A month or so back TVF was burning down the news and social media with a tell-all blog that was written anonymously, and supposedly accusing CEO Arunabh Kumar of sexually harassing her.
According to this article here, Kumar was also arrested on 22nd April but was immediately released on bail. The anonymous blog had triggered other women to reveal their own experience, from which 2 had filed police complaints against the TVF CEO.
Following up on that TVF harassment case, I have come across this post by Nidhi Bisht of TVF a couple of hours back, on her Facebook.
Read More: Now IIT Delhi Orders Girls To Dress In Full, Covered, Decent Dresses!
*posted verbatim from Nidhi Bisht’s Facebook profile*
I had shared a personal note with a closed group at #TVF; which was selectively sliced by media. Sharing the whole text here for a balanced view:
It has been a while since we met. I hope you understand I’ve been very busy with the edit of Bisht, Please! The past one month has been really stressful for me and everyone at TVF. I know a lot of you advised me not to react and believe that truth will eventually triumph, but I chose to voice my opinions for the truth that I believed in (and still do). Of course, I had assumed that people will believe the conviction of a real person over a fake anonymous blog. But trolls on social media proved me wrong.
Of course, I strongly believe that every woman should fight against ANY form of disrespect/harassment she faces. And being a woman, I completely understand that any act that invades her personal space is truly an unpardonable crime. But does that mean that every claim made on a Facebook post or Twitter is the absolute truth and that we can hold that trial on social media?
A month down the line, neither does the original blogpost exist, nor has the person behind it (if real) come out to file a complaint. NOT ONE SINGLE EMPLOYEE AT TVF HAS ALLEGED HARASSMENT AGAINST ARUNABH, so why is the media at large still calling it out as workplace harassment? Did anyone bother to ask us, THE REAL WOMEN AT TVF WHAT WE BELIEVE, having breathed the TVF culture day in and day out? A lot of you pointed out how some of our competitor friends, who actively question, scrutinize and analyse news and its authenticity, now were suddenly convinced that these media reports were absolutely true.
Reports alleged there were 50 women that were harassed by Arunabh. Not 1, not 2, not 10, not 20, but 50 women!! Did anyone bother to check the authenticity of this ridiculous number? No. It was floated by an anonymous twitter troll and mainstream media picked it up. Social media followed. This was one episode of Black Mirror I never wanted to watch, but sadly that is the world that we are living in now.
I do not undermine the seriousness of the allegations here. But my belief is not blind but based on pure facts:
a) an ANONYMOUS blog that started the fire
b) purported allegations during a photoshoot in our office premises which incidentally has open workspaces, fully functioning CCTV cameras and was conducted on a regular working day, in the presence of many (including our employees and external crew members);
c) information being sourced from an anonymous twitter handle featuring fictional hearsays and claims, with no authenticity of sources. (One of the reports from this handle said that I had quit TVF and the ‘senior management’ was begging me to come back. He perhaps didn’t know that I am a part of this ‘senior management’. Another one which read TVF is a startup, with no HR department. While we have a fully functional HR and legal departments as any professional firm would, we also have an ICC committee compliant to the POSH guidelines in all our offices. I can quote other false claims here, but what’s the use…)
And I am forming my truth based on these hard facts alone.
It is just not our ethos but also our resolve to ensure a safe, conducive and creative workplace and any misdemeanor will be strongly dealt with! The entire leadership at TVF remains committed to this!
Guys, TVF at its very core, was created to provide passionate individuals (irrespective of their gender), a platform to showcase their talent. We are the introverts who like to do our job and are more focused on our content than glamour. The TVF culture has been built by each one of us (including me) over the years despite the many challenges that came our way. AND ALL OF US ARE PROUD OF THIS CULTURE. Therefore to just watch and do nothing while certain people trash the very essence of the organization is not something I can do. Despite all the attempts anyone makes to pull us down, we will work harder, and come back much stronger, more than they had imagined. And thank you for giving me the strength to take up this fight.
I truly believe that woman must feel empowered and I am glad to see more of us are standing up for our rights. But I also believe we must stand tall and speak up for what is right, irrespective of gender.
My biggest concern from this incident, however won’t be the damage to Arunabh’s reputation. It’s something much bigger! Once again, we have cried wolf on social media, without letting the facts present themselves. I’m really scared that the next time, when a woman with a genuine complaint comes forward, she won’t be taken seriously. And perhaps the same social media might even choose to ridicule or troll her. Sexual harassment is a horrible horrible thing. But inciting and spreading false narratives to defame a person or an organization is also wrong. I hope in the next few weeks, the real truth behind all of this comes out.
Some might still say there is no smoke without fire. But perhaps, they’ve never seen cold mouths babbling on a winter night.
I hope to meet all of you in person very soon. Sorry about the loooooooong email. It has been a tough month, and there was so much to say. Don’t worry, ant mein sach ki jeet hogi.
Would like to add my two cents here.
There are two sides to every point.
Yes, social media is quick to pick up anything and everything and exaggerate it all to massive levels.
Social media is never the jury even though most of us pretend to be, and instead many times get swept away in strong emotions at that time that clouds our judgment.
However, at the same time, I still feel that the whole controversy, the FIR, and etc. cannot be negated and believe it is up to the police and correct authorities to properly look into both sides.
According to the above email, if an anonymous tweet or blog cannot verify the claim then neither can a Facebook post made by a person from the TVF management camp.
It is not such a big mystery that it cannot be solved, with the help of right authorities one can reach the bottom of this incident.
If the right authorities including TVF actually go after finding the truth and then support it with evidence as they say in law, then the matter can be resolved and all this speculation and mud slinging can come to an end.
Nobody really knows whether TVF is right or the other party. But yes, this does call for some serious investigation and a final judgment on what really happened.
Again, not ignoring the fact that in India most of the time, judgments tend to go in favour of people who hold power and money in their hands. Like Salman Khan’s driver and the greedy and vain Black Buck.
We also wrote about ScoopWhoop but only after thoroughly verifying our sources and also making sure that till things come out in the open we do not claim anything in totality and have therefore only used words like allegedly and supposedly.
Read it here:
ScoopWhoop’s Co-Founder Accused Of Sexual Harassment By Ex-Worker: Media Getting Dirty?