India Picking Up With Western Startup Culture As TVF’s CEO Gets Accused Of Molesting A Female Employee.
In an anonymous post on Medium, a woman who calls herself an ex-employee of the digital content channel, The Viral Fever, has accused the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the company of molesting her during her two year stint at the firm.
The anonymous woman has accused Kumar of sexual advances multiple times during her tenure as a TVF staff. When she complained about his behaviour to her seniors she was asked to leave the company. Also, she couldn’t leave the company as leaving would be violating the contract she had with her employers.
In the blog, she wrote that she met Arunabh in a Mumbai’s café in 2014 when she herself was a 22 year old Delhi University fresher. She was surprised to know that the TVF boss belonged from the same city as hers, Muzzafarpur of Bihar and that made her comfortable with Kumar. At the end of the discussion, she was a new face in the company.
She was abused first on the 21st day of her joining. She alleged in the post that Arunabh called her back while she was going home and started talking crap to the woman. He asked her about the red light area of their native place. When she avoided interaction and asked about the work she was called for, he held her hand and said, “Let’s do some role play”. She was in deep trauma that night as she quotes the night to be the “longest”.
Ever since this incident, it became a routine for the lady where she faced the same kind of molestations from the company’s founder. In her blog post, she said, “Right from Pitchers to Tripling, I was molested. Be it in parties where Arunabh would try to lift me or would try and fall on me pretending he is drunk.”
She claimed that once she threatened Kumar of police complaint but to no effect. He said, “Police to meri pocket me hai” (Police is in my pocket). When she complained about her problems to her bosses, some suggested her to leave while others said, “it happens”, claimed the woman.
She finally left the place in 2016. She said that she was not a very confident lady and she didn’t have the courage to fight the extremely rich TVF founder. Also, she receives a continuous reminder from the company’s legal team about her breach of contract and she is also afraid of being tracked.
The blog went viral very soon with responses pouring in from all across the globe. Sometimes later TVF posted their official response to the allegations on the same Medium blog post. They wrote, “This is an official response from TVF on the anonymous article published on Medium by the Indian Fowler. The article is completely ludicrous and defamatory against TVF and its team. All the allegations made against TVF and its team in the article are categorically false, baseless and unverified. We take a lot of pride in our team and in making TVF a safe workplace that is equally comfortable for women and men. We will leave no stone unturned to find the author of the article and bring them to severe justice for making such false allegations”.
Two women, Aayushi Agarwal and Reena Sengupta, who claimed themselves to be former TVF employees came to the support of the lady writing the blog post.
Reena Sengupta said, “After every other shot, he would come over to the monitor to see how the shot looks, but at the same time graze his hand against my waist. All this in a 5-hour shoot. I can only imagine what she must have gone through for 2 years!”
It is quite difficult to determine who the culprit is. Since more number of people are raising questions over the credibility of the TVF founder, there has to be some fire else why the smoke.