The Trivandrum Press Club Elections are set to happen on October 23, 2021. NWMI, being an independent organisation of women in media across India which works to ensure justice to them regardless of their proximity to positions of power and authority, generally does not condone or condemn any candidate contesting in an electoral process.
However, we now have a situation in which M.Radhakrishan, who faces an allegation of sexual harassment and is accused of breaking into a female journalist’s house and traumatising her and her children, a man who was arrested from the Press Club grounds for this crime, and a man who was removed from his post at Kerala Kaumudi owing to the media house’s investigation into the matter, is leading a panel of candidates in the upcoming elections. Interestingly, he is still contesting under the name of the same organisation, even though he is no longer an employee there.
The accused in the case has also acted to isolate, threaten and moral police journalists who have worked to support the survivor. A Press Club led by a man who has been accused of committing a violent criminal act against a woman journalist is morally reprehensible, and renders meaningless every movement for justice that our community of journalists has worked towards. This is an issue that affects not just the NWMI and its members, but every single one of us who works in this field.
How can a panel led by such an individual be expected to work towards building a more just space, not just for women journalists, but for anyone who believes in democratic values? We stand with all survivors of assault and harassment, and strongly condemn the candidacy of M.Radhakrishan and the panel that he leads.