Why Priya Ramani’s #MeToo Movement Win Matters To Every Woman in India! All You Need to Know!

In a landmark judgment that brought a personal sense of victory to every women and has paved way to the significance of the almost fading Me Too movement in India, Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court on Wednesday held journalist Priya Ramani not guilty in the criminal defamation case filed against her by MJ Akbar over allegations of sexual harassment. Today a case that has been spanning for about two years has been brought to a glorious verdict. While in most cases we do say Justice delayed is justice denied the late victory of this case still does bring joy and celebration to the nation as it helps believe that every man has to be held accountable for his doing no matter how rich or politically powerful he is. Priya Ramani a Bangalore journalist took to twitter to expose sexual harassment she faced from  MJ Akbar, a former Union Minister in the Narendra Modi Cabinet. The former journalist complained that he had misbehaved with her when he was her boss at Asian Age. Priya’s tweet started a chain moment where many more women came out about similar incidents. After Priya’s tweet, around 20 women shared their experiences, and all of them pointed to a pattern in Akbar’s alleged behavior — suggestive statements to women journalists working under him, setting up job interviews in hotel rooms, calling women journalists to his office, meeting them at odd hours.

Since this sparked up a fire MJ Akbar did not take it well and immediately filed a strong defamation case against Priya. Akbar had said in his complaint that Priya “committed the offence of ‘defamation’ as defined under Section 499 IPC and made punishable under Section 500 IPC.” In detail his complaint read  “Priya resorted to a series of maliciously fabricated allegations, which she is diabolically and viciously spreading using media,” and that “it is also apparent that false narrative against the complainant (Akbar) is being circulated in a motivated manner and for the fulfillment of an agenda.”

In the court hearing he went ahead and denied all allegations. His lawyer fought the case telling that such allegations are brought in to taint his image in the industry. In October last year the hearing ended in such a way that Priya was asked to apoligise to MJ Akbar failing which he will not withdraw the case on her and threaten that she will spend her time in jail.

However Priya stood her ground and refused to take back all that she said. She refused to apologize and continued her fight to bring down the predator. She fought her battle with a powerful and highly influential man and she won. In a landmark corut judgment that ruled today (18-02-2021) the judge declared that  “Sexual abuse takes away dignity and self confidence, and that the right of reputation cannot be protected at the cost of right to dignity,” “a woman has right to put her grievance even after decades.” the judge said.

Priya’s victory is not just hers but every working women’s. Every other person will now think twice before he/she takes anyone for granted or sexually objectify or harras anyone at a workplace. Her victory has inspired and will give courage, there will be many more women who come after her, who will believe in their right to speak and be heard, too.

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