Journalist Vidya Krishnan on Thursday stood by the sexual harassment allegations against India Today Executive Editor Gaurav Sawant. Krishnan said the account of her allegations published in The Caravan is an accurate representation of what had happened.
The report, written by journalist Nikita Saxena, describes how Sawant allegedly harassed Krishnan when she was sent to cover a peacetime drill at a military station in Beas, Punjab, in 2003. Krishnan claimed that Sawant had placed his hand on her shoulder and breast while they were travelling along with a group of journalists. She also accused him of sending inappropriate text messages during the trip, and forcibly entering her room at night and harassing her.
“The account published in The Caravan is an accurate representation of what happened,” Krishan said in a statement. “It was independently verified by a reporter, after talking to those who corroborated the story I had shared. It is the reality and I stand by every word of it.”
Krishnan said she was not intimidated by the threat of defamation, “which appears to be the only remedy that powerful men, accused of inappropriate behaviour, take recourse to”. “I will fight defamation and make sure my truth is heard by all,” she added.
Krishnan said she shared her story “to shine a light on the inequities faced by young female journalists in Indian newsrooms, at the hands of their powerful colleagues”.
Since October 5, dozens of women across several sectors such as advertising, the Tamil and Hindi film industries, the field of arts, music and dance, publishing, journalism, sports, religion, and at non-profit organisations have taken to social media to give detailed accounts of the sexual harassment and misconduct.