Mithali Raj, Captain of the Indian Women’s ODI Cricket Team, has voiced her support in favor of the ongoing #MeToo campaign on sexual harassment and assault in the country.
Since the movement was kicked off by Actress Tanushree Dutta, who made allegations against Nana Patekar, several women, including Bollywood actresses and popular celebrities, have started to speak about their harrowing experiences at workplaces on social media using the hashtag #MeToo.
While supporting the #MeToo campaign, Raj said that it is “important” for the victims of sexual harassment to stand up against it without thinking of “how people would react to it”.
Mithali told Firstpost, “I support the #MeToo movement. It’s important to make our workplace safe for women. Consent is such an important word, but most people still don’t understand it fully.”
A recipient of the Padma Shri and the Arjuna Award also suggested, “If somebody experiences it (sexual harassment), I think they should stand up, irrespective of how people would react to it. They don’t have to give justification. If it’s the truth, so be it. At the end of the day, it comes to one’s self-respect and dignity. So one needs to gather courage and be bold, brave to talk about it.”
Meanwhile, the 35-year-old made it clear that she supports the movement, but she doesn’t want to stand up for “anonymous complains”.
She further added on the same, “As a woman, I stand by every girl who has been sexually harassed at her workplace. But I will not stand up for anonymous complains because it is not possible to ascertain the veracity of such claims. The movement should not be not trivialized by politics, fake allegations, or for settling scores against an individual.”
On being asked if she was shocked to see some of the names in the offenders’ list, Raj refused to comment on them, adding: “Plenty of known names have appeared, but because I personally haven’t had too much or any interaction with them, so it wouldn’t be fair to make a comment.”
Raj signed off by saying, “It is very sad to see some of the names that have appeared because you have looked up to them. Some have inspired you, people like authors, singers, writers, whichever field you talk about. When such things come out it is pretty disheartening.”
By Rashmi Nanda