We move on to phase II. The complaints, a deluge, have started flowing in ever since a Bollywood actor braved to come online to reveal her sufferings of harassment in the hands of a co-actor, a famous male.
Soon many joined the great #Me Too movement, shaming high and mighty, whose escapades were hidden in the dark confines of their workplaces and bedrooms. A few, have appropriately responded from stepping aside, resigning from their present engagements, thus allowing an impartial enquiry into their alleged misconduct.
A few, on the other side, have been braying with claims that the allegations are conspiratorial and with hidden motives. A Union Minister of state has even gone a step ahead, threatening defamation suits against the complaints. It is not just one, but many who have complained over the misconduct, sexual assaults of the minister. The noblest and gracious response the minister should have done was to have stepped down from his post and thus relieve the government of the ignominy arising from his action. But where’s the scope of gracefulness and nobility when one embraces politics.
The opposition is muted, as there are many skeletons in their cupboards too. The circulation in the TV Channels and YouTube of not-too-old gory oral sex scenes of a Congress spokesman with his colleague in his chamber had to be withdrawn only by order of the court. She was not the wife of the spokesman. Was the action consensual? What is the guarantee the judiciary was not forced into submission, knowing the power of the perpetrator, who once argued that his Godrej almirahs were eaten away by termites and thus prevented him from submitting his tax bills running into crores?
A film director promptly resigned. A famed writer is shouting ‘foul,’ a socialite and column writer has become corpse-quiet, and a poet with a Padma Bhushan under his belt too is daring the accuser to meet her challenge in the court of law. I asked a political bigwig if the ‘Padma’ award would be withdrawn in such cases. The reply was piercing, “Padma thrives in the dirty soil.”
#Me Too movement has merely jolted the society and is exposing a well-known truth, but each such case must go through due diligence and scrutiny of law, which I feel could be Phase III. Save a minuscule percentage of complaints moving to courtrooms, much of the cries of agony, stored in the darkest depths of the victims would be lost in the wilderness with lack of evidence and the money, political power of the oppressors. The world in the meanwhile would get disinterested, chasing new stories of newer thrills.
Unless of course there emerges a fit body, to hear out all the allegations and to act upon them, giving weight to each one of the complaints. Notwithstanding all what has happened so far, the patriarchal and a misogynist society has gone into hiding, licking its wounds, some grievous and a few fatal.
I hear from my doctor friends, that sleeping pills are in high demand, unlike any time before! My advice, sleep while you can, for you are long going to be awake facing the brutal force of truth!