The All India Radio Casual Announcer and Comperes Union (AICACU) wrote a letter mentioning several cases of alleged mishandling of sexual harassment complaints to Menaka Gandhi last week. This came forward from different AIR stations in the wake of the recent #MeToo revelations.
Union Minister for Woman and Child Development (WCD) Maneka Gandhi has asked the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to probe these series of sexual harassment complaints.
In the cases which have occurred in the last few years, the victims, all women casual employees, some who have been working for over two decades, have not got any assignment since they complained. The accused are mostly permanent staff of All India Radio. Incidentally, the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) in these cases comprised of permanent staffers.
In its letter to Gandhi, AICACU pointed out that “casual Announcers/Comperes/Radio Jockeys of AIR” find it difficult to “raise voice against any kind of suppression, harassment, injustice caused by the officials, as they always work under fear of losing the job. Female casual workers, who complain of sexual harassment are removed from the job and their witnesses whether males or females are also targeted the same way”.
In the past few days, more names in the media have surfaced where senior journalists are accused of sexual harassment. Journalist Vidya Krishnan has accused India Today Executive Editor and her former colleague Gaurav Sawant of having sexually harassed her in 2003. Sawant has refuted the claims and has sent a legal notice to the publication, the author as well as to Krishnan.
Another senior journalist who used to work at India Today, TS Sudhir, had another slew of allegations against him. He was also called out for alleged sexual misconduct by another colleague of his, following which his wife reached out to the woman and allegedly tried to threaten her.