As MJ Akbar faces sexual harassment allegations, RSS leader supports #MeToo

MJ Akbar
Support for #MeToo

As the Narendra Modi government mulled whether or not to ask Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar (pictured) to quit in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him, a senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader indicated his support for the #MeToo movement. RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale, who is number two in the organisation after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, and seen as the modern face of the Sangh, commented on a Facebook post by Ankhi Das. “You needn’t have a #MeToo movement to support the woman journalists who have narrated their victimisation. You needn’t even be a woman. You just need to have a sensibility of what is right and what is wrong,” Das, the public policy head of Facebook, had posted. Hosabale tweeted a screenshot of Das’s Facebook post and commented: “I liked it. She has articulated what I was feeling…” 

A memoir

Rajya Sabha TV is set to broadcast an interview with actor Naseeruddin Shah on Sunday. The interview will also mark the 300th episode of the programme Guftagoo, hosted by Syed Mohammad Irfan. The programme interviews celebrities, mostly those associated with the film world. There is, however, some concern in the channel about broadcasting everything that Shah has said in the interview. According to sources, Shah has not minced words on current issues, including the arrest of activists, the so-called 'urban naxals', and the alleged communal polarisation. Shah's brother Zameer Uddin Shah, who retired as a Lieutenant General of the Indian Army, has recently unveiled his memoir, The Sarkari Musslaman, in which he has written about the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat.

All's not well

Trouble seems to be brewing at the putative Congress, Telugu Desam Party, Communist Party of India and Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) grand alliance in Telangana ahead of the Assembly polls. The elections in the state are scheduled to be held on December 7. TJS has said that issues related to a common agenda and seat-sharing should be settled before talks can progress further. The party is "unhappy" with the Congress for not finalising seat sharing, and is working to cut a better deal than what the Congress has offered.

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