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The Wire allowing arrogant Vinod Dua to pontificate about #MeToo is proof of their pussyfooting

Vinod Dua has all the right to defend himself, but he ended up mocking the entire #MeToo movement, not just the woman who accused him.

It was on 14th October 2018 that allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against journalist Vinod Dua, who now routinely misleads his readers and viewers through the leftist propaganda website, The Wire. The allegations were of sexually menacing behaviour, classic workplace harassment and stalking. If the allegations are to be believed, one could consider Dua to be a classic workplace predator.

Following the allegations, Dua’s daughter who is a stand-up comedian and regularly talks about almost a radical form of feminism thought it was best to stand by her father and blame right-wing trolls or some such.

The leftist propaganda website, The Wire, that was grandstanding regarding the #MeToo movement decided to issue a lame-duck statement that basically said that they have formed an internal committee to review the matter. They continued to grandstand even after two of their senior members, Vinod Dua and founder Siddharth Bhatia had been named as sexual predators.

It is interesting how this entire episode has panned out. With the strong stand that The Wire took against several celebrities who were named and the radical stand it often takes on feminism, one would imagine that The Wire’s response to two of their top executives being named would be equally strong. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

After a statement that was released, The Wire’s Vinod Dua was allowed to upload another video of his on The Wire’s YouTube channel. Episode 318 of Jan Ki Baat, a talk show by Dua was published as scheduled. While every accused has the right to make a statement and defend himself without prejudice, the sheer arrogance and audacity of Vinod Dua in the video that was uploaded by The Wire is shocking to a point of inducing nausea.

As reported by The NewsLaundry, the video that was uploaded by The Wire contained crass comments mocking the entire #MeToo movement by Dua. The video, along with those disgusting comments were allowed to be published on The Wire. Later, that video was pulled down, some of the comments were edited, and the cleaner version (not clean enough) was reposted.

As reported, in an earlier version of the video, Vinod Dua had started the video with the following remarks:

Jo jo chunav nazdik aatein ja rahe hai, jo jo sawal puche jaane chahiye, wo background mai jaa rahe hai, na sarkaari media na darbari media unko utha raha hai, aur na hi akhbarein unko utha rahein hai …jo charcha mai hai woh ye hai ki kisne, kitne saal pehle, kiska sexual harassment kia, ya pareshaan kia, is par charcha chal rahi hai … jis mein kendra ke ek mantri bhi shaamil hain. Is mein thoda keechad mujhpe bhi uchala gaya hai … uska bhi main zikr karunga… (With the elections closing in, the questions that should be asked have been relegated to the background. Neither the Sarkari media nor Durbari media are asking these questions, newspapers aren’t asking them either. What is being debated upon is who, how many years ago, sexually harassed whom. A Union minister has also been named … and there has been some muck thrown at me too… I will mention this too…)”

With this brazen comment, Dua conveniently insinuates that the charges of sexual harassment are basically to divert attention from the “real questions” that the media should be asking of the government in the run-up to the 2019 elections. The more subtle insinuation, however, is perhaps that these charges which have levelled against him are concocted to divert attention from the “real issues”, which is, of course, to bring the Modi government down. This wasn’t a defence of himself which he is entitled to. This was an insult to the very movement and to every victim who has verbalised their ordeal.

According to The NewsLaundry, he then goes on to say:

Sarkar se kaede se jo sawal puche jaane chahiye, jo ek dum chup gaye hain, is puri debate mai, is pure shor mai, ki kaun kaun pakda ja raha hai, ya kis kis par aarop lag rahe hain sirf… (the questions that must be asked of the government, those have been eclipsed in this entire debate, amidst the noise of who is getting caught, or against whom allegations have been levelled).”

Now, Dua, in all his self-aggrandizing glory assumes the task of asking questions of the government while shirking away from the responsibility, arrogantly so, of his alleged egregious behaviour some years ago.

What is most horrifying are his closing remarks. Even in the revised video which is now available on The Wire YouTube channel,  in the 2 minutes that he dedicates to talking about the charges against him, he displays the kind of arrogance which could possibly be lent to him by the inaction and pussyfooting of The Wire and the left-liberal circle in general.

In his remarks, he asserts that a little bit of the mud in this mudslinging match has also been directed at him. He then asserts that the accusation is not of sexual harassment but of behaviour that might irritate someone.

To review, the allegations against Vinod Dua are these:

  1. He first made an insulting remark when the victim quoted her expected salary during the interview. His remark was “Tumhari aukaat kya hai”.
  2. He then stalked her to her Newstrack workplace where she had finally taken a job.
  3. He “slobbered all over her face” when she sat in his car (she thought Dua’s intention was to apologise for his behaviour, which is why got into Dua’s car in the first place)
  4. “Slobbering all over the face” presumably means Dua kissed the victim forcibly.

After extremely severe charges of workplace harassment (by that insulting comment), stalking and sexual abuse (by forcefully kissing her), Dua has the temerity to brazen it out by saying that the charges don’t pertain to sexual harassment but of merely ‘irritating behaviour’. He asserts that the allegation is a figment of the imagination of the victim. While he is entitled to assert that the charges are bogus because he has a right to defend himself, for him to trivialise everything is certainly uncalled for and fails The Wire’s editorial test.

He proclaims himself innocent by saying that this dirt (the allegations) can be levelled against anyone, whether it be a pope, a judge, a lawyer, a priest, an innocent man or a doctor. By this sentence, he merely wishes to point out to his viewers that his “status” belongs in the category of such professionals. Sexual harassment is a sensitive subject. The men in power who sexually harass their subordinates are powerful men who firstly, misuse their power, and secondly, think their position gives them the power to behave in this manner with impunity. By alluding to his imagined social and professional status, Dua basically reinforces the fact that he thinks his perceived stature should give him a free pass. That his perceived professional standing should be sufficient for the charges to be dismissed outright. The victim should not even be heard because her professional standing doesn’t match his. If Dua is innocent, he should certainly present facts and prove his innocence. However, to assert innocence only owing to his position is perpetuating a dangerous narrative.

His arrogance reaches the zenith when he proclaims that he is suspending the program for a week, in the course of which The Wire can investigate the matter. He would return after a week to either say goodbye to his viewers or continue the show.

The self-appointed paragons of virtue at The Wire allowed this shameful video to be published. They pulled the first one down and uploaded a revised version which continued to have the portion where he flaunts his position of power. The Wire allowed Dua to talk to the world and arrogantly proclaim that he has granted The Wire a week to investigate. He insinuates repeatedly that these allegations are hurled upon him to silence him as he asks the Modi government and those in power “tough questions”. A disingenuous argument that berates the entire movement.

The Left-Liberal cabal has mostly maintained stoic silence when it comes to the arrogance displayed by The Wire. Their employee, journalist Anoo Bhuyan even went into a tizzy abusing every woman who dared to question the portal and their sympathiser’s silence.

The courage to be nonchalant and disregard the entire movement so brazenly is drawn from the silence of their comrades. The courage to spit in the face of decency and go about their grandstanding as nothing has happened is a result of the hypocritical perfumed elite who choose to diminish the cause of women for their petty political gains.

After all, how can we forget that The Wire had asked one of their female employees to not make noise about the harassment she faced at the hands of Dalit ‘activists’ and let it go because it might harm the ‘Dalit cause’. How can we forget that The Wire has maintained stoic silence about another professor who wrote for them being hauled about sexual harassment?

The cesspool just gets deeper and dirtier because tribalism demands the blood of reasons. The Left tribalism will sacrifice the interests of women to uphold the strength of the tribe. The supremacy of this incestuous coterie is all that really matters, and The Wire is a shining example of that malaise.

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Nupur J Sharma
Editor, OpIndia.com since October 2017

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