Games India MeToo NewsTracker Nishtha Jain sexual assault Sexual harassment The Wire Vinod Dua

Full text: The Wire issues statement apologising for manner in which charges against Vinod Dua were ‘trivialised’

Full text: The Wire issues statement apologising for manner in which charges against Vinod Dua were 'trivialised'

Issuing a recent statement on the allegations of sexual harassment against senior journalist Vinod Dua, information web site The Wire on Saturday answered questions concerning the allegations against Dua and stated that it doesn’t agree with Dua’s dismissal of the #MeToo motion.

“The Wire’s support for the MeToo movement is clear from its continuing reportage and its editorial,” the statement stated.

The statement additionally stated that regardless that the #MeToo motion has limitations which must be mentioned, “at its core is the struggle by women to give voice to their own experiences of sexual violence and harassment.”

Right here is the complete textual content of The Wire’s statement:

Within the wake of the #MeToo motion, which The Wire has vigorously reported on and supported editorially as a result of sexual harassment is likely one of the main issues of our occasions, an allegation of sexual harassment was made against one among our consulting editors, Vinod Dua. He has been anchoring the favored video present, Jan Gan ki Baat, 4 occasions every week, from Tuesday to Friday, since 2017.

The Wire was based in 2015. Ms Nishtha Jain’s allegation pertains to incidents which occurred in 1989.

Vinod Dua. Picture by way of Fb/@vinoddua

On the very day her Fb submit appeared, i.e. Sunday, October 14, the chairperson of The Wire’s inner complaints committee (ICC) – the physique tasked by regulation to research allegations of sexual harassment on the office – knowledgeable different ICC members of the intense nature of the allegation and stated the committee ought to pay attention to it.

The ICC met the very subsequent day, i.e. Monday, October 15, and determined to request Ms Jain to submit a grievance to the ICC in order that its processes might formally begin. Ms Jain stated she would achieve this quickly.

On October 17, 2018, i.e. three days after Ms Jain first made her allegation, The Wire introduced the formation of an exterior committee to look into her charges. We had been engaged on this initiative to obviate issues of the ICC’s jurisdiction with regard to an incident that could be seen as past its remit. We were additionally eager to make sure that the proceedings are carried out by individuals of unimpeachable integrity and impartiality.

Working shortly, we secured the consent of former Supreme Courtroom decide Aftab Alam, former decide of the Patna excessive courtroom Justice Anjana Prakash, Prof Neera Chandhoke and former overseas secretary Sujatha Singh to be members of an exterior committee to research/look at Ms Jain’s grievance in a time-bound manner. The names were shared together with her. She requested that a fifth individual, additionally a lady, be added, a suggestion to which we readily agreed. Prof Patricia Uberoi is the fifth member.

Because the members of the committee were placing their different commitments on maintain in order to assist The Wire tackle Ms Jain’s allegation and since she herself had indicated in her Fb posts that she anticipated immediate motion, we wrote to her on October 17 requesting that she convey her consent and her grievance by October 18. She wrote again asking for time until October 26 to file her grievance, a suggestion we readily agreed to. We did, nevertheless request that she no less than convey her consent now in order that we will affirm with the members of the committee that the method is on. This she did on the night of October 18.

With all consents in place, The Wire made an announcement concerning the committee’s exact composition on October 20. As soon as her grievance is acquired, the exterior committee will determine on the schedule it intends to stick to.

A lot of different questions on The Wire’s dealing with of Ms Jain’s allegation have been put to us by readers, well-wishers, The Wire‘s Public Editor and our own colleagues at The Wire. We believe the most important question – how does The Wire intend to handle Ms Jain’s allegation against its consulting editor – has been answered above. However there are different questions and considerations which we want to handle under, as they’ve been put to us over the previous few days.

Q1. Why did The Wire not terminate Mr Dua or droop his present as quickly as Ms Jain’s allegation was made?

A1. The MeToo motion has produced allegations coping with a variety of conditions, all of which require a variety of responses. Complaints of up to date sexual harassment on the office require speedy modifications in work task if the complainant and alleged harasser work collectively or if the latter has a supervisory perform. Complaints of older incidents that occurred in a media home’s office would name for totally different sorts of steps. Complaints associated to older incidents which might be utterly unconnected to a media home’s office would require nonetheless different responses. Complaints that pertain to allegations of abuse and even violence, particularly associate violence, which are unconnected to the media home’s office, however implicate the character of an worker, require a special set of protocols.

Like different media homes, we too have needed to assume arduous about our choices in responding, in this occasion, to Ms Jain’s grievance against Mr Dua which goes again to 1989. There was no roadmap to comply with.

The guiding rules in deciding on any interim measures (reminiscent of suspension of a person) is to verify first

  1. whether or not the prevention of continuous or potential hurt requires suspension of the individual;
  2. whether or not the continuation of the individual might have an effect on individuals over whom he has a supervisory relationship;
  3. whether or not the continuation of the individual might prejudice the result of any present investigation;
  4. whether or not the continuation of the individual might prejudice the general public notion of any present investigation, since there are reputational issues additionally at stake
  5. whether or not there’s a clear street map in phrases of creating that suspension everlasting or revoking it – in the absence of which it will stay indefinite, neither lifted nor transformed to a termination.

The solutions to 1 and a couple of above were clearly damaging. Mr Dua is just not a supervisor. Nor have there been any complaints about his behaviour whereas at The Wire. Since no investigation had commenced, the query of three and four didn’t come up.

Now that we have now a committee in place and Ms Jain has conveyed her consent to its time-bound proceedings, the reply to the fifth query is sure: there’s now a concrete roadmap. Thus, Vinod Dua’s present, which he had voluntarily suspended for every week, won’t be aired and can stay suspended until the committee completes its work.

Q2. Why did The Wire give a platform to permit Mr Dua to dismiss all allegations against him?

A2. No investigation against Mr. Dua had commenced on the time he recorded his episode of ‘Jan Gan Man ki Baat’. The ICC had reached out to Ms Jain on October 15 and requested a proper grievance in order to begin its proceedings. No grievance was acquired. The exterior committee fell into place on October 17 and we acquired Ms Jain’s consent to it.

Mr Dua dedicated himself to creating a brief statement saying the suspension of his programme to provide The Wire area to look into Ms Jain’s allegations – which The Wire itself had reported on – and to precede that by saying he rejected her charges, as was his proper, as an accused individual. Our view was that his dismissal of the charges, from the platform of his present on The Wire or some other media outlet, would haven’t any bearing on any investigation to be carried out against him.

Mr. Dua might probably have issued a separate statement on the matter, unconnected together with his present. Nevertheless, it was felt that he would wish to elucidate to his viewers – who’re a big a part of The Wire‘s viewers – why he was suspending the present.

Q3. Does The Wire agree with Vinod Dua’s dismissal of the MeToo motion?

A3. No it doesn’t. The Wire’s help for the MeToo motion is obvious from its persevering with reportage and its editorial. The first, detailed account by a journalist of her expertise on the Asian Age working beneath M.J. Akbar was revealed by The Wire.

This fall. If The Wire helps MeToo, why did it permit Mr Dua to dismiss the allegations?

A4. The Wire is a media platform and in all its protection of MeToo it has adopted two rules: (1) no reporting of nameless complaints, and (2) reaching out to the individuals accused to offer them an opportunity to say no matter they need by means of defence, refutation, dismissal, and so on. Like others accused, Mr Dua had the correct to dismiss the allegations made against himself. Others accused even have that proper.

Q6. Why did Vinod Dua droop his present and specify he was doing so for every week?

A6. Mr Dua has been acutely aware of the truth that the allegation against him might harm The Wire and volunteered to droop his present to offer us time and area to research the cost in any means we wished to. He stated he would report his present as normal, but in addition point out to his viewers that an accusation had been made against him, that he denied the accusation utterly however that he would droop his present for every week to provide The Wire time to determine the way it wished to proceed. He additionally  stated that after every week he wold announce whether or not the present would proceed or not. The Wire has since arrange an investigation committee.  As we now have famous, Mr Dua’s present will stay suspended for the period of its work.

Q7. Does The Wire endorse Mr Dua’s statement that keechad (mud) has been flung on him?

A7. Mr Dua is inside his rights as an individual accused of sexual harassment to say the accusation is fake and to characterise it any means he needs. Others who’ve confronted accusations have additionally rejected these allegations, some with extra finesse and tact. Whereas the MeToo motion isn’t with out its limitations, and these can and ought to be vigorously debated, at its core is the wrestle by ladies to provide voice to their very own experiences of sexual violence and harassment each as a way of encouraging different survivors to talk up and to make sure that some accountability or justice prevails.

It might be unfair and inaccurate to recommend this motion in basic is about mudslinging. Such a view runs completely counter to The Wire’s editorial place. His programme went up with none editorial filter and was a serious failure of oversight at our finish. Some feedback he made at first of the programme concerning the MeToo motion as a diversion were edited out later, as quickly as they were delivered to our discover.

Q8. Do you agree with Mr Dua saying the allegations against him don’t quantity to sexual harassment however simply of harassment (‘pareshaani’)?

A8. With out going in as to if the allegation is true or false – and The Wire reiterates that it endorses neither Ms Jain’s cost nor Mr Dua’s denial – there isn’t a doubt that it’s an allegation of conduct that falls inside the broad rubric of “sexual harassment”. That’s the reason the headline and contents of The Wire’s report on Ms Jain’s allegation, ‘Filmmaker Accuses Vinod Dua of Sexually Harassing, Stalking Her in 1989 Incident’, make this clear.

The Wire’s editors unreservedly apologise for the manner in which the allegation was mischaracterised and trivialised in the final episode of  ‘Jan Gan Man ki Baat’.

Siddharth Varadarajan
Sidharth Bhatia
M.Okay. Venu

***

The whole textual content has been reproduced from The Wire’s web site and has not been edited by Firstpost for readability or fashion.

Community 18, of which Firstpost is part, has acquired complaints of sexual harassment as nicely. The complaints which are inside the purview of the office have been forwarded to our PoSH committee for applicable motion.

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