Hindi News

‘The Viral Fever’ Founder Arunabh Kumar Accused Of Molesting Colleague

Arunabh Kumar, CEO of the digital entertainment start-up The Viral Fever (TVF), has been accused of molesting multiple women. A woman, who blogs on Medium under the name ‘The Indian Fowler’, has accused Kumar of molesting and sexually harassing her a number of times during her stint as an assistant producer at the show. The blog post went viral soon after it was published on 12 March.


Here’s an excerpt from the post

“Day 21- I am abruptly called by Arunabh at 6.45 PM. I am in the local back 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 3 people in office. 2 of them leave withing 5 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 didnt 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”. I was stunned. None of this was something i had ever asked for. I ran away. Locked myself in the toilet. And cried. He went away. But i was thinking why the hell he is after me? What did i do to make this happen to me. That was the longest night of my life.” 

The woman goes on to relate other incidents of molestation, where she even went to the point of telling her other colleagues about it, but was rebuffed. “I walk up to my bosses and tell them that I don’t want to see him, they would say then walk out. I tell (Naveen) Kasturia that this is what has happened, and he laughs off. Says “Duniya hai. Hota hai”. I just wished I could kill myself. [sic]”

The woman also alleged that Arunabh laughed off her threats to file a police complaint and said that he had ‘police people’ on his side. 

TVF’s team has sent out a rather threatening press release in which they vowed to stop at nothing to find the identity of the woman who made these sensational accusations. “All the allegations made against TVF and its team in the article are categorically false, baseless and unverified. We take a lot of pride in our team and in making TVF a safe workplace that is equally comfortable for women and men. We will leave no stone unturned to find the author of the article and bring them to severe justice for making such false allegations,” reads the statement

Arunabh Kumar, an IIT Kharagpur graduate, co-founded TVF in 2010. The start-up, best known for its online shows such as TVF Pitchers and Permanent Roommates, usually makes videos that appeal to younger audiences along with gender-sensitive content. 

 Members of the team, Amit Golani, Naveen Kasturia and Nidhi Bisht have since called these allegations fake. 

Meanwhile, several other women have come out with their own personal experiences with Arunabh. 

Another young woman has also come out with a similar story. In an interview with The Quint, the woman said that Kumar invited her to his place and then grabbed her waist from behind. She said: “I liked one of his posts on Instagram, and after that numbers were exchanged. He then, just asked me to come over to his place to watch a movie, it was very weird. We were supposed to go out on a coffee, and then he asked me to go to his place. So we were in the balcony of his home, having tea and I had given him no hint that I wanted something to happen. I told him I went paragliding once, so he just suddenly came from behind him and held me. Even when I tried to get away, he held me by my waist. It was totally uncalled for. I told him to move away. I am so glad that finally someone has spoken up against him.”


Feature Image: afaqs.com