William Dalrymple, the so-called historian, along with his ‘liberal’ authors’ gang, bullied Bloomsbury, an international publishing house to drop the book “Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story” by Adv Monika Arora that was set to release next month. During the height of #MeToo movement in India, many women accused Dalrymple of making them feel uncomfortable with ‘creepy behaviour’.
In October 2018, Scroll employee Karnika Kohli put out a cryptic tweet asking whether everyone will remain silent over William Dalrymple.
Women who felt uncomfortable around him or while talking to him over the social media platforms took the hint, and a few came forward to tell their stories.
The most detailed version of his behaviour towards young women was posted by one Preetha. She said that he sent her a random friend request on Facebook, which being his fan, she did not find alarming. However, he started to compliment her a lot which made her feel uncomfortable. He also asked her out for dinner and drinks. When she told him she would think about going out for dinner with him, “he replied with many winks and kiss smileys,” she said. She said that she should have snapped when he randomly asked her for dinner and call him out for being creepy.
To her post, many people said that it should have been taken as normal as it is not wrong for someone to ask a woman out for dinner or drinks that forced Preetha to write a long note. She said, “It is disheartening not at all shocking that men are questioning my intentions instead of Dalrymple’s in this case although other women have shared that they have heard of/had similar encounters with him.”
The user named Preetha had shared a long note detailing the issue.
She further added that refusing to admit his actions are not similar to the actions of a new male colleague as a new colleague will have a reason to know her better than William did not have. After telling him that she was his fan, his actions felt like “he is exerting his power, unlike the colleague.”
Another user MissKandpal concurred what Preetha had to say. She said she was asked to meet over dinner as well.
Author and political analyst Shubhrastha also pointed out unsolicited messages from Dalrymple and said her cold reply might have saved her from such dinner requests.
Dalrymple is supposed to be married and living in India with his wife and three kids.
#MeToo movement in India
In October 2018, multiple women took to social media platforms and called out their sexual predators across industries like media, advertising, academia, film industry and even the comedy circuit which prides itself in being the ‘liberal’ voice of India. Various personalities like Vinod Dua, Mahesh Murthy, Sajid Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and many, many others were accused of sexual abuse.