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Journalist furious over Governor’s pat; Twitter splits into 2

No matter who you are you have a personal space- be it physical or figurative, and no one can cross it without your consent.

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has brought himself into the eye of a controversy by patting a senior lady reporter on her cheek without taking her consent. The journalist’s tweet about the incident has gone viral, and a collective of journalists in Chennai is preparing to demand a formal apology from the Governor.

The senior journalist, Lakshmi Subramanian, is a reporter for a well-known weekly magazine. The tweet sparked a heated debate on Purohit’s intentions but has helped once again underscore the critical role of consent in any relationship, professional or personal.

Lakshmi said in her tweet that she had asked Governor Purohit a question at a press conference. Instead of replying, he patted her on the cheek without her consent.

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This is her Twitter post:

This post has gone viral, with about 1600 likes and 1900 tweets, and hundreds of replies locked in argument with each other.

Some claimed the touch was a ‘good touch’ and argued that Purohit is like a father figure to the journalist.

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Others would have none of this and pointed out that father figure or not, consent is consent, and pointed out that the meeting was a professional one between the holder of a Constitutional position and journalists.

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DMK Rajya Sabha MP K Kanimozhi too came out against the Governor’s gesture and made a point about the violation of personal space. 

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A group of Chennai-based journalists has decided to organize a protest near Raj Bhavan in the morning on Tuesday. They have said they would seek an appointment with the Governor to meet him in person and hand over a memorandum signed by the journalists demanding an apology.

Ironically, the incident had come at a press conference that Purohit had called the Chennai Raj Bhavan to announce a probe into the alleged ‘sex for degrees’ scandal at the Madurai Kamaraj University, of which the Tamil Nadu Governor is the de facto Chancellor.


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