NEW DELHI: Reacting over Editor-turned-politician MJ Akbar's resignation as a junior Minister for External Affairs, women journalists, who have leveled sexual harassment allegations against him, said they feel vindicated.
"As women we feel vindicated by MJ Akbar's resignation. I look forward to the day when I will also get justice in court #metoo," wrote journalist Priya Ramani, who had first called out Akbar and is now facing a defamation case filed by him. Another woman journalist Saba Naqvi, who had publicly shared her own experience of being harassed by him years ago, tweeted: "On Maha Ashtami Devi Durga slays the demon...#MJAkbar gone".
Ruth David, a journalist in the UK who had worked under Akbar once and has now made public her own experience of being molested and stalked by him said on Twitter: "India's junior foreign minister MJ Akbar resigns after over a dozen women accused him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour. I was one of those women and I stand by my story and with those who spoke up. We raise our voices now so others will not experience what we did."
On Tuesday, 20 women journalists, who at various points had worked with Akbar, had collectively issued a statement supporting Ramani and asking the court to "consider their testimonies" as the case comes up for hearing on Thursday.
Ramani is not likely to be present in the court and will be represented by her lawyer Rebecca John but many women scribes are considering going for the hearing in order to express their "solidarity with Ramani and as a show of strength."
Some however expressed discomfort at the wordings of the statement issued by Akbar following his resignation as he said he has decided to fight a court case in his "personal capacity."
"It looks like he will now go full throttle with the case and come out strongly against all those who have spoken against him," said a senior woman journalist with a news portal.