Guwahati: After #MeToo gained momentum in India, which had hordes of women coming out and naming their alleged sexual abusers, a #MenToo movement is now emerging from the shadows. Kawaljit Singh Anand, a Mumbai-based model, has accused fashion designer Vijay Arora of removing him from selected models’ list in several fashion weeks only because he allegedly refused to give him sexual favours.
Anand, who hails from Guwahati in Assam, took to Facebook on Wednesday, in which he highlighted the plight of men belonging to India’s fashion industry. The allegation has come after Diandra Soares, another model from India’s fashion industry, called out Suhel Seth for sexual misconduct in an FB post.
Talking about the opportunities that he had to let go, Anand said in his post, “All this because I had pushed him (Vijay Arora) away when he was trying to touch me inappropriately outside a party venue.” He further adds, “While I was walking away angrily, he told me categorically that he will make sure I never do any of the fashion weeks.”
Anand recalls a Lakme India Fashion Week audition (LIFW) held in 2006, where Arora had told the rest of the panel that he would not select him and how he would make sure that none of his designer friends chooses him either.
He also mentions about the alleged “nasty messages” that he would get when he would try to talk to Arora regarding his payment for a show.
Towards the end of his post, Anand makes an appeal to his colleagues, particularly male models from the fashion industry, to come forward and name their abusers and harassers.
Two days before putting up an FB post accusing Arora of sexual harassment, Anand had put up another post, wondering if the entire #MeToo movement is a sexist one, limited to only women, and whether men would get similar support from the world.
Meanwhile, Arora has denied all allegations laid against him by Anand. In a report that appeared in The Times of India, Arora said: “When he auditioned for Lakme Fashion Week, I did not vote for him because he did not walk well and I was not the only jury member for the auditions. There were five other people, so the majority had agreed about this decision to not include him. All other allegations are false and baseless from one who is clearly disgruntled with a jury decision. I’m also approaching my lawyers for appropriate legal action soon.”