After media veteran Vinod Dua joined the expanding list of journalists being accused of sexual misconduct, his daughter Mallika Dua, also a popular face on social media, extended her support to the #MeToo movement while carefully maintaining that even though it’s his “battle, she will stand by him”.
While the senior journalist has denied the allegations, Ms Dua’s statement on Instagram, which is addressed to the filmmaker who accused Vinod Dua of sexually harassing her almost three decades ago, opens with her endorsement of the movement in which she said, “If at all my father is truly guilty of what you described, it is unacceptable, traumatic and painful.”
She promises to stand up against bigotry, misogyny and stand up for survivors. “Nothing gets to kill my vibe,” she added.
However, she lashed out at the filmmaker for dragging her into the matter which she said was “in terrible taste” and then attacked “everyone else” to “stop forcing women to give statements for your entertainment”.
“This isn’t my battle to fight. It isn’t my responsibility, shame or burden. I will deal with this my way on my time,” she asserted.
She wrapped the post by saying that she will not let objectives, ideals and purpose be hijacked by shamers.
The filmmaker had alleged that the journalist used to stalk her. The filmmaker recalled how Vinod Dua lashed out at Akshay Kumar for his sexist remarks on her daughter Mallika.
She wrote, “When I read about his outrage against Akshay Kumar’s sexist words to his daughter Malika Dua, I said to myself he’s obviously forgotten that he was no less sexist, no less misogynist, no less creepy a sexual harasser, potential rapist. If he did to me, I’m sure he would have done it to other women. Today, he does programmes explaining (to) the world what constitutes sexual harassment. He should stop everything and look into his own shady past.”
The accuser, however, has apologised to Mallika Dua “if she has inadvertently shamed her”. “Sorry, if I have inadvertently shamed Mallika Dua. I had no such intention. Thanks for friends and supporters for pointing this out. She’s in no way responsible for her father’s acts. However, I do hope she’ll be able to believe me, empathise with me as well as the other women he has harassed,” she wrote on Facebook.
But in the next post she said “the daughter will stand by her predator father. Wife will stand by her predator husband. Bloodlines run deeper than #MeToo”.
The #MeToo crusade swept America after revelations emerged about the behaviour of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and he was charged with multiple counts of rape and sexual assault. Though it took the storm a year to hit India, the accusers are calling out “predators” emphasising that their “time’s up”.
It was sparked by the allegations of former actor Tanushree Dutta, who accused actor Nana Patekar of harassing her on the sets of a film 10 years ago.
It triggered a huge debate on social media, leading to scores of women narrating their experiences on a Twitter thread, naming and shaming established media men, writers and people from the entertainment industry. Several of those named have been removed from their posts. Some of the men have apologised, others have demanded proof and spoken of legal action.