As the #MeToo movement gathers momentum, IT industry veteran T V Mohandas Pai Thursday said most of the Indian entities, particularly government organisations, have a ‘general lackadaisical attitude’ towards enforcing law dealing with sexual harassment at the workplace. The law is adequate, but as usual implementation is weak, the former Chief Financial Officer of Infosys Ltd alleged and claimed that the IT industry was implementing it fairly well, ahead of other industries.
All entities need to enforce this within their enterprises but there is a general lackadaisical attitude within most of them, especially media and entertainment, both of which have an ‘exaggerated notion’ about themselves, Pai said. “Most media seem to believe that they are above the law and powerful, a typical Delhi attitude, and we will probably see more stories coming out,” he told PTI.
Noting that there is a global movement and more and more women are coming out, Pai said it is a good development showing greater resolve to get gender justice. “The government should criminally prosecute companies which have not complied with the law, but first government should ensure that it has set up the process to carry out the law for its own employees. From what I know, the government itself is probably the biggest offender,” he said.
“We also saw some universities like JNU have weak enforcement earlier. All colleges and universities should tighten up their enforcement,” he said. India’s biggest challenge, Pai said, is a ‘broken down’ justice system which does not deliver justice in time.
“In our society, there is a lack of respect for rule of law as great many police and law officers are corrupt and our courts failing in their duty to deliver justice in time. Then and only then (only when this changes) will we see an improvement,” he added.
Following Hollywood’s #MeToo movement, which has seen several women speaking out about sexual harassment faced by them, many are referring to actress Tanushree Dutta’s statement on Bollywood actor Nana Patekar as the beginning of a similar campaign in Hindi cinema. Following her allegations, women across various spheres, including journalists, have taken to the social media, narrating their ordeal.