PC: Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times via Getty

NEW DELHI—I didn’t even know I was holding my breath until my phone screen flashed the message “Priya Ramani is acquitted.” And then my Twitter timeline exploded with happiness, tears and hope—from women I know, women I don’t know. But we were bound by an elation that felt deeply personal in a country where women are used to daily defeats and disappointments.

What happened on Wednesday afternoon was that an Indian court acquitted journalist Priya Ramani in a criminal defamation case filed against her by a former government minister. In 2018, during a #MeToo wave in the country, Ramani had alleged in a social media post that she was sexually harassed in 1993 by MJ Akbar, then a top newspaper editor, when he had called her to a hotel in Mumbai for a job interview. Following her allegations, over 20 other women had come forward to make sexual misconduct allegations against Akbar—who was then a minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet.

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