The Editor’s Guild of India on Friday released an updated list of its office-bearers that also included the name of former Union Minister MJ Akbar. The inclusion of Akbar, who is facing charges of serious sexual misconduct by nearly two dozen female journalists, has sparked a fresh row.
Tagging journalists Shekhar Gupta and Sheela Bhatt, NDTV’s Nidhi Razdan asked, “Why is MJ Akbar still a member of the Editors Guild?” Both Gupta and Bhatt are office-bearers of the Editors’ Guild of India. Mohit Rao of The Hindu wrote, “MJ Akbar, Tarun Tejpal and Gautham Adhikari still members.”
The angry reactions also came from other social media users, who also expressed their outrage on the inclusion of Tarun Tejpal and Gautam Adhikari in the list of members. Both are facing allegations of sexual harassment.
Tarun tejpal and MJ Akbar continue to be the members of the Editor’s Guild of India despite sexual harassment charges against them and then we wonder why there can never be a #MeToo in India as aggressive as it was in the USA
— Mehak Agarwal (@MehakAgarwal15) November 16, 2018
Not only Editors Guild but why MJ Akbar is still a Rajya Sabha MP. Where is the ethics committee and where is the sansakari BJP brigade? Maybe they prefer sexual offenders in their party.
— Arpita Chakraborty (@charpita054) November 17, 2018
Even after sexual harrassment allegations, MJ Akbar and Tarun Tejpal are members of the Editors Guild https://t.co/xjzenD5Afm
— Pratik Mukane (@pratikmukane) November 17, 2018
Akbar had to resign as India’s junior foreign minister recently after many journalists came forward to share their own MeToo stories alleging that they were sexually assaulted by Akbar during his time as the editor of The Asian Age and The Telegraph. Prominent among them was journalist Priya Ramani, who Akbar has sued in a Delhi court for defamation.
A US-based former colleague of Akbar had recently accused him of rape. But Akbar and his wife Mallika Akbar had termed the relationship between him and the female journalist consensual.