting to the court in their petition to hear and consider their testimony. There are 3 senior journalists in the list of their petition who works for leading newspapers. Meenal Baghel – the editor of Mumbai mirror, AT Jayanthi, the editor of Deccan Chronicle and Suparna Sharma, Editor of The Asian Age in Delhi.

feedaddy viral tricky priya ramani

The text of the petition:

Minister M.J. Akbar has filed a criminal defamation case against our former colleague Priya Ramani for calling out his predatory behavior towards the young women he employed at The Asian Age when he was its editor and proprietor. 

This, despite the powerful testimonies of several other women who have stepped forward to speak out against his sexual misconduct. 

What Mr. Akbar has demonstrated through his legal actions is his refusal to introspect, acknowledge or atone for his actions that have caused immense pain and indeed harmful to many many women over the years. He himself, in the meanwhile, continues to enjoy enormous power and privilege as a minister and Member of Parliament.

When Ms. Ramani spoke out against him in public, she spoke not only about her personal experience but also lifted the lid on the culture of casual misogyny, entitlement and sexual predation that Mr. Akbar engendered and presided over at The Asian Age.

Ms. Ramani is not alone in her fight. We would request the honorable court hearing the defamation case to also consider testimonies of sexual harassment of some of us at the hands of the petitioner, as also of the other signatories who bore witness to this harassment.

Name of 20 petitioner

1) Meenal Baghel (Asian Age 1993-1996)

2) Manisha Pande (Asian Age 1993-1998)

3) Tushita Patel (Asian Age 1993-2000)

4) Kanika Gahlaut (Asian Age 1995-1998)

5) Suparna Sharma (Asian Age 1993-1996)

6) Ramola Talwar Badam (Asian Age 1994-1995)

7) Kaniza Gazari (Asian Age 1995-1997)

8) Malavika Banerjee (Asian Age 1995-1998)

9) A.T. Jayanthi (Asian Age 1995-1996)

10) Hamida Parkar (Asian Age 1996-1999)

11) Jonali Buragohain (Asian Age)

12) Sanjari Chatterjee (Asian Age)

13) Meenakshi Kumar (Asian Age 1996-2000)

14) Sujata Dutta Sachdeva (Asian Age 1999-2000)

15) Hoihnu Hauzel (Asian Age 1999-2000)

16) Reshmi Chakraborty (Asian Age Mumbai staff 1996-1998)

17) Kushalrani Gulab (Asian age 1993-1997)

18) Aisha khan (Asian Age 1995-1998)

19) Kiran Manral (Asian Age 1993-1996)

20) Christina Francis (Deccan Chronicle 2004-2011)

#MeToo: Alok Nath and M J Akbar filed defamation cases, Chetan Bhagat is also up

Tunisha Patel #MeToo: shared her statement in scroll.in

I am reading with indignation, but not surprise, about your complete lack of contrition, your lies, your facetious arguments, your lack of sensitivity in your attempt to victim shame and some remarkably stupid statements. If I don’t speak up now, I feel I’ll be complicit in your crimes.

MJ Akbar opened the door dressed only in underwear

It was 1992, Calcutta. I was a trainee in the Telegraph. You had left journalism for politics and had come to visit Calcutta. A group of my colleagues was going to meet you at your hotel. I was asked if I’d like to meet MJ Akbar. Who didn’t? Sure. I went along. I met you. It was a fun evening. After that day, you found out my home phone number (from someone else) and started calling me incessantly, asking me to come and meet you at your hotel, always under a thin veil of some work-related discussion. After trying to deflect several of your advances, you finally wore me down. Telling myself to not be old-fashioned, I rang your doorbell.

You opened the door dressed only in your underwear. I stood at the door, stricken, scared and awkward. You stood there like the VIP man, amused by my fear. I did go in and carried on blabbering out of fear till you finally put on a bathrobe. What would you say that was? Does greeting a 22-year-old in a state of undress pass your test of morality? Is that not “doing” something? I have visions of you like that. After that, it’s a bit hard to imagine you as the minister of external affairs representing India.

Aishwarya on #MeToo – I Spoke in Past, I am speaking now, and I will continue to talk

You got up, grabbed me and kissed me hard

1993, Hyderabad. You were the editor-in-chief of the Deccan Chronicle, I was a senior sub-editor. You came into town and summoned me to your hotel to discuss my pages. I was late (I had to finish my pages). When I reached your room, you were sullen, sitting there drinking tea and in a vile mood. You started yelling at me about being late, about my work. I was trying to mumble some words. Suddenly you got up, grabbed me and kissed me hard – your stale tea breath and your bristly mustache are still etched in the recesses of my memory. I wriggled out and ran till I reached the road, jumped into an auto rickshaw and started crying. There was comfort in crying in an open auto being driven by a sympathetic stranger.

Into the empty conference room, grabbed me again and kissed me.

The next morning I came to the office and tried to hide in a corner and finish my page. The other thing about working for you is that we never had any resources. We were always short-staffed, you always got us to sacrifice our off days for the greater cause of the paper and we loved our jobs above all else and felt it was normal to do this. When you couldn’t find me, you desperately sent out a search party. At some point, someone found me. Akbar sahib is looking for you. Heavy with dread, I waited till it was almost time for your flight and met you at the most public of areas in the office – near the reception. You said chirpily, “Where did you disappear? I’ve been looking for you – we have to discuss your page.” And with that, you ushered me into the empty conference room, grabbed me again and kissed me.

Defeated, humiliated, blinded by hurt and tears, I stayed in that room till I stopped crying. I waited till you had left the building, went to the bathroom, washed my face and carried on to finish my page.

#MeToo India movement bring up the name of Amitabh Bachchan & Salman Khan

we can see you in court too

So please stop with the lying. Stop lying about your plywood and glass cabin in the Asian AgeGhazala Wahab is not the only woman to have been molested in that cabin. There are other victims who you almost broke and destroyed with your lust and power trip. They are enraged too, and they will come out.

And enough with the legal intimidation – we can see you in court too. The same sisterhood of solidarity that held our hands through the darkest times of our lives will come out only because you continue to be brazen. We are not confused, conflicted or vulnerable anymore. Our time to speak is now – when we don’t have to run to a police station to lodge a complaint before anyone would give us a hearing.

You know who we are. You’ll recognize us when you see us at the barricades.

Show some contrition. Get some help.

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