In what exposes hypocrisy and double standards, leftist portal The Wire has maintained stunning silence about Vinod Dua, who has been accused of sexual harassment and stalking. Vinod Dua was amongst several others who faced such allegations during the #MeToo movement. However, unlike others, Vinod Dua never faced much ridicule. In fact, he is one of the major Lutyens’ journalists and it looks like that has worked in his favour.
After Vinod Dua was accused of sexual harassment, not much was reported about the allegations against him either by The Wire or by other leftist liberal media outlets. In the video that The Wire allowed him to publish a video, in which he went to the extent of ridiculing the #MeToo movement and even claimed that it was a ploy to divert the real issues, like criticising PM Modi. He even went on to the extent of derogating the allegations against him as ‘keechad’.
It is indeed shocking how The Wire which ostensibly propagates the principles of women empowerment and safety kept harbouring him despite such serious allegations. It must be kept in mind that another journalist, Akhil Kumar of The Wire who was accused of sexual harassment was rehabilitated by The Wire.
After the allegations against Vinod Dua an “internal committee” was formed. It was supposed to investigate the allegations against the leftist journo. However, the report of the internal committee was never made public. Later on, it appeared that Vinod Dua hit out at The Wire. It is not clear whether he was disenchanted at the lack of public support on the issue from The Wire or the internal committee had shunted him out. Apparently, The Wire had also taken down his video from their YouTube channel. He tweeted an article authored by Justice Katju and said that he agreed that character cannot be expected from India’s media owners and that they “don’t stand by one’s own colleagues”.
It is clear that whatever may have been the findings of the internal committee that has been formed, the same was never made public. Since The Wire is not making its report public, one cannot infer whether Dua is disenchanted because he was forced out of the portal or merely because he did not get the kind of support from the portal. The Wire did issue a statement about this issue in which it tried to clear the air around the allegations of sexual harassment. It tried to outline that The Wire continues to support the #MeToo movement. However, the statement seemed more of an exercise in circumlocution rather than disclosing anything substantive.
It is Vinod Dua’s hypocrisy and brazen attitude due to which he not only harbours the illegitimate expectation of support from the media but also expects public support. It is the silence of The Wire which is even more shocking. One cannot fathom why The Wire which portrays itself as the harbinger of women empowerment and liberalism did not care to disclose the findings of the report. The role and duty of the media is to ensure that all information of public importance reaches its viewers and audience. It is shameful how The Wire has simply failed to disclose the conclusion of the internal committee report. What is even more shocking is the fact that the leftist liberal ecosystem now seems to be rehabilitating Vinod Dua despite the allegations against him and his obnoxious views about the #MeToo movement. He has reportedly joined a media outlet, HW News Hindi. This episode goes on to show that the yardsticks which Lutyens’ media outlets have laid down are applicable to everyone else except those belonging to their own tribe.