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Ka Wade
THREAD (1/7). It’s strange living in the US & seeing the movement explode in India. There’s so much I want to say. For now, my MJ Akbar story. I was a 22-year-old reporter at the Asian Age sports desk in Delhi. I wasn’t hired by Mr. Akbar, I called him that.
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Ka Wade Oct 10
Replying to @priyaramani
(2/7) I met him in his office, after being told by my sports editor, “Don’t worry, he’ll like you.” I wasn’t sure what that meant but remember feeling awkward as heck because MJ Akbar, this media legend, kept talking to me & moving his eyes down to address my chest
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Ka Wade Oct 10
Replying to @priyaramani
(3/7) At that time, in 1998, I think there were maybe 5-6 active women sports journalists in the country, in print media, 1 in Delhi. This was a dream for me. I had written on sport in Pioneer but AA was my 1st full-time sports job. I was nervous, excited & wary
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Ka Wade Oct 10
Replying to @priyaramani
(4/7) Mr. Akbar continued making me feel very uncomfortable till shortly thereafter, I fled. I came out & told Bobilli Vijay Kumar, my sports editor, but he laughed and said, “that’s just Akbar, don’t worry. He’s like that with everyone.” It happened again though.
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Ka Wade Oct 10
Replying to @priyaramani
(5/7) He would stand behind at the desk. Too close. Or whatever. Then 1 time, I was “elected” to go tell MJ Akbar about a problem on a sports page. The hope was that he wouldn’t scream abusively at me like he would at everyone else. He yelled, while his eyes roved.
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Ka Wade Oct 10
Replying to @priyaramani
(6/7) I’d had enough. I’d told my dad. He was prepared to come and confront MJ Akbar. I said I’d fight my own battles. So I said, “Sir, I’d much prefer if you’d look at my face instead of my chest when you’re talking to me.” He looked up. I told my colleagues.
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Ka Wade Oct 10
Replying to @priyaramani
(7/7) I don’t recall if MJ Akbar & I ever spoke again. Blank. I would not have been able to work in AA if it hadn’t been for a bunch of sports desk colleagues who treated me just like a colleague & protected me. They shouldn’t have needed to. I’m grateful they did.
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Shivam Vij Oct 10
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Mylai Ramesh (மயிலை ரமேஷ்) Oct 10
The only interest that & hv in this is bcoz MJA is in now. His mischiefs happened when he was a journalist & supporter of party. Sick guys.
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Malancha Chakrabarty Oct 10
glad u found courage to say. All my life i tried to cover myself up hoping men would not look my chest. still lots of indian men do it in office.
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Ka Wade Oct 10
They do it everywhere.
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Ka Wade Oct 10
I’m so sorry though, that you have to go through this and you’re the one who has to cover up. That’s ridiculous. I hope now, you find a support system where if this happens, other people stand up for you too, and call them out.
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Anahita Mukherji Oct 10
How awful. I am so sorry this happened with you. And proud of your guts for calling him out.
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Ka Wade Oct 10
Thank you, I don’t think I called him out though. I quit. Moved to Express very soon. I liked my sports desk colleagues but couldn’t bear Asian Age’s atmosphere. was absolutely right in her story on the culture. It was toxic.
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Aman Gupta Oct 10
does it matter?
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Sajjan Singh Thakur Oct 10
Respect!
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Anahita Mukherji Oct 10
You did take him on for sure. And you did tell him to look at your face. Good on you!
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Ka Wade Oct 10
It was a politely worded request. I even said, “sir.”
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Anahita Mukherji Oct 10
Don’t know if he was used to women telling him to look at their faces. That might have been new to him.
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