Arunabh Kumar has maintained a stoic silence about being accused of sexually harassing his female employees. The CEO of The Viral Fever has finally responded to the allegations that went viral as a blog post. But his response couldn’t have been more aloof and strange.
He was quoted saying,
“The kind of insinuations the FB post makes are untrue. I am a heterosexual, single man and when I find a woman sexy, I tell her she’s sexy. I compliment women. Is that wrong? Having said that, I am very particular about my behaviour – I will approach a woman, but never force myself.”
The fiasco was sparked when an anonymous post on a news portal brought to light a different side to the TVF founder. The post reads –
“I am abruptly called by Arunabh at 6.45 pm. I am in the local bank towards my home. He demands I come back to office. Apparently, I have not finished some part of my work. I reluctantly come back. There are three people in office. Two of them leave within five minutes of me coming in. And Arunabh is sitting on a chair in a casual manner. I walk up to him. He looks at me and asks me – “Chaturbhuj Sthan ka naam suni ho”? I am stunned. For non-starters, Chaturbhuj Sthan is the Red-Light district of Muzaffarpur. I didn’t respond. His second question – “Humko Chaturbhuj Sthan bahut pasand hai. Udhar commercial deals hoti hain. Tum bhi to commercial deal pe aayi ho”. I was getting where he was leading the discussion to. I avoided an interaction. I said “Arunabh, aap bade bhai hain. Meri tabiyat thodi theek nahi hai. Kya karna hai bataiye. Hum karke ghar jaayenge.” He suddenly holds my hand. Says “Madam, thoda role play karein”. The Ola team was meeting him and we were taking notes. He walks out of the meeting with some excuse and calls me for some notes. I walk up. He says it’s time we do a ‘quicky’. I am stunned. And I told him I will go to the police. He says, “Police to meri pocket me hai”. I walked out deciding never to come back. I walk up to my bosses and tell them that I don’t want to see him, they simply ask me to walk out. I tell (Naveen) Kasturia that this is what has happened, and he laughs it off. Says, ‘Duniya hai. Hota hai.’ I just wished I could kill myself.”
Arunabh clarified that Aayushi Agarwal who commented on the post complaining about a similar encounter in the TVF office, was in fact harassed by a fellow colleague against whom strict action was also taken.
Though Kumar considers it harassement only if he had forced himself on a woman, that is not factually the definition of harassement. He may be particular about his behavior but his response in defense doesn’t seem all that much favorable to him in the soup he is in!