Just two days after veteran journalist Vinod Dua was accused of sexual harassment and stalking by filmmaker Nishtha Jain, he went on his show Jan Gan Man ki Baat on The Wire to mock the #MeToo movement.
Notably, Dua was under Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) investigation instituted by The Wire to look into the allegations against him, when the 318th episode was published on Tuesday, 16 October.
While the title of the episode is ‘Rafale Deal and Rising Fuel Prices’, Dua sets the platform for his own defence.
In the video episode, Dua claimed that the movement against sexual harassment has shifted focus from “significant issues” to reportage of “people being accused of sexual harassment and those being named in this movement.”
“Allegations Against Me are Baseless”: Vinod Dua
An under-investigation Dua, took to the platform to dismiss the allegations against him, and dubbed them as “muck.”
"“This muck/allegation of sexually harassing someone can be thrown at anyone, be it a pope, a judge, a lawyer, a priest, an innocent man or a doctor. [...] I dismiss the allegations against me. These are baseless and figment of someone’s imagination. Nothing like this has happened.”" - Vinod Dua on The Wire
“Kayde se sawaal ye pooche jaane chahiye iss waqt lekin media sab sawaalon ko bhula kar ek hi vishay pe kayam hai (These are the questions that should be asked at this point of time but the media has forgotten all questions and is focusing only on one issue),” Dua alleged in his episode.
Nishtha Jain Questions Dua’s Response, Slams The Wire
Reacting to the journalist’s video, Jain questioned The Wire for providing him a platform to defend himself, when it is an ongoing investigation.
In the statement published on Facebook, Jain also asked how an accused can be a judge in his own case.
I'm forced to return to Facebook as people pointed out this episode of Jan Gan Man Ki Baat which was aired this morning....Posted by Nishtha Jain on Wednesday, October 17, 2018
"“How has The Wire allowed him to use their platform to talk about a case pending investigation? And how dare he call my complaint a figment of imagination and Kichad (muck)? How can the accused be the judge on his own case? This reminds me of how Tarun Tejpal recused himself. VD has cleared himself and attacked me saying that it seems like a conspiracy of Modi government.”" - Nishtha Jain Statement on Facebook
In the episode, he asks, “What can a person who has been named do, but deny that he has committed the said act.” He also announced that he is suspending his show for a week as he is publicly answerable to The Wire and his audience.
Allegations Against Dua
On 14 October, Jain had accused Dua of “slobbering all over her face” in his car in her office’s parking area in 1989. She also alleged that Dua stalked her in the following days.
The Wire Forms External Committee to Investigate Charges
The Wire’s ICC took note of Jain’s allegations on 15 October. The organisation said in an official note that an external committee has been instituted to investigate Jain’s complaint. They said in a statement that no official complaint has been filed by the accuser yet.
"“An external committee has been set up to obviate issues of jurisdiction of the ICC with regard to an incident that may be seen as beyond its remit, and also to ensure that the proceedings are conducted by persons of unimpeachable integrity and impartiality.”" - Statement by The Wire
Twitter Slams The Wire For Giving Dua Platform to Defend
People on Twitter questioned not only The Wire’s decision to provide a platform for Dua, and also “insisting” Nishtha to file a formal complaint.
Seriously @thewire_in @svaradarajan?! How was this episode allowed to be aired, in which Vinod Dua - accused of stalking and sexual harassment by @nishkin21 - does a Trump and stokes fears that #MeToo allows "keechad" against "shareef aadmis"?! https://t.co/oNNpb1nMlA— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) October 17, 2018
Siddharth, notwithstanding the fact that I'll respect your journalism no matter what it pains to see you hiding behind the done to death excuse of 'asking for a formal complaint to proceed further'. Please. You are better than that! https://t.co/8c01qnufnZ— रॉय Roy رائے (@RoyTweetsHere) October 17, 2018
Moreover, #VinodDua says the accusations against him aren't that of sexual harassment, just "troubling" someone. If @thewire_in has an ICC looking into this, why allow him the platform to say this? He could have said so on his FB page or put out a personal statement.— Manisha Pande (@MnshaP) October 17, 2018
. Read more on India by The Quint.B’Wood #MeToo - Don’t Think Nana Can Do Such a Thing: MNS ChiefAccuser Slams The Wire For ‘Allowing’ Vinod Dua to Mock #MeToo . Read more on India by The Quint.