RSS brands #MeToo elitist, steers clear of MJ Akbar charges

Questions silence of liberal class' on harassment of Kerala nuns.

New Delhi: The RSS, which has so far been sending confusing signals over the #MeToo campaign, finally broke its silence and went on to describe the movement as “elitist”. Till this point, while there was no official reaction, one top RSS leader had expressed his disapproval and another had voiced his support to the movement. On Tuesday, however, the big brother of the Sangh Parivar in its mouthpiece Organiser said that “common women, who face uncomfortable situations at the hands of common men, do not fall in the category of #MeToo campaign.” It also went on to add that “allegations” must be “probed and culprits punished”, but chose to steer clear of the controversy involving Union minister M.J. Akbar and allegations of sexual harassment against him.

Branding the movement as “elitist”, the editorial argued that “entire debate of sexual exploitation in exchange for professional favours is peculiar to certain industries, involving glamour and money.” The RSS mouthpiece, while talking about “analysing the phenomenon” of the #MeToo campaign raised the issue of “nuns in Kerala” accusing the bishop of trying to “sexually exploit” them last year. Virtually questioning the motive behind the #MeToo campaign, the editorial sought to know: “Why the so called liberal-elite class that is raising their voice now kept mum when the nuns were fighting for justice and the bishop was on the run?”

The mouthpiece argued that voices are raised “only when the alleged perpetrators or the victims of sexual assaults are famous personalities...” The editorial stated: “Unless the general trend of the growing misconduct and mere sensuous attitude towards the other gender is addressed #MeToo will remain an elitist campaign.”

Another reason for growing trends of the sexual misconduct, according to the RSS mouthpiece could be: “mindless urbanisation and migration and networked spread of pornographic content...”

Bringing in the “Bharatiya perspective”, the mouthpiece debated that the “materialist and consumerist way of life has diverted us from the path of values...”

Saying that “sexual misconduct is not just an individual problem, but a social evil,” the RSS mouthpiece while “invoking” the “Shakti-God personified”, wanted people to take a pledge of spreading “sanskara”, the “traditional way and through familial and educational process”. For the mouthpiece: “#MeToo shakti should be a constructive campaign by both men and women, who can be guided to the path of virtuous and complementary gender relations.”

Earlier, while senior RSS leader, Indresh Kumar had questioned the #MeToo campaign, joint general secretary of the organisation, Dattatreya Hosbole had extended support to the movement. However, none of these leaders referred to the allegations against the Union minister.

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