See More on Facebook

News, Politics

India’s #MeToo movement is long overdue

India’s longstanding problem with rape and harassment has come to a head as victims take to social media to demand justice.


Written by

Updated: October 10, 2018

The global MeToo movement which started in the United States and spread throughout the world has met with mixed reactions in Asia, where deeply conservative and patriarchal societies have not embraced the phenomenon as quickly as in the west.

In Japan, China, and Korea, the MeToo movement has garnered support but has failed to reach the viral, all-encompassing scope the west has enjoyed.

India’s MeToo movement failed to take off completely, that is until earlier this month when a young female comedian accused an older comedian of sending lewd pictures to her phone. More allegations followed and before long, India’s patriarchal entertainment industry was alit with allegations.

Writer and producer Vinta Nanda said she was raped almost two decades ago but did not name the assailant in her posting on Facebook, only confirming in later media interviews that he was Alok Nath, a popular actor who has worked in television serials and films.

“I have waited for this moment to come for 19 years,” said Ms Nanda on Facebook.

“I can remember more liquor being poured into my mouth and I remember being violated endlessly,” she wrote.

Asked about the allegation, Mr Nath told an Indian news channel that he “neither denies nor agrees with it”.

“It (rape) must have happened, but someone else would have done it,” he added, according to the Straits Times.

Stories like Ms Nanda’s are all too common as more and more Indian women take to social media to share their experiences.

Some women shared screenshots of conversations in their effort to name and shame their harassers. Female lawyers came forward to offer free services to those opting for legal redress.

A series of tweets last week by journalist Ms Sandhya Menon alleging harassment by senior male colleagues served as the lightning rod for other female journalists.

“Five years ago if this had happened nobody would have believed me. Now there is an outpouring of support in terms of women saying I believe you. Other women are also coming forward,” Ms Menon told The Straits Times.

“I don’t want them to go to prison but I do want them to be held accountable,” she said, referring to her harassers. “I would like an apology and see the way organization they work with take a stand moving forward,” she added.

“What you see online is a fraction of India’s urban elite English-speaking population speaking out. Women who aren’t in urban spaces have to be reached out by state media. They have to do stories and reach out to survivors,” said Ms Rituparna Chatterjee, an independent journalist and a member of the Network of Women in Media group,

For a country where a woman is raped every 15 minutes and the majority of cases go unreported, the movement is nowhere near enough to alter the status quo.

Just this week, 421 people were arrested for attacks on workers after the rape of a one-year-old girl.

Two men were arrested on October 4, after a video showing a woman being raped in the River Ganges went viral.

In September, a principal of a boarding school and four members of staff were arrested for covering up the rape of a 15-year-old pupil.

But while the conversation has long been overdue and may not yet be enough, people like Ms Chatterjee say that the mood has changed.

“There is a lot of hope. Finally, we have hope. Something may come out of it. It is all out in the open.”

 



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Cod Satrusayang
About the Author: Cod Satrusayang is the Managing Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

News, Politics

North Korea leader arrives in Russia ahead of Putin summit

Kim and Putin are due to meet today. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Wednesday arrived in Vladivostok, Russia, a day ahead of his first summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Kim set out for Russia via his private train in the early hours of Wednesday and arrived in the Russian border city of Khasan at about 10:40 a.m., before moving on to Vladivostok, where he arrived some six hours later. In an interview with Russian media after a welcome ceremony in Khasan, Kim hinted at strengthening cooperation with Moscow in regional security issues. “I believe (the summit) will be an opportunity for very beneficial conversation in jointly managing and controlling regional issues,” Kim said in the interview.


By The Korea Herald
April 25, 2019

News, Politics

Pro democracy candidate charged by Thailand’s election commission

The EC accuse a pro-democracy leader of holding media shares while running for office. The Election Commission (EC) yesterday unanimously resolved to press a charge against Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit over alleged violation of media shareholding rules. Citing investigations by two EC panels, Sawang Boonmee, the EC deputy secretary-general, told a press conference that Thanathorn had allegedly violated the law by owning or holding 675,000 shares in V-Luck Media Company while registering as a candidate for the general election. “Thanathorn’s share certificate number is from 1350001 to 2025000,” said Sawang, referring to the findings of two panels the EC had set up to investigate the case. Thanathorn was accus


By Cod Satrusayang
April 24, 2019

News, Politics

PM Imran’s statement in Iran comes under intense opposition attack

Khan said in Tehran that Pakistan has been used as a staging area for attacks in Iran. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s public acknowledgement in Tehran that terrorists had in the past misused Pakistani territory to undertake attacks against Iran came under a blistering attack by the opposition in the National Assembly on Tuesday. Human Rights Minister Dr Shireen Mazari defended the prime minister, saying his statement was being quoted out of context. In an unprecedented, albeit bold move, Imran, while speaking at a joint press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani after a round of talks on Monday, had said: “I know Iran has suffered from terrorism [perpetrated] by groups operating from Pakistan. …we [need to] have trust in each other that both countries will not allow any terrorist activity fr


By Dawn
April 24, 2019

News, Politics

Easter carnage could have been averted Cardinal tells army chief

Cardinal says he could’ve acted on advance warning to prevent deadly attacks. Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith yesterday told Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake that he would have had definitely called off Easter Sunday morning mass countrywide had he been informed of intelligence warning as regards possible attacks. Cardinal Ranjith sought a clarification as to whether the Church had been deliberately deprived of timely information when Lt. Gen. Senanayake met him at the Bishop’s House, Borella in the morning. A visibly disappointed Catholic leader asserted that Easter Sunday tragedy could have been averted. The Island had the opportunity to be present at the Bishop’s House meeting where Cardinal Ranjith strongly emphasized the responsibility on the part of the government to caution the public regarding possible threats. The meeting took place immediately after the


By The Island
April 24, 2019

News, Politics

Japan’s ruling party loses by-elections

LDP loses 2 lower house by-elections. Candidates of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party lost in both of Sunday’s House of Representatives by-elections, in Osaka Constituency No. 12 and Okinawa Constituency No. 3, according to preliminary reports by The Yomiuri Shimbun. The results could serve as a harbinger of the House of Councillors elections this summer and show how the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is being evaluated. In Osaka, the by-election was held following the death of the LDP’s Tomokatsu Kitagawa, who was the former state minister of the environment. Fumitake Fujita, 38, of Nippon Ishin no Kai secured the seat after beating three other competitors, including the LDP’s Shinpei Kitakawa, 32, also supported by junior coalition partner Komeito. Other contenders were Takeshi Miyamoto, 59, an independent and former lower hous


By The Japan News
April 22, 2019

News, Politics

Feud between ruling and opposition bloc deepens in Korea

The opposition party is reorganizing and assembling as pressure builds on Moon Jae-in. The friction between the ruling bloc and the main opposition Liberty Korea Party is showing signs of intensifying following a conservative rally Saturday. On Saturday, estimated 20,000 conservatives gathered in central Seoul in a rally organized by the Liberty Korea Party. The party’s rally, the first major demonstration organized by the party since Hwang Kyo-ahn took office as its leader, was joined by members of smaller conservative groups supporting former President Park Geun-hye. Hwang Kyo-ahn (center), head of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, and members of the conservative


By The Korea Herald
April 22, 2019