The Hindu has rightfully taken an ethical stance on the reprehensible behaviour of Tarun Tejpal, which has affected the credibility of the media (“The unassailable case against Mr. Tejpal,” Nov. 25). What an abysmal fall for the Tehelka Editor-in-Chief, from being a crusader purporting to be the conscience of the country to a reprehensible predator who stands accused of raping a junior colleague and employee the age of his daughter!
Though a captain of the media, he completely disappeared from public view when his alleged sleazy deeds were revealed. The prevarication by Tehelka’s Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury, when she should have stood by the victim, seems to have bought time for Mr. Tejpal to begin the cruel character assassination that every sexually harassed woman sadly has to face in this country. While the victim has shown courage in resisting Mr. Tejpal’s tyranny, the blithe silence of the usual speakers in the corridors of power is revealing.
B. Vinod Kumar,
L’affaire Tarun Tejpal is an unfortunate chapter in the history of Indian journalism. It has damaged the credibility of investigative journalism and robbed the reputation and reliability of Tehelka. The Tehelka management committed a double default by not constituting a complaints committee, and not reporting the matter to the police even though the complaint by the woman journalist was a cognisable offence. The Goa police have done the right thing by registering an FIR. The Tehelka management should desist from doing anything to influence the complainant or her family, and allow the law to take its course.
The Tehelka episode has proved that sexual harassment is deep rooted in every strata of society. The journalist has indeed shown courage in bringing the matter to the media’s attention. One hopes justice will not be delayed for years.
M.C.S. Pavan Kumar,
The police and courts should act fast to bring the case to its logical conclusion. The morale of working women has received a boost after the swift police action in the case. Acts of sexual assault and harassment have increased. Almost no day passes without such incidents. The need of the hour is action on the ground to prevent such incidents, not knee-jerk reaction following a high-profile case.
Congratulations to The Hindu on taking a forthright stand on the issue of sexual harassment in general and the Tarun Tejpal case in particular. The episode reminds one of the Shakespearean saying, “one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.”
That said, a word of caution is in order. Let not the anger against the incident lead to the conclusion that all men are evil and that they will have to be punished, whatever the veracity of the proof. We need to be wary of the possible misuse of the sexual harassment law.
Aiyer Raju Sreenivasan,