Caught in the #MeToo controversy, MJ Akbar today resigned from his position of Minister of State for External Affairs. In a brief statement, Akbar said he had decided to seek justice in a court of law in his personal capacity.
“Since I have decided to seek justice in a court of law in my personal capacity, I deem it appropriate to step down from office and challenge false accusations levied against me, also in a personal capaity,” Akbar said in the statement.
“I have, therefore tedered my resignation from the office of Minister of State for External Affairs. I am deeply grateful to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and to the External Affairs Minister Smt Sushma Swaraj for the opportunity they gave me to serve my country,” the statement added.
The #MeToo movement, which began in the US more than a year ago in response to accusations of sexual harassment and abuse by powerful men in the entertainment industry, gained traction in India last month after former actor Tanushree Dutta accused her co-star Nana Patekar of sexual harassment on the sets of a film in 2008.
Since then, several men in the media, entertainment, political and art worlds have been accused of offences, ranging from sexual harassment to rape.