Monday, 25 November 2013

To Tarun Tejpal: The Alchemist of Desires?




Mr. Tejpal,

The cat is out of the bag. While they still try to ascertain if it’s black in colour or white, the crow has certainly flown away, never to return and sit as honestly, fearlessly and with as much dignity on letters which stood for all three – TEHELKA.  



Since news is all about numbers circled in red and flashed till the lights go off, let’s begin with what your site shows me. On searching for stories on ‘sexual exploitation’ covered by Tehelka, this is what I find. What a big number! More than 500 times, you have told us the truth and nothing but the truth, be it on trafficking of little girls or the ‘saint’ Assaram losing his halo. Losing his halo. Why, makes you think, does it not?

First – What you did, allegedly 

A woman journalist has accused you of sexually assaulting her on two occasions during a media event organized by the publication in Goa, earlier this month. Let’s put it differently. A woman whose father was your colleague once, and who is good friends with your daughter – someone who ‘had so deeply respected and admired you for years.’ If you fail, it will not just be at a professional level but at a very personal level too. You also know how shamefully that failure, if at all, will come about, for it would be proven beyond doubt that you assaulted someone who considered you a ‘paternal figure … responsible for offering me my first job, and always just a phone call away whenever I needed his advice on a story or life.’ 

After the first episode of what you call in your conversations ‘a drunken banter’ ... 

[To read further, kindly click here.]





30 comments:

  1. Woman, how do you keep better-ing your previous post? I know this isn't really the usual "Sakshi" piece, but my, oh my - explosive post. As such, I steer clear of commenting on anything "political", but this receives a thumbs up from me. As for Mr. Tejpal - he should be more than ashamed. I'll end it with that!

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    Replies
    1. There is no usual "Sakshi" piece. :)
      Thanks a lot, Sid. Glad you agree with me!

      Delete
  2. How sad is it that such news reports don't even rile me up any longer? The rot is deep and total. I don't even know how many generations it will take for us to course-correct our moral slide.
    The story had to be told. Glad you told it with your usual passion.

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    Replies
    1. I wonder if we can course correct and take a full U-turn, ever. It's just getting worse.
      Thanks for reading, Rickie.

      Delete
  3. Sakshi, since the case unfolded, every bit of it has filled me with revulsion. A figure of authority, an older, respected figure taking advantage of his position of power first to commit the act and then to try and brush it under the carpet. The woman, Ms. SC is even more blatant in her bid to silence the matter, call it internal, then do a turnaround. A woman's dignity is made a mockery of. The victim is further victimized by putting all kinds of pressures on her and her family. Think about her career. This nightmare will chase her for a long time to come. As far as justice is concerned, I have seen the ugly side of courts to realize how elusive and impossible that is. Good, strong write up!

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    1. Everything you say is so true. I hope she forgets the 'nightmare', but I know that is never happening. For her courage, I hope she gets what she wants out of this shameful incident in her life.
      Thanks for reading! :)

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  4. Like Rickie says in his comment, these incidents have ceased being surprising and shocking to me, and at times I am just so angry with myself for having become so numb, cynical and not expecting anything good to happen in this dark, dirty world that we live in.

    One phrase which comes to mind when I read about the Tejpal incident is "oh, how the mighty have fallen". For somebody who built the reputation that Tehelka enjoys from scratch, what he did and how he and his cronies have handled it so far leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

    Lovely post Sakshi, loved the fact that you let your anger, frustration and indignity pour through the words.

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    1. Anger is good, cynicism and numbness to feel the shock is not. Or so I think. The anger that pours out on the road may not be able to bring about change things immediately, but it helps to keep us angry and talking, and doing - and that's where the hope for a better tomorrow springs from.

      Mighty have fallen indeed, Jairam. So so sad. Why Tejpal would do what he did baffles me too. Perhaps, this is not the first time? Don't know!

      Thanks for reading, Jairam.

      Delete
  5. The fact that these things happen doesn't shock me either, but I am also concerned about where society is heading. Wonder how we can adapt to that!

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    1. There will be left no choice but to "adapt" to the change, even as we try doing our bit. Such is the way of life. Thanks a lot for stopping by, Michelle.

      Delete
  6. When I read in the news that her father was his friend it made me want to puke. :| As always extremely well written!

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    1. Just read his latest statement that it was light banter leading to a moment of privacy between two individuals... took the whole thing to a new definition of low...

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    2. Yes, I have used that 'light banter' in my post too. Atrocious!

      Delete
  7. I read the contents of the email and trust ne Sakshi, I got goosebumps. A little later I became numb. I can't imagine the condition of the journalist who went through it and I can imagine how much more tougher it would have been for her to write it out to prove the allegation. This case has somehow scared me much more than before. Probably because the wrongdoer was not an uneducated, financially poor, from the remote villages, which is otherwise what is described of rape convicts. I just hope she gets justice and is able to come out all this at the earliest possible.

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    1. Oh, that is a total misconception, or a conscious attempt to keep the spot light away from those who live comfortable lives, albeit debauched ones. Plus, money can get you out of any trouble, or news report. :) I don't even know what 'gets justice' means anymore, Rekha. I just hope she finds peace in her mind. And yes, at the earliest.

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  8. And bang on target Sakshi. You have written it perfectly. I wonder if the only way we can all collectively hold this man responsible is by speaking and writing more on this. And to imagine she was his daughter's friend, how appalling and sad...

    Richa

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    1. Appalling and sad, the relationship at a personal level making it even more.
      Thanks for reading, Richa.

      Delete
  9. Nowadays these issues have become so common in our country.. Don'w know when our morality side is going to improve... May God help us to be more human!

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    1. God must have given up, Sheethal. We have wise words in every religion teaching us 'morals', but while we worship them we care not what we do.
      Thanks for reading. :)

      Delete
  10. I read the woman journalist's email. Gross. Oh well, not surprised any more! Beautifully written, Sakshi!

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  11. Nicely put Sakshi Nanda . Specially what u told is so true ,, we cant trust our friends , friends fathers or fathers' frnds. How sad :( That too being the editor in chief of tehelka !
    One has to be vigilant every second I guess

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  12. Well written Sakshi. "Just one wish. God bless the journalists who turned whistleblowers against their own kind, and victims daring to fight powerful men".. Media and journalism are powerful channels, but they are run by the powerful themselves. Looks like the only way to deal with power is with power. And hence everyone wants to have their share of power / be associated with power. I think its time for a movement.. I just wonder how the world would be if everyone had a FAIR SHARE of power. A dream I guess - But utopian I'd think. Wonderfully penned.

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    1. Thanks a lot for reading, Nischala. That fair share of power does sound utopic at it's best, but then, it's good to aim high. There will be reason to celebrate even if we are half-way there. :)

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  13. http://VisitsToMoney.com/index.php?refId=328417

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  14. I wish there was more accountability and cases like these do not turn into mudslinging matches. The person who suffers the most is the victim and that is what disgusts me the most.

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    1. I agree, Amit.
      Thanks a lot for reading! :)

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