After MeToo Movement, Thousands Protest In Feminist Tidal Wave Against Gender Violence


Paris: 

Tens of thousands of people rallied across Europe on Saturday against sexist violence, with more than 30,000 turning out in Paris.

Demonstrations across France drew around 50,000 people in all, according to organiser Caroline de Haas, to answer a citizen collective’s call for a “feminist tidal wave” of outrage against gender violence brought into sharp focus by the #MeToo movement.

Elsewhere, a thousand people braved driving rain in Rome while similar protests drew several hundred demonstrators in Geneva and Athens on the eve of the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Sunday.

“The fight against violence against women is progressing daily but our society has a long way to go — everyone must act and fight as this is everybody’s business,” President Emmanuel Macron tweeted in offering his moral support.

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Women hold a banner reading “State of permanent agitation” during a march in downtown Rome. (AFP)

Authorities put the Paris turnout at 12,000 and similar marches in Lyon, Marseille and Rennes at between 1,000 and 2,400, but De Haas felt moved to salute “the largest (feminist) mobilisation France has known”, far bigger than a rally that drew some 2,000 last year.

Participants clad in purple, the colour of the #NousToutes women’s activist protest movement, shouted slogans including “sick of rape”, “end impunity for aggressors” and “a woman is never responsible for the violence she suffers”, while also demanding sufficient government resources to tackle the issue.

“I am here to support all the victims and continue this struggle which started long before I came along,” said French actress Muriel Robin, who had organised a similar rally last month in the capital.

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Protestors dressed in white carry placards as they take part in a demonstration in Lyon. (AFP)

Rise in violence cases

The rallies drew a number of men, including Tanguy, a 19-year-old student who turned out in the western city of Rennes to declare backing for “a movement which is not based on sex — it’s not a fight pitting men against women but a fight by men and women, together, against inequality.”

The #NousToutes movement started out in France in September, inspired by the #MeToo campaign that began last year since when the number of cases of sexual violence reported to police in France has risen 23 percent.

Latest French government figures say 2017 saw 225,000 cases of domestic violence against women by their partners while 2016 saw 123 deaths.

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A woman takes part in a march as part of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, in Rome. (AFP)

Further marches are planned for Sunday in a number of cities across Europe to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Macron last year made sexual equality a priority of his presidency.

But “if the money is not forthcoming public policy won’t follow on”, warned De Haas, speaking two days after several civil organisations called for a huge increase in public resources dedicated to the problem.

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Activists hold portraits of victims during a rally in central Athens, Greece. (AFP)

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Saturday that an online platform for reporting sexual violence and sexism will be launched on Tuesday.

“This is the first milestone, technical and political, to eradicate” violence, said he said in a Facebook post.

“From now, a few clicks can help everyone make a new start: for themselves, for their family. And perhaps avoid the worst.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)





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#MeToo Hits All India Radio, Maneka Gandhi Writes To Rajyavardhan Rathore


Maneka Gandhi wrote that the Workplace Act was equally applicable to all employees (file)

New Delhi: 

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi has written to Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, demanding a probe into reports of sexual harassment of casual announcers at state-owned All India Radio (AIR). Alleging that no action was taken on complaints filed by temporary employees, the minister wrote that the Workplace Act was equally applicable to all employees irrespective of the nature of their employment.

“I am enclosing a copy of a news item where it has been reported that women working as casual announcers in All India Radio are being sexually harassed. The news item indicates that this problem (exists) at different stations of AIR. The details of the complaints are such that I am compelled to refer them to you for an inquiry,” Ms Gandhi wrote in the letter.

Ms Gandhi said the “tendency to dismiss a casual woman employee the moment she reports sexual harassment” was not at all good.

“I would like to submit that the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act is equally applicable to a woman employee irrespective of her being a permanent, temporary or casual employee. Some of these women had complained to the appropriate authorities but no action seems to have been taken. I understand that an organisation would have a natural tendency to dismiss a casual woman employee the moment she reports sexual harassment. But this is not good,” the minister added.

MJ Akbar resigned last month from the post of minister of state for external affairs after 20 women accused him of sexually harassing them when he worked as a journalist. A woman also alleged that Akbar raped her when she worked at a newspaper he edited.

Under the #Metoo movement, thousands of women have come out on social media platforms with their accounts of sexual harassment at work place. Allegations of sexual misconduct came up against several journalists and Bollywood personalities.

With inputs from ANI





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Comic Gursimran Khamba Dropped From New Amazon India Show After #MeToo Allegations


Mumbai: 

Comic Gursimran Khamba embroiled in allegations of sexual misconduct will no longer be the showrunner for an original series on Amazon.com Inc’s video streaming service, a top Amazon executive said on Wednesday.

Gursimran Khamba, a co-founder of popular comedy collective All India Bakchod (AIB), was accused of sexual misconduct by an anonymous woman on social media last month. She accused him of “emotional blackmail” and of trying to force himself on her. Khamba has denied any wrongdoing.

AIB has since placed Khamba on a temporary leave of absence.

At the time, Khamba was the showrunner and creator of Gormint, a political satire that AIB was producing for Amazon Prime Video along with talent and event management firm Only Much Louder (OML).

‘Gormint’ is a localised form of the word ‘government’.

“Khamba is not attached to the project at this point,” Vijay Subramaniam, director and head of content at Amazon Prime Video India, told Reuters in an interview.

Amazon has so far remained silent on its association with AIB, which has largely suspended activity after the #Metoo campaign.

Tanmay Bhat, another co-founder, has also stepped down from the group after admitting that he continued to work with another colleague in spite of being aware of accusations of sexual misconduct against him.

The #MeToo campaign has shaken India’s entertainment industry. Prime Video’s global rival Netflix Inc was also drawn in after allegations were made against a lead writer of its first India original Sacred Games.

Netflix has since said it conducted an independent probe following which it would continue to work with the writer, Varun Grover.

Subramniam said Amazon was keen to resuscitate the Gormint project.

“We are focused on putting the project back together. It’s an incredibly witty and well-written show, and we remain super excited about being able to bring it to life,” he said.

The show, earlier titled The Ministry, was originally due to star actor Irrfan Khan, one of India’s top exports to Hollywood. Khan pulled out of the show in August, a few months after being diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour.

Amazon launched Prime Video in India in late 2016 and has previously said the South Asian country is its fastest growing Prime Video market in the world.

It has so far launched five original shows in India, with a sixth, gritty crime drama Mirzapur, streaming on the platform from Friday.

“(The challenge) is probably to be moving as fast for our customers as the industry is moving,” Tim Leslie, global vice president at Amazon Global Video, told Reuters.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Amazon Drops Tanmay Bhat, Keeps Kanan Gill for Comicstaan Season 2 Over #MeToo Concerns


Tanmay Bhat will not be a part of Comicstaan 2, Amazon told Gadgets 360 in a statement, while Kanan Gill will remain a part of the show. “We are no longer working with Tanmay Bhat,” an Amazon India spokesperson said Wednesday. “But we will continue working with Kanan Gill.” Both Bhat and Gill served as judges and mentors on the first season of the reality comedy hunt series. They were two of the biggest names on Comicstaan, which also involved Sapan Verma, Kenny Sebastian, and Biswa Kalyan Rath among several others.

Back in October, Gill was accused of inappropriate behaviour by several women. Bhat was ousted from All India Bakchod, the sketch comedy group he co-founded, over allegations of inaction over sexual harassment. His fellow co-founder, Gursimran Khamba, was put “on a temporary leave of absence” until AIB could properly look into the allegations made against him.

Khamba, too, has a project in the works at Amazon called Gormint, a political satire that was earlier known as The Ministry. Amazon said that Khamba is currently not working on the show pending a full investigation, and its fate has yet to be decided. A spokesperson cited the length of the investigation and the involvement of the legal team as reasons for the delay in issuing a public response.

Not everyone has been so particular with their decisions. Hours after AIB said it was disassociating itself from Bhat and Khamba, Hotstar announced that it had cancelled the then-ongoing third season of On Air with AIB with “immediate effect”. The Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), the organising body of the Mumbai Film Festival, axed a feature film called Chintu Ka Birthday from its lineup later the same day, because it had been produced by AIB.



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Kubbra Sait, Trolled For Defending Nawazuddin Siddiqui After #MeToo Allegations, Says ‘Why Should I Not Stand By Him’


New Delhi: 

Actress Kubbra Sait was reportedly trolled on social media for supporting her Sacred Games co-star Nawazuddin Siddiqui after he was named in the #MeToo account of his former girlfriend Niharika Singh, with whom he co-starred in Miss Lovely. “But I don’t care about those who want me to say what they want to hear. Why should I not stand by Nawaz just because he is a man? Do men always have to be in the wrong? It may be the politically correct thing to demolish the reputation of a man accused by a woman. But where is the proof?” she told news agency IANS. Kubbra added: “You can’t rant against someone and be taken seriously. If she (Niharika Singh) said Nawaz was a bad actor, there would be his body of work to disprove her. But how does one prove a man’s guilt or non-guilt when a woman accuses him of sexual misconduct?”

Over the weekend, Niharika Singh named Nawazuddin Siddiqui in her #MeToo account and accused the actor of forcing himself on her. Niharika added that she resisted initially but eventually gave in. Nawazuddin Siddiqui has not addressed the accusations levelled against him. A day after Niharika’s #MeToo account (also shared by journalist Sandhya Menon, who is one of those leading the #MeToo campaign on Twitter) went viral, Kubbra tweeted: “A relationship gone sour, isn’t #MeToo someone needs to recognise the toxic difference before we go picking sides… I stand by #NawazuddinSiddiqui… I stand by the fact that although Niharika Singh may have had a tough time in the industry, categorising her once personal relationship as a #MeToo statement is incorrectly placed.”

 

 

Speaking to IANS, Kubbra elaborated: “You can’t pull a relationship out of its personal space for your own purpose. There is a man’s reputation involved. I read her comments 7-8 times. But they sound like she is venting her own frustrations and rage against someone who has overcome his own struggles to become successful.”

“It is being said that the #MeToo movement can succeed if some important influential names are called out. We can’t just pull up anyone’s name and fling it in the mud. Comments such as hers are derailing the #MeToo movement,” said Kubbra, who played the role of transgender cabaret dancer Cuckoo in Sacred Games.

Kubbra also added that neither does she know Nawazuddin Siddiqui beyond the work they did together and nor does she have a personal interest in supporting the Manto actor as she doesn’t star in the second season of Sacred Games. “I don’t know him personally beyond the work we did together in ‘Sacred Games’. He is not a friend. I don’t know him socially at all. But I’ve seen how courteous and soft-spoken he is with his co-stars.”

“For those who think I am defending him to save Sacred Games and my own role in it, I’ve news. The second season has started shooting. And I am not in it. My role is over. This is not about self-interest. It is to safeguard the #MeToo movement from being derailed,” she added.

Kubbra Sait said that blaming others for one’s own wrong choices is incorrect. “I’ve made many mistakes in my life and career. I’ve been in relationships that I’ve regretted. And I’ve done a web series in the past which makes me cringe. But at that point of time I needed any work that came my way. If you make wrong decisions in life, it isn’t right to blame them on others, especially if they are far more successful than you. Such accusations and allegations look like vendetta,” she said.

Kubbra Sait has also featured in films such as Ready and Jodi Breakers and she will next be seen in Gully Boy, co-starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt.

(With inputs from IANS)

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#MeToo Accused Alok Nath Expelled From Top Film Body For No Show Before Committee


New Delhi: 

Actor Alok Nath, accused in several #MeToo accounts, has been expelled by the Cine And TV Artistes Association (CINTAA) till further notice for not showing up before its committee, news agency ANI has reported. Alok Nath failed to appear before the executive committee on Monday, a CINTAA official told ANI. Writer-producer Vinta Nanda has accused Alok Nath, 62, of raping her almost two decades ago. Alok Nath, best-known for his roles as sanskaari bapuji in several films and television shows, has also been accused of harassment and sexual misconduct by actresses Sandhya Mridul and Deepika Amin, as well as other women. The statement also added that if Alok Nath fails to appear during the annual general meeting on May 1, he will be permanently expelled.

 

 

CINTAA had sent the show cause notice to Mr Nath earlier in October, after which his lawyer told ANI that he denies the allegations of sexual misconduct.

Speaking to ANI, the actor’s lawyer said, “Alok Nath has responded to the notice issued by Cine And TV Artistes’ Association (CINTAA) against him and has denied all allegations of sexual harassment.” The notice required Alok Nath to explain why he should not be expelled from CINTAA, which has also promised Vinta Nanda ‘full support’ in the event of a formal complaint.

Previously, Alok Nath had refused to respond to a notice sent by the Indian Film And Television Directors Association (IFTDA) in connection with Vinta Nanda’s claim that he raped her. Ms Nanda had revealed her #MeToo story in a deeply detailed and emotional Facebook post.

Alok Nath has sued Vinta Nanda for defamation, asking for a written apology and Re 1 as compensation.

Alok Nath is just one of several film and TV personalities to be implicated in the #MeToo movement. The movement gained momentum in September, after actress Tanushree Dutta renewed a decade-old accusation of harassment against actor Nana Patekar. Filmmaker Sajid Khan, singer Kailash Kher, music composer Anu Malik and many others have been caught up in the #MeToo movement.

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(With ANI And IANS inputs)





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Journalist Joyeeta Basu To Court In MeToo Row


MJ Akbar, accused of sex harassment in #MeToo movement, has filed a defamation case

New Delhi: 

MJ Akbar is a thorough professional, a gentleman and a brilliant teacher, a woman journalist said today before the Delhi court hearing the former editor’s defamation case against a woman who has accused him of sex harassment in the #MeToo campaign. Journalist Joyeeta Basu is one of the six people MJ Akbar has named as his witnesses in the lawsuit that he filed a day after stepping down as union minister in the Narendra Modi government amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

Ms Basu said she has known MJ Akbar since 1998, when he hired her for The Asian Age newspaper. “I have always held him in high regard. He has been perfectly professional in his dealings with me. He has always been a tough task master… a thorough professional and a brilliant teacher who taught me all aspects of newspaper journalism, right from production to story selection to intricacies of layout,” said the journalist.

She said she had learnt from the 67-year-old MJ Akbar how to launch a magazine and then a newspaper. “I considered him to be a brilliant journalist, a scholarly writer and a thorough gentleman with an impeccable reputation in my eyes and in the eyes of the public,” Ms Basu told the court.

She accused fellow journalist Priya Ramani – the first to come out with her account of sexual harassment by MJ Akbar – of vilifying the editor.

“I may have overcome my doubts but I know from the number of questions raised by people I know, his reputation has been destroyed and damaged irrevocably. After reading all the tweets by Ms Priya Ramani, I believe that this vilification was conducted and the tweets published intentionally by Ms Ramani with the purpose to harm Mr Akbar’s good reputation and goodwill,” she told the court, defending MJ Akbar.

She said she had worked directly under the editor-politician for nine-and-a-half years. After The Asian Age, she worked for his newsmagazine, which became the Sunday Guardian, of which she is currently editor.

“I have known him for 20 years. I have not heard anything untoward from the staff of the organization in which we have worked together,” said Ms Basu.

Though MJ Akbar has sued only Priya Ramani, multiple women have accused him of sexual misconduct and chronic predatory behaviour, especially with younger women colleagues.

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Aamir Khan Talks About #MeToo Movement, Amitabh Bachchan And Ex-wife Reena Dutta


New Delhi: 

In tonight’s episode of Koffee With Karan host Karan Johar welcomed Aamir Khan as his guest, whose film Thugs Of Hindostan is all set to hit the screens this Thursday. Besides talking about his upcoming film in tonight’s episode, Aamir spoke about his adulation for Amitabh Bachchan, his relationship with ex-wife Reena Dutta and the much talked about #MeToo Movement. This is the third time Aamir Khan appeared on Karan’s talk show. He had earlier shared the Koffee couch with wife Kiran Rao and his Dangal c-stars Sanya Malhotra and Fatima Sana Shaikh. In case you missed all the candid confessions by “Mr Perfectionist” tonight, we have got you covered.

Karan Johar has a confession!

Before welcoming his guest Aamir Khan on the couch, Karan Johar confessed that he has this “terrible behavioural pattern” called “fomo” or the fear of missing out. Therefore, for a day, he wants to wake up as his best friend Aditya Chopra, who is media recluse (as we all know).

Why Aamir Khan is “nervous” about Thugs Of Hindostan?

Aamir Khan’s Thugs Of Hindostan is all set to hit the screens on November 8 but the actor revealed that he is very “nervous” about his film this time. Aamir said that most of his recent movies imparted some social messages but Thugs is entirely a “mainstream” film. Aamir, who plays Firangi Mullah in Thugs Of Hindostan said: “He is the kind of guy you love watching but you don’t want him to be around since he cannot be trusted.”

Aamir Khan on equation with ex-wife Reena Dutta

Aamir Khan opened about his relationship with his first wife Reena Dutta whom he divorced in 2002. Aamir revealed that the divorce was “traumatic” for both Reena and his family but he is “glad” that he spent 16 years of his life with her. Aamir’s wife Kiran, whom he married in 2005, shares a good equation with Reena. Aamir Khan and Reena Dutta were married from 1986 to 2002 and they are parents to Ira and Junaid. Speaking about his children’s career choices, Aamir said: “Junaid wants be in films. He has a knack for acting as well as directing. I am not sure what Ira has on her mind but she loves the world of cinema”.

Aamir Khan and Karan Johar on #MeToo

Amidst all the discussion about Aamir’s family and films, Karan Johar chose to throw up a question at Aamir about the much talked about #MeToo Movement, which gained momentum in India recently. “#MeToo is the right thing to have happened,” said Karan. “Women have been facing such kind of exploitation from decades and in all walks of life. It’s awful and I am glad that the much needed clean-up happened,” said Aamir. The actor revealed how he was shocked to come across #MeToo accounts of women naming and shaming people whom he knew professionally. Karan also talks about the stand his wife and Aamir took against people who are blamed of exploitation.

I am a huge fan of Amitabh Bachchan: Aamir Khan

Aamir revealed that he always wanted to work with Amitabh Bachchan and how much he idealized him. He shared an incident from when he was shooting for Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander in Ooty. He said that when he got back to his hotel after shooting for the film, the receptionist told him that Amitabh Bachchan had called asking for him. Initially Aamir thought someone was pranking him but his heart skipped a beat when the actor was actually on the other side of the receiver. Working with Amitabh Bachchan for the first time in Thugs Of Hindostan, I was intimidated and awed.”

Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh In Karan Johar’s Epic Photo

So, when the “epic” photo featuring Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and Karan Johar hit the Internet, fans were left pleasantly surprised. Karan revealed that initially Aamir was doing “much drama” to come over for the get-together and once he joined the party, he was in no mood to leave soon. “We had great fun that night,” said Aamir.

Stay tuned for more updates of Koffee With Karan 6.





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Home Minister Rajnath Singh Says Opposition Parties Who Plan To Form Grand Alliance With Congress May Be Forced To Start MeToo Campaign


Home Minister Rajnath Singh says opposition parties going with the Congress may have to start #MeToo

Hyderabad: 

Home Minister Rajnath Singh while addressing a BJP youth event in Hyderabad on Saturday said, all opposition parties who are trying to stitch together a grand alliance may be forced to start a MeToo campaign, when they are ditched by the Congress party. 

The Home Minister said no force on earth can save any party, who ties up with the Congress.

“Jo bhi Congress ke saath gaya, usko mitne se duniya ki koi taakat nahi bacha paayi. Baad mein kahin aise haalat na ho jaayein, saari vipakshi partiyan gathbandhan kar lein aur bad mein jab Congress se dhoka kha jaayein,to #MeToo campaign chalane ke liye majboor ho jaayein (Whoever goes with the Congress will be wiped out. No force on earth can save anyone planning to go with the Congress. Later there may be a situation, when all opposition parties, who formed the grand alliance, will be forces to start a MeToo campaign, after being taken for a ride by the Congress),” said Mr Singh.

 

The union minister is among the top central BJP leaders who are in Hyderabad for the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha. 





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