After a blog post accusing Arunabh Kumar, the CEO of The Viral Fever (TVF), of sexual harassment went viral, came similar complaints from other women.
But while Kumar, who heads the web video content company, didn't make any comment on social media despite the hoopla, he has given an interview to Mumbai Mirror in which he has denied all the claims made in the blog post. But his reasons for denying one of the claims, is just bizarre.
Kumar told the Mumbai-based tabloid that the allegations are fake and he has asked the complainant to either report the matter to the police or the Human Resources team at the company. He, like other employees in the company, said that TVF hadn't hired anyone who fit the profile of the author of the blog post.
The CEO also said that they had asked for the blog post to be taken down, and added that he was prepared to respond to all the allegations. He further iterated that he was ready to face persecution if he had done anything wrong.
Kumar said that Aayushi Aggarwal, who had complained about TVF in the comments section of the blog post, had made a complaint against a colleague following which action had been taken as per law.
But then came the coup de grace. Responding to the allegations of sexual harassment by filmmaker Reema Sengupta, Kumar said:
"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 behavior - I will approach a woman, but never force myself," he says.
Sengupta had said that she was sexually harassed while working with the company, while another woman said that she too was propositioned by Kumar before TVF became the Rs 270 crore worth content company that it is currently.
Kumar's defence against the allegations leveled by Sengupta is perhaps the worst idea, given the company and its employees are sticking their necks out to defend him.
Under the law to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, any gesture or sentence harassing a woman constitutes sexual harassment.
Despite Kumar believing that he would need to force himself on a woman for it to constitute harassment, it isn't the case. He may, as he says, be particular about his behaviour. But in this case, he has done himself no favours with this defence.