Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
The Me Too (or #MeToo) movement is a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault, especially at workplace. Though originally coined in 2006 by an American social activist, it went viral after actor Alyssa Milano encouraged the use of the hash tag after accusations against Harvey Weinstein surfaced in 2017. Many international stars joined in the Me Too movement to expose cases of sexual harassment at workplace.
Recently the Me Too movement gained prominence in India after actress Tanushree Dutta twitted about sexual harassment by actor Nana Patekar in October 2018. Gradually, many women joined the Me Too movement in India, and renowned personalities like actor Alok Nath, directors Sajid Khan and Vikas Bahl, musician Anu Mallik, journalists Vinod Dua, Prashant Jha and KR Sreenivas, authors Suhel Seth and Chetan Bhagat, etc, were swept up in the wave.
Most of these renowned personalities were forced to step down from their positions due to the Me Too movement.
The most infamous casualty of the Me Too movement was of course union minister MJ Akbar. A former journalist, Akbar was accused by many women of harassment at workplace. Finally, after a stubborn defiance, Akbar was forced to resign.
Many experts say that sexual harassment at the workplace has continued for decades. However, the spread of the social media has led to this resurgence in exposing these incidents despite the fear of social stigma and taboo. Many women brought out incidents of sexual assault even after many years of the incidents. They realized that keeping quiet may lead to these incidents being repeated on other innocent women.
It appears that there were many lecherous monsters lurking behind masks of decent, gentlemanly personalities! In the earlier days, these monsters could get away without much damage.
The power of the social media has empowered many victim women to come out against sexual harassment at workplace. However, there are two fundamental evils endemic to our society. These are corruption and nepotism. The power of the social media must be leveraged by the common citizens to expose corrupt officials and personalities. A powerful Me Too movement is required to expose corruption and nepotism also.
However, many common citizen victims of corruption and nepotism may not have the required skills to use the social media like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. The Me Too movement against corruption and nepotism must be lead by the educated middle class.
Like our prime minister says: “Na khaunga, na khaane doonga!” (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)