Condemning the harassment and assault on a woman journalist by Thiruvananthapuram Press Club secretary M Radhakrishnan, Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) on Sunday expressed their solidarity to with the victim.
M Radhakrishnan who was recently arrested for trespassing into his woman colleague's house and harassing her, was let out on bail on Saturday. The Network of Women in Media, India (NWMI), a group of women journalists from across India has been demanding that the Press Club suspend Radhakrishnan.
"WCC stands in solidarity with the women journalists of NWMI in supporting their colleague who was attacked by the accused, secretary at Press Club Thiruvananthapuram, in the garb of moral policing at her residence. We applaud their collective resolve and protest which resulted in the arrest of the accused," said WCC in the statement.
WCC also stated that, “a woman journalist being attacked inside the privacy of her home in front of her children by the accused is shocking and condemnable. Such policing is absolutely unacceptable in an educated society.”
WCC which has been working as a corrective force in the Malayalam film industry, in their statement has also urged the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club to set a precedent by taking action against M Radhakrishnan who harassed the woman.
“It is disturbing that no action has been taken by the Press Club against the accused despite the gravity of the crime. We urge the Press Club, Thiruvananthapuram to set a positive precedent to clearly demonstrate their condemnation of this act of violation and to uphold the rights of their women members,” WCC stated.
It was following the protest carried out by journalists part of the NWMI, that Radhakrishnan’s arrest was made on Thursday.
WCC also called out the hypocrisy in crying foul when reports of assault on women surface while not being ready to take action against it. “It is not enough we cry foul only when a rape and violence victim dies. We need to ensure that we take steps towards helping women and children live in a safe society. And this is one of them - take stringent action against the accused and remove him from all positions of power,” reads the statement.
Noted filmmaker Anjali Menon also expressed her solidarity to the NWMI journalists who are protesting against the issue.
“Utterly shocked to know of this incident!! This violator obviously thought he would get away with such atrocious acts. And now what will it take for action against him? The organisations that house such perpetrators need to take strong stands against such behaviour because their own integrity is at stake otherwise," said Anjali Menon.
She also applauded the NWMI journalists for taking up the issue. "Kudos to NWMI Kerala for standing by their member in this hour of need! May your tribe increase,” Anjali Menon wrote on Facebook.
Despite demands from journalists that Radhakrishnan be ousted from the post of secretary, the Press Club officials have turned a blind eye to it. Journalists under the initiative of NWMI, on Monday will conduct a protest march from Thiruvananthapuram secretariat to Press Club expressing their agitation.