The Cost of Justice

Rina Mukherji-1

In 2002, Dr Rina Mukherji, then a senior reporter working for The Statesman complained of sexual harassment against Ishan Joshi, the news coordinator for the paper. On October 12, 2002, she was fired from her job.

Dr. Mukherji, then approached Network of Women in Media in India (NWMI) , the West Bengal Commission for Women and the Labour Commissioner. The Statesman refused conciliation proceedings and the labour suit moved to the Industrial Tribunal against the management of The Statesman . Ten years later, on February 6, 2013, the Court ruled in her favour. Rina Mukherji recounts her struggle for justice in this first person account

A full decade. That is the amount of time I have taken to win justice. More than three years of the period was lost due to vacant courts bereft of judges or stalling of proceedings on various pretexts by lawyers from the opposing side.

I was lucky to have been supported by many in the profession, as also outside it. Professor Jashodhara Bagchi, the then Chairperson of the West Bengal Commission for Women, went through a harrowing time trying to settle the dispute with The Statesman. Her experience, though, exposed the flaws in the system and led us to realize that the Commission lacked “teeth.” We also realized that an employer could easily upstage a complainant by dragging a dispute to court, and with the judicial system we have, a matter would drag on for years. In the meanwhile, a complainant loses precious years of professional life, and is blacklisted by employers.

Even if you land up a full-time job with an employer who is extremely supportive of your plight, it is difficult to work when you have to keep shunting between courts for months (and years) together. In my case, I had a labour suit to attend in Kolkata, and two libel suits-one civil and the other criminal with the latter in Delhi, to attend to. I was left with no option but to freelance, notwithstanding the regular drain on my resources.

One of the worst problems when you have a complaint of sexual harassment at the workplace-is that no lawyer is willing to take up the case. They are apprehensive of losing the case, since they lack experience in such matters. (This again, is because of the deafening silence on such issues in a patriarchal society, which manifests itself in women keeping away from reporting on them). In my case, it was a media house, and hence even scarier! If not for Ms. Sutapa Chakrabarty of the Human Rights Law Network, (HRLN), an NGO providing legal aid to those who suffer a breach of their human rights, I might have had to plead my case myself.

There is another point I wish to make about those who swear by the names of celebrated legal luminaries. The lawyers at HRLN who fought my case were young and bright; and most of all, committed. Shamit Sanyal, Debashis Banerjee and his wife, Rajashri Banerjee, and Ambalika Roy brought a degree of commitment that is undeniable.

In fact, Debashis Banerjee worked hard to put forth the winning arguments that ultimately decided the case in my favour and got me an award from the Industrial tribunal granting my reinstatement and full back wages from the time of my termination by the management of The Statesman. And this was –to quote him- the “first case he had taken up as an advocate.”

The police, even if they be sympathetic and helpful, are utterly confused about how to deal with a white-collar offender. Eve-teasing or molestation by roadside miscreants is easy for them to deal with. But an educated man who is highly-placed in an organization can refuse to co-operate with the police investigation and easily get away with it due to loopholes in the legal system.

The Vishakha Guidelines were formulated with the best of intentions. But sexual harassment complaints committees in organizations are, more often than not, a total farce since the Guidelines presuppose organizations to be fair in bringing offenders to justice when a complaint is made to them. In my case, there was no such committee at The Statesman during my tenure. The pressure put in by Network of Women in Media in India ( NWMI), had my ex-employers hurriedly set up their committee.

My complaint, however, was never investigated into. Even as they refused to take cognizance of my complaint, The Statesman actually promoted the offender to a higher position.

One only hopes women will have a better deal once the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill becomes an Act in the near future.

The industrial tribunal has awarded me reinstatement and full back wages from the time I was terminated in October 2002 on the ground that it was illegal. However, the libel suits-filed against me by The Statesman and Ishan Joshi for having tarnished their reputation are yet to be decided. I still have a long way to go for a full victory.

Rina Mukherji is a senior journalist currently based in Kolkata. She has worked for over two decades in the print and online media specializing in issues related to sustainable development, the environment and human rights . She is the recipient of the 2011-2012 Laadli Media Award for Gender Sensitivity ( Eastern Region) and several international fellowships for reporting on science, the environment and public health

78 comments

  1. Naina Kapur says:

    Dear Rina. Thanks so much for writing and posting this. And I am very pleased you could find bright young talent to represent you in court. As someone who has been closely associated with creating the Vishaka directions, I had a couple of questions. As you know the directions are “legally binding”- that means the absence of prevention, or compliance with many of the other conditions established in Vishaka leaves every Company who hasn’t complied, legally vulnerable. I wonder if you ever considered a writ petition for violation of your Constitutional rights due to non-compliance? Second, have you considered posting the outcome of your case so that others might benefit from it. And finally, the battle vis-a-vis the libel case is actually very strong now that you succeeded in your SH case.

    Irrespective- it’s great that you persevered. My goal in Vishaka was to prevent women having to still go to Court- it’s not necessary. In fact those employed in your previous organisation have a Constitutional right to demand compliance. They should put that in writing to the Newspaper’s Board….

    Was excited to read your case, hence this long comment. Naina Kapur

    • Rina Mukherji says:

      Many thanks for writing in.

      • dr ravi says:

        Great victory. Against humilating people and circumstances. I wish a all women no profit ngo in each city visits companies and workplace and interacts with women and find their plight .it will strengthen and bring confidence especially the ignorant and uneducated.

      • Kamath Reeja says:

        Ever since i saw Crime patrol featuring the long case against sexual harrasment, I wanted to know who this gutsy woman could be. Thanks to google. Ur efforts will certainly help many other women who face similar problems. Ur mental state with ups and downs in those days must have been terrible. I admire you.

    • Rina Mukherji says:

      I would like to personally get in touch with you, Naina. Could I have your contact details? My e-mail id is rina_mukherji@yahoo.com. You can also write to me on rina.mukherji@gmail.com.

  2. Sujata Madhok says:

    Congratulations Rina on your hard won victory. It takes courage to fight sexual harassment and to fight your employers at the same time. Very few people have the guts to struggle for their rights.It is great that HRLN’s young lawyers were able to get you a good award.

    However the cynic in me, having seen the state of our labour courts and our indifferent judicial process, wonders if you will actually be reinstated and get your back wages. I really hope you do and that the paper will not appeal against the judgement. The experience of the Delhi Union of Journalists is that every case of unfair dismissal takes a decade and more before the courts give a verdict. Then come the appeals… justice is too often denied in the process. Let us hope you are luckier than most. Congratulations, again.

    • asha kachru says:

      hai sujata madhok, you replied well. i too feel Rina is a brave woman and whatever happens now, she has already helped many others become more courageous.

  3. Rina Mukherji says:

    I hope so too, Sujata

  4. Capt Giriraj K Gaur says:

    Dear Dr. Rina Mukherji…Your relentless crusade against heinous crimes that are so commonly committed against women at work places in India & finally finishing on with a winning note is indeed heart inspiring. Wish, we have more such Rina Mukherjis to become role models for countless victims, suffering in silent agony. God bless & God speed !! (Giriraj Gaur)

  5. VP SARATHI says:

    It is heartening that at least a partial success is won in this being only one of several such stories from all over India which are hopelessly delayed. People who even worship women are not necessarily the one who respect women’s rights. Long way to go for this society to turn gender neutral.

    • Rina Mukherji says:

      I want to say something here. The ones who worship women are the biggest hypocrites. For instance, the practice of kumari puja is a tradition ( during Navratri) in the Hindi belt. We all know how they treat women. The skewed sex ratio testifies to it!

  6. Lavina Fernandes says:

    Ms. Rani, your struggle is really motivating for women suffering sexual harassment at workplace and a challenge to our Judiciary System to ensure that woman gets her fundamental right of safe working environment. There are many woman suffering this ordeal and the employers follow the same tactic of entangling such woman who raise an alarm with many false cases in various courts. There are many silent women bravely struggling against Sexual Harassment at Work place & your success story is quiet inspiring for such woman. All the best for “full victory”

  7. Hema B Rajashekar says:

    Way to go ! Appreciate your perseverance – thats a great contribution to society.

  8. prachi says:

    Congratulations for finally getting some justice. And all the very best for the road ahead.

  9. Akhileshwari says:

    Kudos, Rina! Well done! Hope more of us will follow your path of fighting! I wish this page had FB share! I have shared your story on my FB status!

    • Rina Mukherji says:

      Thanks, Akhileshwari

      • Gagan Khattar says:

        It hurts me as grievously as it exhilarates me to know about your case. I really appreciate all the efforts you have put in, all the struggle that you have put up despite the ingrained delay in Indian Judicial system that works at the pace of tortoise or perhaps even slower. What pains me is the fact that the media which is supposed to back the fight against societal ills became a party to an offence which was nothing short of felony. Your efforts did bear fruit but I am still wary of the working conditions for women in India even today. Women must make up their mind to ward off such people and make ill-minded people realize they cannot have their way, that their whimsies shall not stand ground. Hope your case awakens that shy spirit, that fearful heart, and that dormant power that sustains the world, which lies in a woman’s heart.

  10. Dear Rina, Congrats on winning the case. If this is the plight of a woman journalist, what can one expect from a newspaper establishment like Statesman? You were harassed by a fellow journalist within the offices of newspaper and not by thugs on the streets of Kolkatta. Where are our media heading? It is shame on the Statesman.

    • Rina Mukherji says:

      Thanks, Prof Narayana. Sorry to say this, but the media is one of the worst sectors for women in this context. Since it is all-powerful in a democracy, there is no one to hold a mirror to it. At least, sexual harassment in other sectors gets written about. But who will bell the cat?

  11. Anuradha Sen Mookerjee says:

    Congratulations Rina Mukherji on your perseverance in taking on a system that is so difficult to work through. I hope the legal fraternity will play a more supportive role in enabling women in India reclaim their rights. It is indeed incredible that you fought the case and still did so well professionally. You are an inspiration for women to keep doing they believe in and the bottom line that success is often inevitable for the resilient.

  12. Manoj says:

    Was watching the Sony Crime Patrol (first part) today! and then searched for the verdict in the web!! My God!! 10+ long years of fight!! Unbelievable! What a poor judiciary we have in a democracy!! And Democracy is the the best among the worst methods to rule a country!! Hope the recent case laws and Act will have much more solid support to the working women in India. Congrats and God bless Rina!!

  13. Swapnil Singh says:

    Hey Rina Mukherjee Ma’m, I really appreciate your patience & perseverance… I have seen court cases going on till years… It really need patience… I have seen how people can be pressurized & bribed with d passage of time…Today i saw a programme about you on T.V & i searched you on d net…though your name was not disclosed… I really admire your courage & guts…you can say, I am your fan now…Hats off to you…

  14. Sandeep K says:

    Hi Rina,

    Saw your story on crime patrol today. It was second part and I could not wait for tomorrow’s third part so searched on internet and came across this article / webpage.

    First of all, I feel very sorry that you had to go under such a difficult situation for 10 years. I am glad you got victory. I will pray that you get full victory soon.

    Our legal system certainly requires improvement. Hats off to you for pursuing your fight and finally winning it.

    Wish you very BEST LUCK for your remaining fight and May GOD gives same kind of courage you have to every female in India.

  15. INDRAJEETH says:

    Hope so you even win your other 2 cases ( one civil and one criminal)and force a public apology from the company in the same newspapers front page that would be a true victory .

    • Rina Mukherji says:

      That is a tall order…We can only hope, with a Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act now in place!

      • Mr. S says:

        Hey R.M. nothing is as difficult or as strong as they appear till the time you believe it is difficult or strong. What strong company you talking about, I haven’t even heard the name of that company. You had the guts to fight against it by thinking you it may not be easy but I am not weak enough to give up. Btw is your daughter now aware of this?

      • Sonu says:

        Hey R.M. nothing is as difficult or as strong as they appear till the time you believe it is difficult or strong. What strong company you talking about, I haven’t even heard the name of that company. You had the guts to fight against it by thinking it may not be easy but I am not weak enough to give up. Btw is your daughter now aware of this? Wondering which fight was better, a 10 minutes which broke the bones as happened in the case of earlier girl or a 10 years one?
        And wondering did your news company publish this news?

  16. kmoksha says:

    Rina Mukherjee, My heartiest compliments for your courage.

    But we need to improve our courts, police and administration so that other less courageous women do not suffer.

    Kindly go through this article and promote it if you like –

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&&note_id=548247261860946&id=168540969831579

  17. Manojkumar Nair says:

    Hat off to you on standing tall in male dominated society.

  18. Praveen says:

    Incredible guts! Fantastic job! Keep it up.

  19. Kamal says:

    salute your perseverance and patience mam. you do inspire a lot of others. i just hope i can teach my daughter to be like you. continue the good work mam.

  20. Sona Kaushik says:

    Hello Rina…
    Saw your story on Crime Petrol, its is really shocking and surprising, that a big organisation did not have a Sexual Harassment cell.
    Even after that you fought against power and for so long , Hats off to you and your family.
    Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
    And you proofed this.
    Thanks to giving us such motivation to fight against powerful people.
    All the best,
    Love and much regards……

    Sona Kaushik

    • Rina Mukherji says:

      It is easier said than done. I am not the only one who has complained. But I have found that many gave up within 3 years or so! It is most frustrating when the police hit a dead wall when investigating with no witnesses coming forward, or the courts remain vacant for years together. You start wondering: what am I fighting for? Besides, it is not easy to keep in touch with your profession when fighting like this. A journalist can continue to work freelance; this may not be true with other professions.

  21. Purvi says:

    Hi Rina!

    Congratulations for your victory!…..I came to know about the case from CRIME PATROL on Sony. and thanks to internet it wasn’t hard to find you.

    It is frustrating to fight against all odds, but you did. And there is no word to express how great it is. I feel so proud and happy that it brought tears in my eyes.

    I have spent last 7 years of my life in united states, so i almost forgot the harassment a women go through in workplace or even in day to day life. But i know, i have gone through many and fought each and every bit out of it. And trust me when i say i hardly know any of my girl friends, who hasn’t been harassed in one way or the other at their workplaces. And i m happy that each of them has taken action against it, sooner or later- depending upon their courage and understanding.

    You have lit the candle and provided courage to many working women. Bravo!

    I am with you. My family is with you. and there are millions of families who has watched the show are with you.

    And I am sure you will win other two cases too!! Stay Brave.

  22. dazzling says:

    Your courage to fight gives hope and is a role model for others…wish you success in the other two libels…I am not sure, but will be great if the case can be filed against Joshi and statesman to claim compensation for the mental trauma which you and your family faced during the last 11 years..

  23. Deep says:

    I salute you Rina ji, and very good work CRIME PETROL.
    Ishan Joshi OF The Statesman should hanged till death, with all the top management of The Statesman. “The Statesman” is the biggest SHAME of INDIA.

    • Rina Mukherji says:

      The Statesman is bnot the only organisation which behaves like this. There are many others that have been worse. I only hope the new Act takes such organisations to task.

  24. Sanjay says:

    Congratulations and grand salute…
    You are a real hero.
    You will be an ideal for all.
    regards,
    Sanjay

  25. Ujwala says:

    Hi Rina,

    I come to know about your story through Crime Patrol program on Sony. I really salute your efforts and patience. A fight against the power always seems impossible. But you did it Rina. I salute your husband who stood back with you in all situations. This long fight must have been really difficult for you. But as we all know, even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth. I hearty congratulate you and your family on this victory. It gave me a lot of courage to fight in my life. Your story brings tears to my eyes. I feel so proud and happy for you. Keep this confidence on you always.. All the best..!!!

  26. Mr. S says:

    Hey R.M. nothing is as difficult or as strong as they appear till the time you believe it is difficult or strong. What strong company you talking about, I haven’t even heard the name of that company. You had the guts to fight against it by thinking you it may not be easy but I am not weak enough to give up. Btw is your daughter now aware of this?

  27. Mukesh says:

    Congratulations and great salute Rinaji…
    This is biggest hypocrisy that we have in our system….
    Such a big media group whose foundation is on Truth can go to this level can’t imagine… Shame on people who just for success and promotion go to this level and support such behavior… I know its not possible, but court should punish those people also.. I searched after watching episode on internet and could not find a single website covering this.. this itself says how corrupt we are ….
    I will request my company HR to include this as a case studies in the training document they provide on such topics…

    You are a real hero.. We will wish that you win all the pending cases too…

    • Rina Mukherji says:

      That will be wonderful, Mukesh. BTW, have you set up a Sexual Harassment Complaints Committee in your company? If not, do so right away. And see to it that the members are well-trained to handle such cases. Often, the members of such committees fumble when it comes to the real crunch.

  28. Mr. S says:

    Hey R.M. nothing is as difficult or as strong as they appear till the time you believe it is difficult or strong. What strong company you talking about, I haven’t even heard the name of that company. You had the guts to fight against it by thinking it may not be easy but I am not weak enough to give up. Btw is your daughter now aware of this? Wondering which fight was better, a 10 minutes which broke the bones as happened in the case of earlier girl or a 10 years one?
    And wondering did your news company publish this news?

  29. Vishal says:

    Touching & Inspired act of your struggle for justice … Salute to womanhood…. Bravo… Action speaks more than words… Great lesson for all of us at a time when Indian Woman is going through worst form of struggle for justice & identity crisis every now & then. Short of words for you & selective people who stand with you… Thanks to Crime Patrol also for bringing such true story boldly without any fear… Shame to such journalistic standards & work ethics who once upon time revolutinalize & propel Indian freedom movement… Hope everybody looks themselves in mirror…

  30. Darshan Prabhu says:

    Saw the Crime Petrol episode and followed by your story on various site. Where Men can not raised their voice against wrong deeds of established organization , a women like you have shouwn a courage. Great work !!. As someone already said above you will be role model for every Indian working women. As a journalist I hope you will keep this spirit a long with help of your writing.

  31. Vijay says:

    Dear Mam.. I saw the episode on Crime patrol and googled to get the real you..1st comments hats of to you. I don’t stay in India but the plight of many Indian ladies suffering what you underwent is palpable. More pathetic is the legal system which took 10 years to come to a conclusion that a woman was harassed!!!.No wonder other crimes take longer time. Hope you win the other case also against you .. I am only not too sure about any lessons learnt by people in our country. We as NRI’s are appalled by the sorry state of affair. Not that we do not hear/face such circumstances here, but the redresal seems to be on the positive side here.
    My supports to you. Salutes to your husband who stood like a rock. A wise man once said- “when a brave one takes a stand the spines of others are stifenned”

  32. alok says:

    Hi Rina,

    i have seen the story on crime patrol.you have really shown the patience to fight for 11 long years, feel pity to our legal system which takes decades to decide.

    its unfortunate that the media house which vouch against sexual harassment and writes so much on this , did not take any stand , rather protected the culprits.
    i am sure your fight shall be inspiring others and shall be giving a ray of hope to voice against sexual harassment.

    wish you all the best for the remaining cases.

    regards,
    alok

  33. Roshan says:

    Hi Rina

    Watched the episode on TV and I could partially relate to what you experienced professionally.

    I too was a victim of professional conspiracy and as a result was terminated from my work last year. Yet, until the last day of my work I completed all assigned work to me. I was shattered; even now I can sense the pain I went through. For no fault of mine, the organization subjected me to constant mental harassment and branded me as a non performer. My wife too was carrying at that time and it made things that much difficult.

    I want to teach a lesson to that organization but seriously if the case drags for 10 years, I have no patience as I have to support my family. But kudos to you for your patience and perseverance.

    Along with sexual harassment unit, I strongly believe there should be another unit to handle professional harassment. So easily, people are targeted for no fault of theirs. There should be an unit to handle these cases too because they can lead to depression easily.

    • Rina Mukherji says:

      I am sorry to hear about your ordeal. But haven’t you had any departmental inquiry? Most organisations do. Of course, there are a lot of groupies and caste groups in many organisations, and it may be difficult to fight them.
      There are administrative tribunals to deal with professional issues, but honestly, I would never advise anyone to go to court. It is best to move on, rather than waste your best years in court.

  34. Yashodhara says:

    Congratulations Rinaji.Today I feel words are very poor vehicle to express the emotions. I saw all the three episode of Crime petrol with tears in my eyes. Your elevan years struggle must have helped to smoothen professional lives of all the feamale employees working with Statesman. They should be gratful to you. Hats Off to you & many thanks to Sony.

  35. anurag bhatt says:

    Dear Rina Ma’am,

    Kindly accept my “Dandvat Pranam”. I don’t want to congratulate you because its given when someone gets something extraordinary or achieve something which he/she didn’t have earlier.

    You haven’t got anything additional but what you rightfully deserved and which was snatched away from you for some time…your skill, your expertise, your wisdom, your professional competency, your dedication, your confidence and your self-esteem.

    Thanks to you that we all still respect our mother’s and all other females who, no-matter what happens, are always patient, cool, caring, hard-working, dedicated and kind at heart. We all believe in the belief that something good will happen at last, just because of women like you.

    I strongly doubt that, had it been any male in your position, he would have carried on with the fight…rather he definitely have given-up hope or have compromised.

    I don’t think I am capable enough to give suggestions like keep up the good-work or keep yourself intact for the other two cases…no not at all. I am into PR and work closely with some very good media professionals and I am delighted to know about you, not because you won but because you stood against something which in today’s time is termed as “Professional Exploitation & Harassment”…and this is also done to males but females are always the soft-target.

    I believe you have already started it but still I want to request that you should help those as well who have lost courage or have given-up hope to stand against such unjust.

    Thanks & Regards
    Anurag Bhatt

  36. Kumkum says:

    Dear Dr. Mukherjee,
    I watched the program in Crime Patrol this weekend.I just wanted to thank you so tried a lil bit to find your real identification.
    After watching the program I felt that you should be shown as a role model for the girls.You empitomises power,courage, conviction,dedication.
    I also wanted to thank your husband for showing solidarity with you.
    Thank you for showing me that in this negative world also there is a ray of hope if we persue our conviction.

    Regards
    Kumkum

    • Rina Mukherji says:

      There are definitely more good people than bad in this world. or else, it would not have run! But it is our system that needs to learn to move. I am proud to have made it move: I had vowed to move the state juggernaut in my fight for justice….but look how the wheels move!! What is the point in having a social welfare state when people often die before justice is delivered?

  37. AbdulNaseer says:

    I salute your patience and pray for a healty recovery of your deep wounds. Many congratulations to you and your husband.

  38. Chandrachur says:

    Hello Rina Maam,
    Just saw your story being telecast in Crime Patrol.

    Hats off to your struggle. You are really an embodiment of “stand & fight if you think you are right” – no matter whosever you are fighting against. Me & my wife are simply in awe of your struggle & persevarance.

    We are far off from India (In US), but I can empathize with you. I had faced a similar situation (though not harrassment) in which I was asked to leave because of political undercurrents in the organization (ironically in an agency). I had even thought of protesting but by god’s grace I got a better opportunity & I thought to move on with life rather than protesting. But you surely taught me what I should have done – “stand & fight if you think you are right”.

    Regards
    Chandrachur

    • Rina Mukherji says:

      Glad you got a better deal. BTW, some international publications have documented my story too. Will send u the links once they publish the same!

  39. Rashmi says:

    Dear Rina,

    I can imagine the level of mental trauma you have gonr through. I have gone through some level of it when I was working in 2001.

    I really did not know who to turn to. I have been one of those who just left the organisation and moved on.

    Hats off to you and would love to keep in touch.

    You are truly inspiring.

    Regards, Rashmi

  40. Naaz says:

    Dear Rinaji,
    If not for crime patrol,i would have never known your plight.Hats off to you!!! I crown you as “queen of patience”.May your future be nullified double with happiness from that of past plight.Being an NRI,i recently faced humility coz of my country,when i mentioned am an Indian,an expat skeptically said “oh really Delhi ,horrible ,so many rapes etc….”Its high time we need women oriented bills.India should give prime importance to fast track court judgement.I want justice for delhi gangrape victim and 5year old girl.Third degree punishments should b sentenced on culprits.

    • Rina Mukherji says:

      Naaz, it might seem ironical but India, you will find, has the best, unbiased, thoughtful legislation in these matters. We are well ahead of the US and many Western countries. We must thanks our founding fathers and successive governments for all this. And yet, the manner in which crimes against women are tackled is a disgrace. Socially, the women who complain are ostracised,and we get singled out as mischief-makers wherever we go to work. We need to cultivate a cultural mindset where women are treated as individuals with equal rights as humans. Only then will this stop.

  41. Kamal Naidu says:

    Dr Rina Mukherji,

    First and foremost, people like you are the strength to younger generations in our country and people around. You inspire others, thousands of miles away I am touched and have hope now that our country will progress towards the right direction. Its slow and its painful but believe me this verdict will give strength to many others who desperately need it.

    Just that I regularly watch ‘Crime Patrol’ I must give them credit to bring such issues on the front and make everyone aware.

    And no less is my admiration towards your husband who stood beside you all through these years.

    I wish you all the best for your future.

  42. Govin says:

    Dr. Rina, what you done is simply outstanding. I salute your sheer determination. Even for three quick episodes in Crime Patrol as a viewer, felt little long but I can’t believe that you fought the real fight for so long. You are an inspiration. It was heart wrenching to watch a little girl in crime patrol who questioned the word ” fighting” grow up to question why mom goes to court daily.

  43. Rina Mukherji says:

    Oh, my daughter is 15 years old now. And often wonders aloud..why do I attend court when I am not a lawyer. SH is something too complicated to explain, and a fight for justice ,I guess, even more so!

  44. Amit Budhiraja says:

    Hats off to you R M.I hope it sets an example for others to get up n fight for their pride.

  45. Rina Mukherji says:

    Thans, Amit. But activists have already pointed to many loopholes in the new SH Act; we can only hope that it will help fetch justice easier to the many others who are fighting for their rights to be treated as equals at the workplace!

  46. n.gupta says:

    Hello Rina Ma’m.I saw an episode on t.v based on your experiences.It was after watching the show that I googled out the true article,and hence came across this one.

    Being a professional myself,I found it very useful and inspiring.You are indeed very strong! As the t.v show proceeded,i kept wondering..what if the culprit could have done some harm to you? i mean,as an act of revenge or anger.
    Did such a thought come to your mind as well?

  47. Rina Mukherji says:

    You know, Mr. Gupta, I have never known fear. Neither do I believe in self-pity. What I felt, and still feel, is anger. I have yet a long way to go for full victory, and am yet to get the compensation and be reinstated. In India, a win is not enough. It is an uphill struggle to get your dues too!

    And when I read about what other women in a similar situation are going through, it is anger that overwhelms me. I am angry at an unjust system, and what women who stand for honesty and professionalism must battle for.

    But I honestly feel, if you stand up to your adversary, nothing can deter you. That was dogged me on; and that is what will help all women who stand up for their self-respect!

  48. Sandeep Singh says:

    Just going through the three episodes was so frustrating and felt so angry that i wanted to punch the guy in the place where it hurts the most…Anyways i don’t know why i feel so inspired to know about your story even though you can say i am a guy and might not have to go through this…Go girl go and get the full victory that u deserve…all the best

  49. Ipsita says:

    Dear Rina

    I had moved to Kolkata from Pune in early 2010, and was on the lookout for media jobs. Took up a position at The Statesman as sr. copy editor. However, I was very unhappy with the work culture, infrastructure, politics in office etc. especially since I had worked in reputed media organisations in other cities before. Something just didn’t feel right at the Statesman.

    Gradually I befriended one of my junior colleagues who filled me in on a lot of insider-info on the wrong-goings withing the organization. She also told me, “Google Ishan Joshi…may be you will find a good reason to quit.”

    The very first hit on google made me come across your story. As I read more and more, I made up my mind that I am not going to ruin my career at a horrendous organization like this one that encourages criminals by offering them top jobs. In fact, in those days, Mr Joshi was having a torrid affair with one of the employees on the news desk and “favouritism” was rampant. In fact, just as they were about to harass me further by putting me on the night shift duty every day, I submitted my resignation.

    Thanks to you Dear Rina…your story was an eye-opener and you saved not just my life but maybe those of so many others who would have risked their careers here.

    Godspeed and may every victory be yours.

    Regards and good wishes, Ipsita

  50. Mudra Bhavsar says:

    Congrats Dr. Rina, I got to know about your case from crime patrol and all the best for your upcoming challenges in the case. Though not sexual harassment but due to other reasons even i was asked to resign from my job as assistant professor, against my wish. I raised voice against the injustice going on in work place regarding regular delays in salary payments. It was about 8 months ago. Everyone advised me not to fight, I lost confidence in me. But your story has given me a ray of hope to fight against injustice at work place. thank you.

  51. Deepali says:

    Hey Dr.Rina,
    Very good Job!! Great Victory!!!
    Yesterday we saw a Episode in crime patrol…but from yestrday the thaught was not going form root of my mind…was just thinking ? Who was that Namrata Das?? ( Crime patrol episode charactor in real life N who is AWAKEN? Was really thinking about you only.
    Finally in office could manage to found some time to google & find the real charactor..
    This much effort took just to Salute you & convey my feelings to you!

  52. Anuja says:

    Hi Rina,
    Today in a repeat telecast of crime patrol dastak,I saw this case and googled it to find you.
    Throughout the episode I was on the edge of my seat and was thinking that it is really a big deal to fight for 10 years for a cause.Most of us would lose the patience to do so.
    At the end when the court ran in favour of you I was so over whelmed that there were tears in my eyes.
    My heartiest congratulations to you.

  53. Surabhi GK says:

    I salute you, Dr. Rina Mukherjee for you courage & patience.
    I saw your case on Crime Patrol.
    I was inspired by you to fight my case. If I dont get justice where I am fighting the complaint currently, then I plan on taking the case to the court.
    My question is: what difference did it make (at the judiciary/justice-delivery level) even after numerous women (inlcl. Ms Rina) winning the case. One still has to go thru long & tough battles everytime.
    MY CASE: NGO Center for Free English Classes: Illegal termination after reporting molestation on female students by co-teacher. 12-15 yr old girls. hugs, touching habit, runs his hands over bare arms of 14yr old girl, for instance. Atleast one girl confessed to have quit after he touched on arms/shoulder again & again despite objection. Makes 14yr old his girlfriend. Co-teacher is 21yr old man. Rests his head onto girl’s shoulder INSIDE classroom.

    I sent voice recordings & then requested them to come & conduct an independent investigation. A week later, Center shut down & I was served show-cause notice making false allegations that I “shouted & used abusive language at an adjoining health camp two days ago”. I was terminated despite stating that I dint leave my class & never attended any health camp.

  54. Dr. M P S RAMANI says:

    Madam Rina
    I saw your case first in Crime Patrol on Sony TV. But I could identify the real person only recently. Your reinstatement was ordered as long back as February this year. Have you got your back wages? You have won only as labour dispute. Your and everyone else’s real victory will be only when the perpetrator of the crime is punished.
    Now another case is going on against Tarun Tejpal of Tehelka. In contrast to your case here the victim need not do anything. She has only to sit back and watch. Others will fight for her.

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