Tarun Tejpal, MJ Akbar and Gautam Adhikari continue being members of the Editors’ Guild of India despite the volley of sexual harassment cases against them. In the #MeToo movement that took India by a storm since September, many women have come out in the open and levelled sexual harassment charges against MJ Akbar, veteran journalist and former MoS, External Affairs and Gautam Adhikari, founding editor of DNA.
Tarun Tejpal, who was accused of sexual assault by his colleague five years back in November 2013, too appears in the list. The trial court has postponed the hearing of the case and the cross-examination of the victim will now take place on 17th December.
When the allegations of sexual harassment had tumbled out of the Indian media houses, the Editors’ Guild of India had issued a statement calling media organisations to hold unbiased inquiries into all reported cases.
The Editors Guild of India headed by Shekhar Gupta is a body of journalists meant to fight for journalists’ rights. Protect them when they can, and speak up for them when they can’t speak up for themselves. However, it has maintained uncomfortable silence during various incidents, the recent being the arrest of a journalist in Karnataka for criticising celebrations of Tipu Jayanti.
In October, when Doordarshan cameraperson Adhyutananda Sahu was killed in a Naxal attack in poll-bound Chhattisgarh, the “heartfelt” message by the Editors’ Guild didn’t even mention his name. Not surprising, since when journalists were getting attacked in Bengal in May this year, the chairperson was busy whining about the airport WiFi.