New Delhi: US-based journalist Pallavi Gogoi, who is among the latest in the so-called #MeToo movement to point a finger at a former boss, had sung a different tune about her experience of working under MJ Akbar, whom she now accuses of raping her, not so long ago.
Not only has journalist-turned-politician Akbar’s lawyer denied the charge, there could well be evidence that Gogoi’s allegation is false. A feature published by The Pioneer on 7 August 2016 reads:
“CNN’s Senior Editor for Market and Economy, Pallavi Gogoi, is an Assamese who started her journey in India and forayed into the US. Gogoi recollects, ‘My first foray into journalism started when I got the opportunity to join The Telegraph in Kolkata. I had just graduated with an honours in English literature from SGTB Khalsa College and was enrolled for a Masters degree at Hindu College at that time. In Kolkata, I started as a sub-editor and helped craft what at that time was the simplest of pages — ‘Page 3’ — or the international page for the newspaper. About a year later, my mentor and Executive Editor Shekhar Bhatia helped launch The Asian Age in Delhi and offered me a job as an editor and writer. I jumped at that offer and moved back to Delhi. I finished my Masters while working.'”
“At The Asian Age,” Gogoi had recalled while speaking to The Pioneer, “I grew by leaps and bounds. I was about 23 years old with obviously very little experience, but was eager to learn. I accompanied veteran journalists like Janardan Thakur and Seema Guha to big interviews with politicians or to press conferences of the Congress party and tried to learn everything I could. I was also responsible for op-ed pages of the newspaper. That meant planning the content and talking to columnists like Nalini Singh or Arun Shourie and making sure they sent their columns on time, etc. I started reporting and writing and realised that I loved that more than anything else.”
[pullquote]A source questioned Gogoi’s motive thus: “Isn’t it curious that she confessed only to Tushita Patel who is Vijay Mallya’s right hand and wife of Aakaar Patel of Amnesty India who just got raided by the ED?”[/pullquote]Gogoi is quoted further in the article as saying, “Any opportunity to travel anywhere to cover anything, I’d raise my hand. Soon I was covering whistle stop election campaigning in Karnataka and realised the power of shoe-leather reporting. I crisscrossed the State with politicians as they campaigned. And because of my extensive travels all over, I truly had the pulse of the populace and rightly predicted that the Janata Dal would win that year, against all odds. I was right — it was a sweep. Soon I was sent to the London bureau of the newspaper and then to Washington as a foreign correspondent.”
“After that, I decided to try my hand at reporting and writing for an American publication, and got a break at Dow Jones as a financial journalist. Soon, I was published in The Wall Street Journal. From there I moved to Business Week magazine as a correspondent. After that, I covered the financial crisis at USA Today and then joined the Associated Press as a banking reporter before joining CNN. As the markets and economy editor here, I lead coverage of some of the biggest events affecting the largest economy in the world and how that impacts the world and vice versa,” she says in The Pioneer article.
Gogoi said the above and more in the feature titled ‘Brahmaputris: Daughters of Assam’ in The Pioneer.
Speaking to Sirf News, a former colleague of Akbar said, “It is none of anyone’s business who did what to climb the ladder of success. But to turn around after 25 years and make such grave charges, is criminal.”
Now working with a television channel, the woman journalist said, “The whole thing is a huge conspiracy. Some have got dragged into it because of the ’cause’. But there are a few masterminds. Things will come to light. Wait and see!”
Another source questioned Gogoi’s motive thus: “Isn’t it curious that she confessed only to Tushita Patel who is Vijay Mallya’s right hand and wife of Aakaar Patel of Amnesty India who just got raided by the ED?