Another story, of yet another man in a strong position, trying to take advantage of it. We’re running out of words to express our shock, anger and disgust. But the incidents don’t seem to stop
It takes guts to come out and speak against someone who, you know, will not only deny the allegations, but try to turn them around. We’re talking of Rashmi Bansal, who, no one can argue is some shrinking violet, who will generally accuse a man of having made sexual advances. This is a self-made woman, known and respected, extremely bright and accomplished, and she’s telling her story about the time when Mahesh Murthy touched her inappropriately saying he had an “open marriage”. No words, really.
So, the question is, what makes men do this? And the larger question to ask is, why are they getting away with it? A woman like Rashmi Bansal took 13 years to speak about it – and the fact that she’s come out now, we believe, is laudable, because she has a teenage daughter and one can only guess the questions that girl would face. But, maybe that’s precisely the reason why she’s spoken about it – because she does not want her daughter, or other women like her, to go through what she did.
Also, the larger message she’s giving to the women out there is that they should not take misconduct from men, no matter who they are – and we think that’s an important message to send out. When someone like Rashmi Bansal speaks out, it gives confidence to other women to do the same – which is why I think this was a commendable thing for her to do.
We completely reject the argument the why-now argument. My point is why not? I mean, just because something happened 13 years ago, it should not be spoken about? That’s an asinine way of looking at things. I think it takes guts to speak up – whenever one does it. There are many women out there who have not spoken about their ordeals, so we should reserve judgement on the ones who do.
Another rebuttal to the why now point (baffling as it is that people should ask that) – is that had Ms. Bansal come out at the time this happened, there’s a good chance Mr. Murthy would’ve made her out to be an opportunistic upstart who was getting back at him for not funding her venture. And it would have probably worked – 13 years ago, the world was a different place because there was no social media remember (not the way it is today, at any rate).
Think about it – why would she say this today? Because she’s got credibility, because she will be believed and because she does not want young girl to fall into this trap. We think it’s commendable that she’s saying this today – and instead of asking irrelevant questions about timing, we should focus on supporting her and calling out men like Murthy.
Coming back to Mr. Murthy – this story needs to be shared with anyone and everyone – with people who know him and with people who don’t. He needs to pay for his vile behaviour. SeedFund needs to show him the door – and not make diplomatic noises saying that they neither endorse or condone behaviour – Ms. Bansal is not alone in saying this, Wamika Iyer, founder of FrshDay.in, has said similar things about him. And the lord knows there will be more – because we’ve seen from experience, that men like Mahesh Murthy take advantage when they can.
Mr. Murthy must pay for his actions – and while this may or may not happen legally – society at large should hand out its judgement. Anyone close to him, who chooses not to take a stand against such behaviour is essentially condoning it.
Rajendra Pachuri, Tarun Tejpal, Arunabh Kumar, Mahesh Murthy – it’s a disturbing pattern and it must be stopped.
How many women will it take to say – it’s enough?