Sexual harassment allegations against Mahesh Murthy: Did we have our own ‘Weinstein’ moment too?

Even as people are raising their voices against the sexual harassment they had faced in their lives with the #MeToo campaign, more and more skeletons are tumbling out of Indian corporate cupboards. Twitter user Pankaj Mishra, founder of technology website FactorDaily, in a series of tweets accused venture capitalist Mahesh Murthy who is also an investor in the Left leaning self-proclaimed ‘media watchdog’, Newslaundry.

In a series of tweets, Mishra accuses Murthy of sexual misconduct for years.

He cites a FactorDaily investigative piece which talks about alleged sexual misconduct of Murthy. Amongst others, author Rashmi Bansal and a woman journalist have accused Murthy of inappropriate behaviour, ranging from inappropriate electronic messages to verbal advances to physical grabbing. Murthy had also allegedly sent an inappropriate message, “Hey babe, one’s supposed to celebrate Diwali by blowing a pataka. So can I go down on you please. :-)” to a woman government officer in Delhi.

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Pankaj then talks about a journalist, who was only 19 when she was allegedly harassed by Murthy.

He further says that many people know of Murthy’s alleged misbehaviour, but no one has taken a stand against him except an IT giant.

A woman executive was allegedly asked “are you a virgin” by Murthy back in 2006, and then the company blacklisted Murthy’s digital media company, Pinstorm.

Whoever wrote on Murthy’s alleged misconduct, Murthy sought to implead them in defamation case.

On his part, Murthy rejects all these charges as “absolute and complete lies” and a planned movement to discredit him. He is also reported to have been planning to take legal recourse, but details are not available about whom he suspects to be behind this movement to discredit him.

Interestingly, Newslaundry has never reported on Murthy’s alleged misconduct and hasn’t even carried his denials. The portal had infamously tried to defend even Tarun Tejpal by questioning the woman who had made the charges, but has kept mum on allegations against Murthy. In case the portal carries any views in support of their investor, we will update this article in spirit of fairness.

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