Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tarun Tejpal


The only time I listened to Tarun Tejpal speaking in public was when he was the chief guest on the occasion of the Annual Day in my school five or six years ago.  I loved his speech.  He spoke on the importance of courage, courage to question what’s wrong.   It was an inspiring speech, a really motivating one.  It came from genuine convictions. 

Tejpal’s magazine, Tehelka, has always reflected that courage.  The magazine has been questioning a lot of wrong things in Indian politics.  Tejpal had the courage to attack formidable leaders like Narendra Modi.  He brought convincing arguments and evidences against people like Modi.  I have a fair share of admiration for this person called Tarun Tejpal.

The scandal that has erupted is being blown out of proportion, I think.  The media loves to report about the sexual fallibility of people who have some reputation.  It’s true that Tejpal slipped; he did make a mistake.  He admits it.  See his letter to the woman concerned:

I think the letter reveals Tejpal’s characteristic courage.  He acknowledges his error and asks for forgiveness.  I don’t know if what Tejpal has said in his letter is the entire truth regarding the matter.  If it is, I would like to see a happy ending to this affair.  Sex scandals are really boring affairs, all the more so when they are magnified.


24 comments:

  1. Frankly ... The goods the person has done so far should be enough to forgive him on this one count....Especially when he admits the mistake and had the guts to come forward with an apology...At least he is better than bunch of politicians , who loots the country under the pretext of 'Social Work'...

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    1. The fact is that we don't even what exactly happened. Nothing much seems to have happened at all. But anything connected with sex arouses a lot of interest in our country.

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  2. 1. Tejpal was running a biased magazine. His political affiliation with the Congress party are well known. Of course Congress stands for everything there is right about politics in India and BJP is nothing but a cauldron of the evil. Whenever I have picked up a copy of the Tehelka their editorials have typically spoken from a perspective which stood firmly in defense of the Congress party.
    http://www.firstpost.com/india/sibals-stake-in-tehelka-whom-do-we-believe-minister-or-data-1246199.html
    http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tehelka-comes-in-handy-for-defensive-congress/article1565661.ece
    2. Any amount of his naming and shaming is insufficient. Maybe your love for the magazine(a Congress pamphlet, if you ask me) is clouding your judgement. But sexual molesters need to be boycotted and be subjected to the harshest kinds of trials(media or otherwise).
    3. Maybe Ram Singh and Dhananjay Chatterjee could have written open and 'courageous' letters too.
    4. It is time Tehelka be shut down for dwindling accountability standards and rotten work ethic. I am hoping Modi arm-twists Tehelka into closure upon ascending to power.

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    1. Sid, I think your judgment is far more clouded by your fanatical leanings toward the BJP and its parivar than mine is at any time.

      I really don't think a sexual peccadillo is a serious matter compared with the kind of crimes that go unpunished in our country. How can you exonerate or even deify a man like Modi who was responsible for hundreds of murders and thousands of evictions, and find fault with a man who felt a sexual attraction towards a colleague?

      I'm not justifying Tejpal's action. I'm saying that we are wrong in our priorities.

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  3. It's time we moved beyond Kejriwal's and Tejpals of this nation.

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    1. Really, Uma, we need a leader who can show us the right lights.

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  4. Apologizing doesn't always washes away the ill one does. Sometimes, the blot is permanent. I would hate any man who disrespect woman in anyway anytime.

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    1. Not always, Namrata. The blot is not always permanent. You'll see how this case turns out. You'll see the political motives behind it. And then you'll understand that there are many blots lying in many other places.

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  5. Assuming there is some credit to what the journalist claims.. Doing something wrong and then apologizing for it... I dont think that washes it away..
    Need to wait and see how much grain of truth is actually there in it... or not!

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    1. There's every chance of this case being highly politicised, given the kind of enemies that Tejpal has created for himself. I too recommend the wait. Even otherwise, I'm of the opinion that we shouldn't lose sense of proportion. There are hardcore criminals sitting in our Parliament...

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  6. Anything that our media reports is so over blown, exaggerated and even distorted. I cant believe the way they make a mountain out of moles. He had sex and was honest enough to come out, I mean didn't Bill Clinton do the same thing......so why make a such a big issue out of this. There are so many perverts misbehaving with kids and many rapists running lose but they cant report on that. I strongly feel that people in the news media should have some standards and not make an issue out of anuthing and a joke out of vital issues.

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    1. I support your stand on this, Athena. We are such perverts that anything related to sex titillates us, especially if some significant people are involved. We need to learn to prioritise.

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  7. This mistake cannot be forgiven particularly when many from the younger generation is looking up to him as a role model in journalism. Apologizing is fine, but take the punishment and if he still has it in him to do something for the country let him do it from jail. That will be appreciated.

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  8. I liked him too but drinking and molesting is strict no no

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  9. Your post is biased.. Read through this and then take the call !!
    http://newindianexpress.com/thesundaystandard/The-victims-letter-to-Shoma-Chaudhuri/2013/11/24/article1907442.ece

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    1. Thanks for the link. It does throw more light on the matter. I agree with you that Mr Tejpal seems to be more culpable than I had imagined. Mine was not bias, as you accuse me of, but dearth of information and a simple hope that the man for whom I had quite a bit of admiration would not stoop so low.

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  10. Matheikal, I can not agree with the tenor of your blog post about Tejpal. It is not about Tejpal doing a thousand rights and one wrong. It is about misusing his authority for comitting a sexual offence. An accused can not be the judge and the jury and decide how to make up to the victim. Not only has he tried to assassinate the character of the victim, I was apalled to read his submissions in court, in which he has alleged that the victim is attempting to frame him with political backing of BJP.

    I suppose you know by now, Tejpal is a close kin of our Law Minister and the excellent Tehelka expose till date have never touched any of the party to which the Law Minister belongs. In fact even Arundhati Roy whose sayings I do not much care for otherwise, and you are very fond of, has spoken against Tejpal in this incident.

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    1. Perhaps, my personal admiration for the man clouded my judgment, Aditi. As I find out more about the case, I'm beginning to change some of my opinions. For example, if what the victim says is the truth, then Mr Tejpal turns out to be quite a different person from what I have thought of him so far. Yet I wouldn't want to condemn a person merely because of one lapse. Let the law take its course; I'm entitled to my personal views. If Mr Tejpal is courageous enough to admit his mistake and acknowledge genuine regret, I wouldn't condemn him.

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    2. "If Mr Tejpal is courageous enough to admit his mistake and acknowledge genuine regret, I wouldn't condemn him." Spoken like a true liberal, :).

      Here's a toast to the ilk of well - meaning dreamers, pray that they may never be asked to stand in jury to decide on a criminal complaint about of a person they personally have liked in the past.

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    3. Not at all, Aditi. I won't ever be in any jury. Even when I got the chance to be in some, I tried to save the accused with the dreamer's optimism.

      My next post is for people like you.

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  11. Well, I don't know the truth...so I won't comment on this :)

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    1. I know it's difficult to have an opinion on this issue. I was, in fact, wondering what you would say about this, considering the fact that you're a woman. Perhaps, Tejpal has sinned more than I had imagined when I wrote this blog post. Perhaps, there's something about the whole affair that I am yet to see clearly.

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    2. Well, you just have to see Phaneesh Murthy's case. Even though there was hoopla around the scandal and everyone was blaming Murthy, I don't think Reka Maximovitch was totally blame-free. She had an affair even when she knew he was married...she did it for power. And when the boat rocked, charges of sexual harassment were slapped...I believe both the parties are to blame. Each had an interest in that supposed harassment.

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