The #MeToo movement is now taking India by storm, and we should all take notice

Meghna Pant, Author, speaking for about the #MeToo movement in India for AJ Plus.
Afroze Zaidi-Jivraj

#MeToo has taken off in India – in a big way. The movement against sexual assault, which initially started in the US, has made waves internationally. It’s become a global movement where women are standing with other women, in a solidarity that transcends borders. Now, it’s time for Indian women to have a turn. And for the whole world should take notice – because #MeToo is becoming an international tool for women to say ‘enough is enough’.

Particularly after Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearing in the US, #MeToo gained considerable momentum internationally. And it snowballed on Twitter after Indian women in journalism, media and politics started sharing stories of sexual harassment and assault at the hands of male colleagues:

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Men in power

Many of the allegations are against men who hold great influence and power. So it’s no surprise that victims felt unable to come forward sooner. And even if they did, their complaints went unheard:

Survivors have also made allegations against several prominent members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But prime minister Narendra Modi has failed to comment:

Bollywood

The movement has also significantly affected the Indian film industry, and allegations show no sign of slowing down. Several prominent actors, singers, producers, and directors have had allegations levelled against them:

Others, meanwhile, have come out in support of the victims – refusing to work with those facing accusations:

Grassroots

It’s also worth noting that the movement has empowered Indian women from all walks of life to share their stories:

Even women from the Dalit community, formerly known as India’s ‘untouchable’ caste, are speaking out:

Solidarity

While critics of #MeToo in India abound, there is a marked spirit of solidarity with victims and survivors:

What’s more, women are coming together and mobilising to support one another:

What started as a calling out of prominent male figures in journalism, politics, business, Bollywood, and further afield has now become an outcry for women all over India.

#MeToo may not signal the end of sexual harassment or assault, but it is definitely a start.

Get Involved!

– Tweet and follow #MeToo, #MeTooIndia#TimesUp, and #BelieveSurvivors

– Also support The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.

Featured image via Twitter/ AJ Plus.

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