From the past few days social media is full of girls narrating their stories of sexual harassment which they have encountered at their workplaces. The most appalling thing is that a large number of stories of sexual harassment is coming from the media industry. Not to forget that this is the very same media industry which claims that it is full of leading progressive minds of the country and project itself as the champion of women rights and gender equality. However, such claims appear bogus and hollow when the same media houses fail to provide a safe working environment to women journalists of their organization. Women journalists are narrating the incidents of their fellow male journalists’ inappropriate behavior towards them.
The latest entrant to the list where women faced sexual harassment is NDTV. A woman named Nikita on Twitter has claimed that a few women in NDTV convergence faced ‘undue attention’ from one man. While the man continued to work, his behavior compelled other women to quit. Nikita also claimed that the HR did nothing apart from giving false assurance to the victims. She further claimed that her mailes to the ‘top management’ went unanswered.
Sadly, there have been a few women in NDTV Convergence that faced undue attention from one man who continued to work while they were compelled to quit. The HR too made false assurances to the victims. Emails to top management went unanswered.
— Nikita Arora (@guks123) October 5, 2018
Barkha Dutt, former group editor, NDTV and digital feminist said that she was unaware of any such incident. In response to that the woman claimed that she had written to Barkha Dutt and NDTV head Prannoy Roy several times but she never got a response.
Didn't know this Nikita .
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) October 5, 2018
I had written to both to you and Dr. Roy several times over email. This was back in 2014. Unfortunately, never received a response. Did master up courage to inform the HR. Was hugely disappointed by them too.
— Nikita Arora (@guks123) October 5, 2018
In response to this Barkha Dutt replied on Tuesday. In her reply, she claimed that Convergence department was not under her. It had a separate boss, and since 2014 she has been a consultant with NDTV. Barkha Dutt further said that she neither had any jurisdiction nor she knew who Nikita was talking about. Then Nikita replied that yes she was well aware that Barkha was not the boss but still she chose to write to Barkha with a hope that she would be heard but her voice fell into deaf ears.
Nikita, convergence was never a department under me even when i was editor at NDTV, it had a separate boss. Since 2014, i was a consultant. I am afraid I have no jurisdiction or knowledge of who you mean. If i did I wouldnt have asked you who the man was. I am sorry to hear this
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) October 8, 2018
Yes, I was aware that you had no jurisdiction over Convergence but after the HR failed me, I chose to write to you with the confidence that I shall be heard since you've been one of those who've championed the cause of women. That's all. I tried to do what I could at that point.
— Nikita Arora (@guks123) October 8, 2018
It sounds quite ironical that a woman who is well informed about what is happening in the world and India, projects herself as the champion of women rights was completely unaware about what’s going in her office. Barkha in her replies was just passing the bucks. She tried to wash her hands off responsibility by starting the blame game. She successfully converted the issue of sexual harassment into a departmental issue.
Meanwhile, NDTV’s Group CEO Suparna Singh has said that Nikita’s complaint will be investigated thoroughly on the basis on whatever she has shared.
That’s correct. Nikita’s complaint will be investigated thoroughly based on what she has shared. I will update her on all progress.
— Suparna Singh (@Suparna_Singh) October 7, 2018
NDTV will investigate the sexual harassment matter of 2014 in 2018. It says a lot about NDTV and how much they are serious about providing a safe working environment for women.
Cheerleaders of NDTV are praising them for cracking down, which is obviously an ecosystem cover up considering the fact that they did nothing for four years despite several complaints. In fact, today NDTV is taking such action because they are left with no other options. It can be considered as an attempt to save their image.
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