New Delhi: The #MeTooIndia movement is gaining momentum by the day. Besides, Bollywood stars and starlets telling their part of their stories, many journalists have come up with their experience of explotation by the high and mighty in the field. One of the cases is of  minister of state for external affairs MJ Akbar, who was one of the celebrated editors of his time.

Until now, six journalists have come forward with their accounts detailing allegedly improper conduct by Akbar. Priya Ramani, who was the HT Mint Lounge editor, was the first to name the minister on social media platform Twitter on Monday.

Akbar was the founding editor of The Telegraph, had launched The Asian Age and worked at a number of other media organisations, including India Today and The Sunday Guardian.

Ramani had penned down her experiences in an article in October 2017, describing how a celebrity editor had invited her to a hotel room in Mumbai for an interview and “had made advances towards me which made me uncomfortable”. She did not name Akbar in the article. But on Monday, she named Akbar and claimed “many women have similar stories to narrate about this predator”. Subsequently, more women journalists came forward and claimed Akbar “drank Vodka” during their “job interviews” and also asked them to “sit close” to him.

Another woman journalist said that she was called to Akbar's hotel room for an interview for The Asian Age, in Kolkata's Taj Bengal in 1995. She says Akbar didn’t  "do" anything, but he was suggesting something. The whole experience of an interview sitting on a bed in a hotel room followed by an invitation to come over for a drink that evening was rattling and deeply uncomfortable".

Akbar, who is away for the India-West Africa Conclave in Nigeria, has not commented on the matter.

Another journalist said Akbar had made similar gestures to everyone. Describing her story, freelance journalist Kanika Gahlaut said she was invited to the hotel room too, but she never showed up. She said she avoided him and he never bothered her and she continued to work.
The revelations have put the ruling party in a tizzy. On the one hand, the Congress has demanded a probe into allegations of sexual harassment against Union minister MJ Akbar. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, when contacted for a reaction, did not respond to the queries. Even the external affairs ministry has officially declined to comment.