New Delhi: In the latest attack on the #MeToo movement, Union minister of state for shipping and finance Pon Radhakrishnan has said the movement was started by “people with perverted minds” and asked if it was fair to level accusations over incidents that happened years ago.
The BJP leader made the comments in response to questions by reporters on Wednesday amid the raging #MeToo storm which has tarnished the reputations of many distinguished personalities in the media and entertainment industries, including celebrated journalist and BJP Union minister M.J. Akbar, who resigned on October 17 to fight a defamation case he filed against one of his over 15 accusers, Priya Ramani.
Akbar, who edited many mainstream publications before joining politics, resigned as Union minister of state for external affairs on Wednesday after a host of former women journalist colleagues accused him of sexual harassment.
“If someone makes an allegation that such a thing happened when we were playing together while in class 5, would it be fair?This [movement] is the result of the behaviour of some people who have perverted minds,” Radhakrishnan said. Noting that the #MeToo movement had sullied the “image” of the country and of its women, he asked if it would be right for men to start “making similar accusations”.
“That will be such a big insult…Will it be acceptable?” Radhakrishnan said.
The #MeToo movement has gathered steam over the past few days with a number of women speaking about sexual harassment at the workplace and outed their alleged tormentors.
Several celebrities including actors Nana Patekar, Alok Nath, filmmaker Subhash Ghai, author Chetan Bhagat, singer Kailash Kher and Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu are among the few who have been called out by their alleged victims.