It is quite saddening that the founder and editor-in-chief of Tehelka, Tarun Tejpal, who held aloft the torch of investigative journalism, is now seen to be floundering in an investigation that questions his personal ethics. Although the reported sexual assault he inflicted on his woman employee may lacerate him and he may personally atone for it by absenting himself from his job for six months, he cannot escape from the law of the land.
C. John Rose,
The alleged acts of Mr. Tejpal are condemnable, more so because the magazine has always been vociferous in demanding that the country’s democratic and moral values be upheld. Managing editor Shoma Chaudhury’s response that it is an internal matter adds insult to injury.
You reap what you sow. No tear would be shed for the plight and predicament of Mr. Tejpal. The test of one’s character is in practising what one preaches and claims to stand for. The Editors Guild of India is right in saying that “the self-proclaimed atonement” is hardly a remedy.
It is sad that Tehelka is in a downward spiral and its top team has been accused of wrongdoing. One is reminded of a similar incident that involved sexual harassment in the media — the case of Bora Zivkovic, a leading light in the science blogging community, who had helped many science writers, both men and women, yet harassed several women along the way. When one of the women spoke out, he apologised without making any excuse. Merely stepping down for a fixed period is not enough. The law must take its course.
No profession, it seems, has been left untouched by charges of sexual misconduct. Politicians, actors, school teachers, close relatives, a judge and, now a mediaperson — all have been accused of harassing women. What is wrong with our attitude? When such incidents are reported, we lose our respect for the profession to which the alleged perpetrator belongs.
Yogeshwar Nagnathrao Tompe,