In the course of the last few days, several women have spoken up against the sexual harassment they have faced at the hands of powerful men. The #MeToo movement on social media has taken the country by a storm with many big industry names like Alok Nath, Rajat Kapoor, Varun Grover and comedians like Tanmay Bhat and Gursimran Khamba, co-founders of All India Bakchod being accused of sexual misconduct. Journalists like Prashant Jha and film director Vikas Bahl, The Wire’s co-founder and founding editor Siddharth Bhatia and their senior journalist Vinod Dua.
Another journalist who has been accused while #MeToo gripped the country was Uttam Sengupta, who is now the Executive Editor of Congress mouthpiece National Herald. National Herald is owned by the Gandhi family and is currently under ligitation for alleged scam perpetuated by the Gandhi family.
The victim has also alleged that she reported his harassment and intimidation tactics following which a “sham internal inquiry” took place at National Herald. Considering Uttam Sengupta still works at National Herald, no action was taken against him and the victim “left in disgust”. She has also asked whether Congress would now throw Uttam Sengupta out.
But National Herald seems to be brazening it out. While most people who have been accused have come out to make a statement, the National Herald has remained tight-lipped and so has their Executive Editor.
Not just have the publication or the Sengupta refused to issue a statement, they have published several articles regarding the #MeToo movement, the latest, authored by a journalist called Shuma Raha. In the article, Raha talks about how the movement has been empowering and exhilarating, but also sounds a word of caution about believing third-hand accounts. While the silence from the publication is deafening, they have gone ahead and asserted that not all accounts of harassment should be believed, would seem like a preemptive assertion to save Uttam Sengupta and some like him who might be close to the power circle.
It is interesting that Shuma Raha would write an article about the #MeToo movement on National Herald, whose Executive Editor himself is accused of sexual harassment at workplace. In fact, National Herald too is being accused of conducting a ‘sham inquiry’ and doing enough for the victim.
The author herself has made some strange comments regarding the movement on her Twitter account. She has said that the #MeToo movement shouldn’t drown the Rafale ‘revelations’.
— Shuma Raha (@ShumaRaha) October 12, 2018
In fact, it is even more interesting that Shuma, who has written an article pontificating about the #MeToo movement on National Herald, has been retweeting the very person who has been accused of sexual harassment.
The National Herald itself has been shameless in its conduct by publishing several reports on the wave of women coming out with the sexual harassment tales while keeping quiet on the conduct of their own senior staff. They have published several articles in this regard.
The Executive Editor of the paper who has been accused has been conveniently tweeting about the state of the government and media rights without uttering a word either defending himself or apologising for what he is accused of.
Media reports held that Ambanis forced Raghav Bahl to part with CNN-IBN, which he had built, for Rs 800 Crore. It is possible Mukesh Bhai paid him 800 Crore in white and 400 Crore in Black. So, those who are wondering how he built his bungalow can sleep in peace.#RaghavBahl
— uttam sengupta (@chatukhor) October 11, 2018
He has been making bizarre statements like the Ambanis are to be held responsible for Raghav Bahl’s black money, if any, instead of speaking up regarding the allegations against him.