#MeToo movement gathers momentum in India

#MeToo movement gathers momentum in India

  • The #MeToo movement has emerged in India, again, with Bollywood celebrities, media personalities and politicians being called out on behaving inappropriately.
  • While some people have been forced to leave these respective jobs, others are filing defamation lawsuits.
  • Even, Alok Nath, the 'cultured elder' of Bollywood has been accused of sexual assault.
Over the past three days, the #MeToo movement has been gaining momentum in India with women calling out people in Bollywood and men across India media on Twitter.

The first allegation was leveled against Utsav Chakraborty, a member of a popular comedy group called All India Bakchod (AIB). A female comedian accused him of sending her pictures of his genitalia without consent. Soon enough, other women stepped up to corroborate her account with their own incidences where the comedian has either asked them for naked photos or sent them inappropriate pictures of himself.

It’s been three days and #MeToo movement has hit comedians, reporters, authors, actors and filmmakers. More importantly, and finally, it seems to have spurred some actual action and change.

Impact so far

While India’s #MeToo movement has been pushing a lot of important men from their positions in their respective industries, it is also witnessing people retaliating by filing defamation lawsuits against women. Some tweets have already started to disappear from the social messaging platform.

In Bollywood, Vikas Bahl, one of the founders of Phantom Films, was accused of forcing himself upon one of the members of the crew and subsequently masturbating in front of her. On Saturday, the Bollywood production house responsible for the Netflix show Sacred Games, was dissolved.

Reports also indicate that he’s been dropped from the show he was going to direct for Amazon Prime Video and will be left out of the movie promotions of Super 30.

More heads went rolling soon after. The head of HR at AIB issued a statement communicating that with Chakraborty and Tanmay Bhat, AIB co-founder and CEO, stepping down, the future of the company was uncertain. Even Gursimran Khamba, another founder of the collective, is on temporary leave in lieu of allegations being leveled against him.

The comedy collective is being heavily criticized for its double standards where, on the one hand, they preached messages of equality and safety and on the other, they acted in the opposite manner in their own lives.

The Sanskaari Babuji (cultured elder) of Bollywood, Alok Nath, has also been accused by Vinta Nanda of forcing himself on her.

When Zoom TV asked for his response to the accusation, he said, “Firstly let’s not blame the alcohol. Secondly, it’s her perspective.”

In the media world, the chief of bureau at Hindustan TImes, Prashant Jha was forced to step down. Though he won’t be leaving the publication, he will only be serving in the capacity of a reporter rather than management.

Even the politicians are under the scanner with Minister MJ Akbar also having allegations leveled against him.


While these allegations are being addressed, there’s a parallel conversation about as to what counts as ‘consent’. Encounters range from ones that are downright creepy to those that included suggestive text messages, unwanted sexual advances and assault. All this has thrown the debate open wider - while some caution against judging anyone’s experience, others have been propagating that there should be a stricter definition of consent.

But India’s #MeToo movement is far from over, there are new names and allegations surfacing every day. And honestly, if you ask us, this was a long time coming.