Did Weinstein make you angry? This thread's a brutal reminder of India's selective outrage

How the co-founder of Factor Daily spoke about sexual harassment allegations against investor Mahesh Murthy, and was slapped with a contempt petition

The revelation about Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent #MeToo campaign brought thousands of survivors of sexual harassment together. But when a name, in similar context, emerged in India, everyone decided to look the other way. Could a #MeToo campaign not have emerged from India? Or is it too difficult to accept and acknowledge that sexual harassment is a massive problem and not talking about it won’t make it go away.

A leading Indian website, Factor Daily published a report earlier this year about several allegations of sexual harassment against Mahesh Murthy, founder of the advertising agency, Pinstorm and co-founder and Managing Director, Seedfund (an Investment company). Did the social media collective outrage? That would be a hard no.

The  co-founder and writer of FD, Pankaj Mishra who recently spoke up (again) after the #MeToo campaign about the allegations against Murthy, was threatened with ‘dire consequences, contempt proceedings’. This, because his first tweet read: “India’s #Weinstein moment happened last year. Just that we choose to bury our head in sand. Heard of a man named Mahesh Murthy? #metoo”

InUth spoke to Mishra about what he has to say about the lack of outrage over their revelation of Murthy’s sexual harassment allegations and if Indians are selective about their outrage. He responded by saying:

I’ve no complaints at all. We did these stories last year and kept tracking, writing about sexism and sexual harassment prevalent in India’s tech and startup ecosystem. It’s public interest journalism to ensure we chronicle the stories that matter. There’s nothing about (sic) “selective outrage”, our job as journalists is to ensure we keep at it all the time, outrage or no outrage. Most of the mainstream media coverage is about startups’ glory. It’s time to discuss the underbelly of the ecosystem too.”

In a series of 15 tweets on October 25, Pankaj Mishra listed the allegations against Murthy:


In an update, Pankaj Mishra shared a tweet about how Murthy moved Delhi HC with a contempt petition against him and wanted him to remove his entire Twitter thread. And, Pankaj Mishra wrote this: “We stand by all our stories and I stand by my tweet-stream. It’s in public spirit to ensure awareness of sexual predators and sexism.”

When asked what change or action Mishra hoped to see now that his tweets have gone viral, he said, “Virality or lack of it doesn’t change anything at all. I’m only doing my job. Of course it’s encouraging to see social media users share the stories, ask questions.”