Fall of a media moralist - The New Indian Express

Fall of a media moralist

Published: 24th Nov 2013 07:15:35 AM

The small parking lot in front of the M-Block of Greater Kailash Part-II where Tehelka magazine’s offices is crowded with journalists hunting another journalist. OB vans jostle for space, and hacks wait restlessly for a byte or a bite of the biggest scandal that has engulfed the Indian media—the sexual molestation of a young colleague by Tehelka’s founder-editor Tarun Tejpal. The parking boys are making a killing, charging Rs.1,000 as fees instead of the usual Rs. 10. The wolf pack with mikes aren’t complaining,  as they wait for Tehelka’s managing editor and long time Tejpal associate Shoma Chaudhury to emerge like a modern Antigone in a sordid saga of admission,  acquiescence and blatant defiance. The man who the Western newspapers had crowned as India’s biggest crusader of truth after his spy cams claimed significant scalps is now hiding from the cameras.

Says an art curator who had attended the Think fest where the molestation happened, “He is a victim of hubris, he genuinely believed in the infallible myth of himself.” It was his Shakespearean flaw; creating a formidable brand with indomitable will and ‘lacerating’ it with at costly “bad lapse of judgment, an awful misreading of the situation,” as his email to Chaudhury said.

At Think, the audience booed him for making a long speech on Amitabh Bachchan, who they were more keen to hear. “Clearly he has no sense of propriety, referring to Amitabh Bachchan as Amitabh,” said a Goa resident present at the jamboree. “At a formal event, you call him Mr Bachchan.” But Tejpal couldn’t care less. The writer who would cultivate publishers sycophantically but tore up the manuscript of his first novel which was rejected by Penguin Books, would later claim he was the one who introduced Sir V S Naipaul to Indian society by throwing a big bash for him at the ITC Maurya’s Nandiya Gardens after he won the Nobel Prize. By the time it was the second decade of the Noughties, Tejpal had become an international name, listed by Asiaweek as one of Asia’s 50 most powerful communicators; by The Guardian as among the 20 who constitute India’s new elite and as one of India’s 50 most powerful people by Businessweek. His novels were published to international acclaim. The Sunday Times (UK) hailed The Alchemy of Desire as “an impressive and memorable debut”. Le Figaro called it a “masterpiece” and Sir. Naipaul raved, “At last! A new and brilliantly original novel from India.” In France, it won the Prix Millepages and was the finalist for the prestigious Prix Femina.

Also read:

Tejpal's kin visits woman journo's mother house  

The victim's letter to Shoma Chaudhuri

Police take custody of emails in Tehelka matter

Tejpal FIR also mentions Robert De Niro

Tejpal's kin visits woman journo's mother house

Pressure, intimidation on me to protect Tejpal: woman journo

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Comments(15)

I will like to know if Victim friends �talked or email on this matter to anyone including their office.If not the question raises credibility questions. Secondly would the situation be different if the victim were a �male and accused a female? I am sure that the �case would not have seen the day �if woman superior had asked for a sexual favour of a male subordinate?is it a true that a woman does not have to prove anything and all that she has to do is to express her helplessness.Is there any witness? As alleged by the victim Tej Daughter was disgusted and suggested her father did such act before.She appears to be honest and if that be the case should police not interrogate her to see if she confesses having told victim what according to her was a similar act committed by her father. Tej �is calling it judgement mistake?Is �it possible that the woman made gestures to get his attention having bein drunk as she �has admitted that at least on first occasion she was drunk.

The article by Ravi Shankar is excellently written and refreshing use of English language. I request more articles from this author and it is a joy to read his words.

I am amazed as to how Abhishek MAnu Singhvi who was caught on tape doing a much worse thing by promising the post of Judge to a woman lawyer got away scot-free through an out of court settlement with the driver !!!?? And is now appearing again in all TV debates and none of the women particiapnts are objecting to his presence.

Tejpal's success went to his head which made him think that he could get away with anything. He was preaching morality to the whole world, but did not realise that the same moral principles applies to him as well. Consequently, he thought that he was invincible. Over a period of two weeks his world came down crumbling. This shows that humility is atmost important whatever one's position may be in one's life. If one is humble success will not go to their head. All his earlier preachings sound hollow now.

I'd vetnure that this article has saved me more time than any other.

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