NWMI sends letter to PM, President on MJ Akbar

By NL Team

Published on :

In the wake of minister of state for external affairs MJ Akbar filing a criminal defamation complaint against journalist Priya Ramani, the Network of Women in Media, India sent a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind, standing in solidarity with Ramani and other women who had accused Akbar of sexual harassment.

In the letter, the NWMI expressed its concern that Akbar continues to be a minister in the Union council of ministers even as he plans to pursue legal action, calling it “unethical and improper”. It also said the charge was an attempt to “bully, intimidate and silence those who are bringing to light systemic abuse of women by men in powerful positions. It is designed to push women back into silent compliance and will silence the voices of the many who have not yet spoken up.”

The letter put forward five demands:

– That MJ Akbar submit to an independent investigation.

– That the Ministry of External Affairs asks Akbar to step down from office pending investigation.

– That the case against  Ramani be dropped by Akbar.

– That all support be extended by the government to women in their struggle for justice.

– That Sushma Swaraj, Union Minister for External Affairs, take workplace harassment seriously and not encourage intimidatory tactics against women who have complained.

The letter was signed by numerous journalists and media groups across India. It can be read in its entirety here. The letter comes barely hours after the founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke, took to Twitter last night to reminisce on the past year of #MeToo and its stories.