The Tarun Tejpal episode is being carried to unreasonable lengths. Does a case of sexual assault involving a high-profile media person warrant the sort of hype that is being built up? It is indeed ironic that a man who headed a publication that conducted a series of sting operations, tearing the veneer of respectability from the faces of quite a few politicians and others in high places, is today the victim of accusations that expose his double standards. One incident has cost Mr. Tejpal his aura of righteousness, a mask he so comfortably wore.
Worst still was the speculation by some ‘hyperactive’ sections of the media that this was a case of the BJP claiming its pound of flesh for the embarrassment the magazine caused the party in 2001. It appears to be a ridiculous contention that every crime in India has a political genesis, with the Congress and the BJP taking a major share of it.
The law is meant to protect only women. Whether or not gestures or words are harmless is left to the judgment and sensitivity of the person at whom they are directed. Even harmless gestures can be twisted at times. The fallout of the present law could be many small employers restricting job offers to men or women only to avoid disputes in workplace.
James Knight, a dentist, dismissed his assistant Melissa Nelson in Iowa because he found her “irresistible,” threatening his marriage. The woman lost her legal battle for reinstatement in the Supreme Court, which held that the firing was unfair but legal.