The Urdu Press: #MeToo and Akbarhttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/metoo-movement-mj-akbar-sexual-harassment-5408174/

The Urdu Press: #MeToo and Akbar

Inquilab on October 16, a day before M J Akbar’s resignation asks in its editorial, after detailing Harvey Weinstein’s case; “ (but) can in India without evidence proved in Court, such behaviour by men be checked?”.

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M J Akbar is facing allegations of sexual harassment by a number of women journalists. (PTI/File)

#MeToo, or the movement to call out sexual harassment by women even if decades on, has received considerable attention over the past week. The involvement of M J Akbar, who recently resigned, has been noted with interest. Roznama Rashtriya Sahara’s headline on October 18 reads, “Akbar gets washed away in the MeToo tsunami.”

Inquilab on October 16, a day before M J Akbar’s resignation asks in its editorial, after detailing Harvey Weinstein’s case; “ (but) can in India without evidence proved in Court, such behaviour by men be checked?”. It terms MeToo a “do-dhaari talwar” or a double-edged sword, cautioning against the misuse of the opportunity. It however terms the movement as providing women the haunsla or courage to speak up against the prevalence of sexual harassment of even powerful women at workplaces.

Bhagwat’s RSS

Jamaat-e-Islami’ bi-weekly, Daawat, in its main front page commentary (September 23), writes: “The Sarsanghchalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Mohan Bhagwat, in his recent three lectures made statements that no other leader of RSS or BJP had made before him. His words would have seemed strange to all those connected with the Sangh (about the very important role of the Congress in the country’s struggle for Independence and the many great personalities produced by the organisation). He also said Hindu Rashtra cannot be established without the inclusion of Muslims in it and that RSS’s Hindutva is different from any other version — it wantsYukt Bharat (inclusive Bharat) and not Mukt Bharat (exclusive Bharat)… People are questioning if the Sangh or BJP would practice what Bhagwat is saying given their history and ways of working. What would then happen to the need for an ‘enemy’ that crops up to keep alive those types of views? Golwalkar had called Muslims ‘enemies’ because of such a need. Would this conglomerate (sangathan) give up its fundamental ideology?”

Siasat in its editorial on September 20, writes: “Only time will tell the objectives are behind the fresh thoughts and viewpoints of Mohan Bhagwat. But the truth seems to be that the RSS is seen accepting its defeat and realising that it cannot imagine India’s democracy and integration by isolating Muslims… Now those associated with the RSS are proudly making statements about nation and nationalism… This is the same RSS organisation one of whose founders had sent communications to the British government begging for his release from prison.”

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Political commentator and Member of Parliament, Maulana Asrar-ul-Haque Qasmi, in his signed column in Rashtriya Sahara, on September 25, writes: “Mohan Bhagwat said that his outfit respects the Constitution and believes in unity in diversity, along with democracy. But this does not match with the policies and actions of the Sangh. Perhaps giving statements that move away from the traditional role of the Sangh is an attempt to improve its damaged image before the forthcoming elections.

Rafale controversy

Inquilab, in its commentary on September 26, writes: “The allegation of favouring Anil Ambani’s company in the Rafale deal following former French President Hollande’s statement has become so grave that the BJP is now trying to push this matter beyond the country’s border. The restlessness of BJP indicates that the Congress has succeeded in cornering the former for the first time in the last five years. And, as the BJP has no appropriate answers to the allegations, the Congress has got the chance to play on the front foot.”

Akhbar-e-Mashriq, in its editorial on September 23, writes: “Hollande’s revelation (the imposition of Anil Ambani’s company as the offset partner in the deal) is nothing short of an explosive weapon for the Opposition.” On October 12 the editorial writes; “there is something for sure in the pricing, that there is a veil around it — itni purdah-daari hai”

Triple talaq punished

Noted journalist, Masoom Moradabadi, in his signed column in Akhbar-e-Mashriq, on September 24, writes: “The Modi government has claimed that the recently promulgated ordinance against triple talaq would give immense relief to Muslim women and the victims of triple talaq would get justice. But even a cursory glance at the provisions shows that the new law will, in fact, invite great trouble for such women…The most significant question is: When the husband giving triple talaq immediately goes to jail for three years, how will the affected woman and her children manage their survival? First, the divorce will not be effective as the Supreme Court has already declared triple talaq unconstitutional and illegal. The wife cannot re-marry in this situation. She will be left with no alternative to waiting for her husband’s return from jail.”