Days after a woman journalist alleged that Gautam Adhikari had “kissed” her without consent while he was editor-in-chief of DNA newspaper in Mumbai, Adhikari has resigned as senior fellow of the Center for American Progress, a Washington DC-based policy institute.
In an email to The Indian Express, Adhikari stated, “I sent in my resignation on Saturday morning US time.”
On Tuesday, as many complaints kept pouring in from women about workplace harassment in media organisations, the Editors Guild of India issued a statement on the #MeToo movement, stating that it has noted the “incidence of sexual harassment and assault on women journalists by their male colleagues” with “concern and dismay”.
“A fair, just and safe working environment is essential if press freedoms are to flourish. The newsroom in our profession is a relatively informal, free-spirited and hallowed space. It must be protected,” the Guild said in a statement.
Extending “total support to all women journalists, who suffered a disadvantage in their careers, physical or mental trauma, as a result of any sexual predation”, the Guild asked media organisations to “hold unbiased inquiries into all reported cases”.
Meanwhile, after multiple women accused The Times of India’s Hyderabad resident editor K R Sreenivas of sexual harassment and misconduct, the organisation sent him on an “administrative leave”. A source at TOI said, “On Monday, Sreenivas was sent on administrative leave, pending closure of inquiry. He does not have any access to official matters, including his email.”
The Business Standard reporter against whom allegations emerged on October 4 also resigned. Shyamal Majumdar, the newspaper’s editor, stated, “Mayank Jain has resigned and we have accepted it with immediate effect.”
The Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), meanwhile, dropped films by comedy collective AIB and actor-filmmaker Rajat Kapoor from the line-up of MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, beginning October 25, following allegations of misconduct.
Recent allegations against comedian Utsav Chakraborty, and in turn AIB’s admission of not handling the complaints against him led to co-founder Tanmay Bhat stepping down. Another AIB member, Gursimran Khamba, has been placed on temporary leave after allegations emerged against him. Rajat Kapoor has apologised after being accused of behaving inappropriately with a journalist and an assistant director on separate occasions.
On Tuesday, MAMI said in a statement: “We as an Academy (MAMI) strongly support the #MeToo movement. In light of recent developments, we have decided to drop the following films from our line-up — AIB’s Chintu Ka Birthday and Rajat Kapoor’s Kadakh. We want to use this opportunity to open up the conversation, and find solutions to harassment and sexual misconduct in workplace.”