#MeToo effect: Minister of "External affairs" MJ Akbar resigned

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi

Akbar had resigned earlier in the evening as the Minister of State for External Affairs in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him by as many as 20 women journalists.

Akbar had, on Monday, filed a defamation complaint before a Delhi court against journalist Priya Ramani, who was the first to level such allegations against him as part of the #MeToo movement.

He said in a statement that since he had made a decision to challenge the "false accusations" against him in his "personal capacity", he felt it was appropriate to step down from office.

Akbar, who was appointed minister of state for external affairs in 2016, began his journalism career in 1971, rising to become one of the nation's most influential editors. He said he was "deeply grateful" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his senior Minister Sushma Swaraj for "the opportunity they gave me to serve the country".

Akbar had filed criminal defamation proceedings against Ramani for alleging he sexually harassed employees, a claim that was then backed up by more than 20 other former employees of the newspaper editor-turned-politician.

Even before Akbar's return to New Delhi from Equatorial Guinea on 14 October, highly placed government sources said that he had held extensive telephone consultations with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, at the prime minister's urging.

A #MeToo novel wins the coveted Booker Prize
The novelist has, however, said she is happy for the work to be taken as an inspiration by those involved in the movement. In 2001 she won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2002 Orange Prize for Fiction.

"I look forward to the day when I will also get justice in court #metoo", Ramani said in a Twitter post. The minister's resignation was also welcomed by several women journalists who had spoken of their personal experiences of Akbar's alleged misconduct when he was a well-known editor.

On Sunday, after returning from a trip overseas, the Minister called the allegations levelled by about 15 women journalists, most of whom who had worked under him in the Asian Age daily, as "wild, baseless and false" and had threatened to sue them. But "lots of women have worse stories about this predator - maybe they'll share". It is known news that, he is accused by multiple women of sex harassment.

Arti Jerath, a journalist and political commentator who is not among Akbar's accusers, said his resignation should have come earlier.

They pointed out how Akbar "has demonstrated through his legal actions is his refusal to introspect, acknowledge or atone for his actions that have caused huge pain and indeed harm to many many women over the years. More strength to India's women", she said. In that piece, Ramani had written that Akbar had called her to his hotel room when she was 23 and he was 43 for a job interview which was "more date, less interview".

After Akbar's resignation, Ramani tweeted: "As women we feel vindicated by MJ Akbar's resignation".

Responding to the allegations after returning to India from an official visit overseas, Akbar called the allegations "false and fabricated" and questioned their timing, hinting at a political campaign against him.

Recommended News

  • Kershaw's strong outing lifts Dodgers to 3-2 NLCS lead

    Kershaw's strong outing lifts Dodgers to 3-2 NLCS lead

    He then blanked the Brewers in the sixth and seventh as the Dodgers built a lead with RBI singles from Max Muncy and Puig. Woodruff, the reliever who homered against Kershaw in Game 1, walked following Arcia's one-out single to begin the rally.
    Simona Halep earns second successive year-end top ranking

    Simona Halep earns second successive year-end top ranking

    Halep in the updated world rankings broke away from her nearest competitor Caroline Wozniacki on 960 points. The world No 1 said recent weeks had been "very stressful" because of the injury.

    Brewers remove Miley after one batter against Dodgers

    Wade Miley threw to just one batter against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal , the Brewers planned to remove Miley and will start the lefty in Game 6.
  • Treasury Declines to Label China a Currency Manipulator

    Treasury Declines to Label China a Currency Manipulator

    Washington and Beijing are locked in battle over the yawning US-China trade deficit, which Trump describes as a job killer. President Trump has previously accused China of keeping its currency weak to make its exports more competitive.

    Watch AHS: Apocalypse episode 6

    When Madison says they are there to find out more about Michael Langdon , Billie Dean stops them from inquiring further. Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) is highly suspicious of him and Misty Day (Lily Rabe) only confirms Cordelia's doubts.
    Keira Knightley reveals the Disney movies her daughter is 'banned' from seeing

    Keira Knightley reveals the Disney movies her daughter is 'banned' from seeing

    For Halloween, her little girl wants to be a witch, which Knightley humorously described as "boring" and "dull, but cute". Keira Knightley has a very good reason for banning certain Disney movies in her home.
  • NXT Tapings Spoilers For October And Early November: Aleister Black’s Attacker Revealed

    NXT Tapings Spoilers For October And Early November: Aleister Black’s Attacker Revealed

    Here's everything that happened, and everything you need to know, including the big reveal of who attacked Aleister Black . Lars Sullivan out, he says this isn't up for debate, this is Lars Sullivan Territory and the NXT Title belongs to him.
    Michigan State stuns Penn State with late touchdown

    Michigan State stuns Penn State with late touchdown

    But it was his "Really bold" predictions for No. 4 Notre Dame (7-0) and No. 6 MI (6-1) that might make some waves. The Saturday slate begins with a huge showdown in the Big Ten between Michigan and Michigan State.

    Major Controversy During Red Sox-Astros Game Tonight

    So the runner went back to first base, Altuve returned to the dugout, and the Red Sox held onto their early 2-0 lead. The question at play with Betts is whether he reached over the fence, or whether the fans reached over the fence.
  • Prescott, Cowboys pack punch with pass, rout Jaguars 40-7

    Prescott, Cowboys pack punch with pass, rout Jaguars 40-7

    The Cowboys are set to face one of the AFC's best in the Jacksonville Jaguars , but the game does come at home in AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys not only beat the Jaguars 40-7, but they did so in an absolutely dominant fashion.
    MAN's New FAR FROM HOME Suit Revealed

    MAN's New FAR FROM HOME Suit Revealed

    He posted an image of Spidey standing on a NY street alongside co-star Zendaya , with the simple caption: "THATS A WRAP". The differences between this suit and Spider-Man's Homecoming suit are subtle, but definitely noticeable.
    Animation film fest rescinds Kobe Bryant invite after outcry

    Animation film fest rescinds Kobe Bryant invite after outcry

    A petition popped up on change.org making the case to rethink their decision about having Kobe apart of such an event. He wrote in a statement Wednesday that the festival's stakeholders chose to drop Bryant to keep its focus on films.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.