Considering the severity of the issue, the Union government has announced a panel to conduct the public hearing of the cases.
The consequences of the #MeToo movement are now being witnessed on the ground in India with Bollywood stars backing out from the films where any person, against whom allegations are made, is involved. With allegations surfacing against prominent personalities including politicians, journalists, new names are appearing with each passing day since Tanushree Dutta spoke against Nana Patekar. The movement is trending on the social media with #METoo.
On Friday, Akshay Kumar tweeted that he will not work with any ‘proven sexual offender’ and has requested the producers of ‘Housefull 4’ to cancel the shooting until further investigation. Soon after this, the director Sajid Khan, against whom allegations have surfaced, stepped down as the director the film.
Recently, actor Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao also came out in support of the victims and urged for introspection in the film industry. Khan was all set to produce Gulshan Kumar biopic Mogul, however, he exited the project owing to sexual misconduct allegation against the film’s director Subhash Kapoor.
However, the uproar over the allegations against Union Minister M J Akbar has been seen as a major embarrassment for the Modi government and the opposition parties have demanded the minister be removed from the post. At least six women journalists have accused Minister of State for External Affairs, of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour while he was the editor of a newspaper. Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal has written to PM Narendra Modi urging him to remove Akbar.
Reacting on the campaign Congress President Rahul Gandhi said “it’s about time everyone learns to treat women with respect and dignity. I’m glad the space for those who don’t, is closing. The truth needs to be told loud and clear in order to bring about change,” Gandhi tweeted.
Considering the severity of the issue, the Union government has announced a panel to conduct the public hearing of the cases. The panel would consist of retired judges and will look at all issues emanating from the campaign which women have used to reveal cases of alleged sexual harassment against them.
— Ministry of WCD (@MinistryWCD) October 12, 2018
Moreover, Union Minister Smriti Irani has asked the people not discourage the women from speaking out and narrating their ordeals. The public hearing will not be for individual complaints, but where stakeholders can come and depose before the committee, a process similar to the one followed by the Justice Verma Committee created for rape law reforms after December 2012 gangrape case.