There is no courage is hurling allegations from a cloak of anonymity. Rather, it might spark off a dangerous trend.
Ever since an anonymous blog post from a user called the Indian Fowler accused TVF CEO and Co-founder of sexual harassment has gone viral, two more women have come publicly forward and corroborated the claims of Indian Fowler saying that they too suffered in the hands of Arunabh Kumar in pretty much the same way.
Here they are:
Note the difference.
Reema Sengupta and Ayushi Agarwal didn’t feel threatened to talk about their experiences at TVF, but the woman who actually raised the storm on the internet, is still hiding behind a cloak of anonymity.
The TVF, meanwhile, has issued a statement where they have said that they will find the woman who made the allegations and bring her to “severe justice”. The tone of the statement sounds more like a threat than a clarification or a defence. There has been no mention of launching an investigation into the allegations made by Indian Fowler.
You know why?
Because the allegations has been made by an anonymous person. It is legally, morally and technically inadmissible. According to certain legal provisions, it is also a crime to post such defamatory content anonymously.
When an anonymous person makes an allegation, it cannot be accepted as a proper complaint. And nothing in the law of the land can force the company to investigate it.
An anonymous allegation can only be transformed into a complaint when the lady in question comes forward and reveals herself.
But then there will be repercussions…
She might be sued under the Criminal and Civil Defamation Laws of the country almost immediately by the company which might trigger off a series of legal battles. The cases will carry on for a few years and she will have to prove that her allegations are legally admissible. If she cannot, the case will turn against her.
If the lady chooses not to come forward, then the world will know about Arunabh Kumar she is trying to project and it will damage his reputation permanently, which it already has. Meanwhile the company will have gather proof about the identity of the anonymous blogger.
Dear Indian Fowler, it was clever of you to take this ‘anonymous’ route because nobody can lodge a case against an anonymous person. You cleverly shamed him in public and saved yourself from all the trouble of the making endless rounds of courts and police stations.
But morally speaking, this is not what it ought to be. This is a dangerous trend.
I am not saying that you are a liar but think about this once more….
Following your lead, anybody can, tomorrow, post an anonymous blog post against any man-in-power alleging that he is a sex pest. The blog will go viral because the man is identified clearly and his obscene behaviour has been described in detail.
What happens now if the man in question is innocent?
UPDATE: One more woman has come forward against Arunabh Kumar. Here it is:
Wow. I am disappointed in your commentary. There are many reasons a woman chooses to stay anonymous when sexual assault is involved and your post just proves why. What about the woman’s reputation? I am not saying she is not lying but your base argument is faulty. I recommend you read more about sexual assaults and why the shame, legal threats and more prevent women from reporting these in the first place. In fact she suggests legal reasons are why she chose to stay anonymous. And you yourself laid out why one would not want to deal with the threats and endless legal battles where the onus of proving falls on the victim. Plus then you have two women corraborating his behaviors. I am going to stay anonymous myself in my comment as a statement.
I agree, in a country like India its smart to stay anonymous. I still think that the woman is quite brave not to let it go and actually write about it.