Dates are not just made of festivals, there are many other reasons for their memorial, which are bigger than any festival. 17 February was one such day. A Delhi court acquitted journalist Priya Ramani, accused of sexual exploitation against MJ Akbar, this day on charges of defamation. Former Union Minister MJ Akbar accused Priya of sexual exploitation during the MeToo campaign in 2018. Subsequently, one by one, 20 women came against Akbar, including many senior journalists. They all were subordinates to Akbar at that time.
After the commotion, Akbar resigned, but he also hit back at Priya while she was lying. Akbar was angry that Priya had smeared the swan-like image of a respected person like him. Akbar’s lawyer also argued why the victim had kept silence for so many years on the exploitation in 1993. The bottom line is that Priya was raised in the box where Akbar was to be held. This is the same as the one who tries to kill the lizard, sparing it by saying, look how sly the lizard is, even after dying its tail is shaking.
The court also said many important things while acquitting Priya from the defamation case. One of these things was that a person with a social reputation is not convinced that he will not be sexually abused. The most respected person in the world can also be a hypocrite and can catch even a child by chance. The second thing was said that the victim can bring her suffering before the court even after years. The court will not ask him why you remained silent for so long. She will not dare to ask him to gather fresh evidence of sexual abuse, but will test the circumstances when an accident happened to her in a closed room.
Locked hotel room, closed door of conference room or closed toilet of galloping train. Not safe for closed-door girls anywhere. These shuttered doors also keep many shrieks and problems tightly closed. The court also accepted this.
After the decision, Priya said – My victory will encourage women to speak openly …! Short sentence but very powerful. Imagine a 20-22 year old girl who got a job under campus selection soon after studies. When the docile boss of a girl who works in an unknown city hundreds of kilometers away, becomes sexually exploitative by cheering, she cannot understand. Many weeks and months begin to understand that what happened was not the love of the father or the touch of the lover, but rather the hands were dirty in dirty thinking. After understanding when to choose the path of complaint, it is not ‘Salibana’. The first and the most dreadful question comes – why not tell first?
Whenever the woman opens her mouth against sexual exploitation, a whole gang of knights gather and start pouring out Danadan figures and Nazirs. If this does not work, then you ask to bring the evidence or eye witness alive. Years old clothes that the victim was sexually abused while wearing. Or that minute and second, when the incident happened. It is all the exercise, which gives the impetus to the accuser and also the self-respect endured.
About three years ago the MeToo campaign was raging around the world. Its heat started building up in India too, when a colleague of mine had said in laughter – ‘Now all girls have to be called sisters, then there is relief’. That coworker was not eaten or unconscious. Hardly a 26-year-old boy, whose voice would be filled only a few years before. If that guy keeps thinking this, then it is not difficult to understand what the sure players would do. Then the rules of the Prevention of Sexual Harassment were affixed outside the female toilets in the offices, which the male colleagues used to laugh in the mustache as they passed. What will spoil the office and air rules of HR when nothing has been done so far.
Why women do not tell immediately after sexual abuse – There was a continuous discussion on this. Baskets are filled with psychological and criminology experts doing research on it. There is only one squeeze of everything – shame. A woman victim of sexual harassment is filled with shame. According to a science magazine called Psychology Today, there is a common feeling among humans that they hold themselves responsible for every incident, every incident that happens to them. This feeling is more in women. In such a situation, she believes that somewhere she must have done something provocative, which she was a victim of sexual abuse. Even the middle-aged man who raped a five-year-old girl shamelessly argues that the girl herself wanted it.
In offices, this guilt comes manifold. In the outer world dominated by men, the work of women is seen as non-interference anyway. In such a situation, the woman working on less money and less position is afraid that if she complains about her male colleague, then today or tomorrow, her job will be lost, regardless of whether any strong action is taken on the colleague or not. The second fear is even more frightening. The ‘notoriety’ of a woman once accused of sexual abuse has already reached other offices before her bio-data. Then the scared boss does not give him work anywhere. Laughing, they say that what a known woman should spoil their image too. During the MeToo campaign in India, many also expressed this kind of fear on social media.
The situation is worse in the informal sectors of work. Currently around 195 million women work in this sector. While making beedi, making incense sticks or bangles, or while harvesting in other fields, she has been prepared for the fact that she can be sexually abused before the pay. In the year 2019, the name of Beed district of Maharashtra had risen a lot. More than 4000 women, who work in other fields, had their damsels removed. All these women ranged in age from 18 to 40 years. He also had a solid reason for this. If the uterus is removed, there will be neither a period nor a break from work. The second reason is bigger than this. If the womb is not there, there will be no fear of the child being raped on the site.
Consider that these women who burn the pimple for less money do not have as much fear of rape as of being pregnant and ashamed. They have no relief. They also have no HR, which will explain sexual abuse outside the toilet. They have words, but the voice is missing. Now Priya’s victory over Akbar is the voice that can turn whispers into screams. Fight women, fight. Fight like priya. Fight like a woman.