Amid the Me Too movement, Mallika Dua's father, Vinod Dua has been accused of alleged sexual harassment. Filmmaker Nishtha Jain accused the veteran journalist of allegedly harassing her in 1989.
In a Facebook post dated 14 October, filmmaker Nishtha Jain has detailed sexual harassment she allegedly suffered at the hands of Dua, when she met him in June 1989.
Jain says she was a recent graduate of Jamia Mass Communication Centre at the time, and had an interview with Dua (who was known for having hosted the popular TV series Janvani) for a new show, a political satire.
"Before I could settle down,he began telling a lewd sexual joke in that soft voice, barely opening his mouth. I don't remember the joke but it wasn't worth a laugh, just dirty. I felt hot in my face and I sat there, most probably with an angry look," Jain writes in her Facebook post.
Jain says Dua humiliated her during the interview, especially for 'daring' to ask for a fee of Rs 5,000 for the project. She writes that she went home, and told her family of the incident.
It was June 1989. I still remember the day because it was my birthday. There was extended family at home and mom was...Posted by Nishtha Jain on Saturday, 13 October 2018
A little later, she got a job as a video editor in Newstrack. She alleges that Dua was aware of her having taken up this new job, and her timings, and when she left office late one evening, found him waiting in the parking lot in an SUV.
"He said he wanted to talk to me and asked me to enter his car. Assuming that he wanted to apologise for his behaviour, I entered the car but before I could even settle down he began slobbering all over my face. I managed to get out and get into my office car and leave.
I spotted him again in the parking in the coming nights and would go right back and wait till someone was ready to leave along with me in the office car. After a few days he stopped stalking me," Jain writes in her Facebook post.
She claimed that she found Dua's championing of #MeToo hypocritical in light of her own experience with him.
The Wire, where Dua is a consulting editor, issued a statement in response to Jain's allegations later on Sunday —
We have seen Nishtha Jain's Facebook post where she accuses Vinod Dua, a consulting editor of The Wire, of an incident of sexual harassment in 1989. Dua denies the charges.
Though the incident pertains to 26 years before Mr Dua's association with The Wire, our ICC has taken note of Ms Jain's allegation. We await the outcome of their deliberations in the matter.
Mallika Dua's statement on Instagram, addressed to documentary filmmaker Nishtha Jain who accused Vinod Dua of sexually harassing her almost three decades ago, opens with her endorsement of the movement in which she said, "If at all my father is truly guilty of what you described, it is unacceptable, traumatic and painful."
Ms Dua promises to stand up against bigotry, misogyny and stand up for survivors. "Nothing gets to kill my vibe," she added.
However, she lashed out at the filmmaker for dragging her into the matter which she said was "in terrible taste" and then asked "everyone else" to "stop forcing women to give statements for your entertainment".
"This is NOT my battle to fight. It is not MY responsibility, my shame or my burden. I will deal with this my way on my time," she wrote.
She wrapped the post by saying she would not let objectives, ideals and purpose be hijacked by shamers.
The accuser, however, apologised to Mallika Dua and said: "Sorry, if I have inadvertently shamed Mallika Dua. I had no such intention. Thanks for friends and supporters for pointing this out. She's in no way responsible for her father's acts. However, I do hope she'll be able to believe me, empathise with me as well as the other women he has harassed," she wrote on Facebook.
But in the next post she said "the daughter will stand by her predator father. Wife will stand by her predator husband. Bloodlines run deeper than #MeToo".