A shocked Twitter is up in arms after it emerged that Tehelka’s editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal has stepped down from the magazine for a period of six months after allegedly sexually assaulting a female member of his staff. on a reporter in Tehelka.
Both 'Tarun Tejpal' and 'Shoma' are trending in India, with tweeters discussing the email sent out to employees by Tehelka editor Shoma Choudhary, as well as criticising the email sent by Tejpal, where he seems to reduce his actions to a "lapse in judgement".
Firstpost received an email which was sent out by managing editor Shoma Chaudhury to the employees of Tehelka informing them that Tejpal was “recusing himself as the editor of Tehelka for the next six months”. (Quote from the mail.)
Shoma’s email also said Tejpal had rendered an “unconditional apology to the colleague involved”.
Tejpal also wrote a letter to Shoma Chaudhury in which he said that, “A bad lapse of judgment, an awful misreading of the situation, have led to an unfortunate incident that rails against all we believe in and fight for. I have already unconditionally apologised for my misconduct to the concerned journalist, but I feel impelled to atone further.”
He said that he was stepping down for six months as part of he “must do the penance that lacerates me”. (Quote from email.)
However the charges appear to be more serious than just “a bad lapse of judgement”.
An email that was sent by the victim who is a reporter with Tehelka to the managing editor however says that what Tejpal did was not a bad lapse of judgment but a case of serious sexual assault. She says that Tejpal tried to disrobe her and extensively groped her twice during the recently concluded Think festival in Goa.
Here are some of the tweets:
What's sad is Tejpal's relied on the same social machinery his magazine fights; the hope that the wronged will stay quiet, and it'll go away
— Rohan Joshi (@mojorojo) November 20, 2013
Rarely have I been as horrified by anything as by Tejpal's email and Shoma Choudhary's accompanying mail. Disgusted to my core.
— Brown Sahiba (@Rajyasree) November 20, 2013
Precis of Tejpal's letter: Tehelka is great. I am sorry. I'll sit at home for 6 months. Tehelka is great. Tehelka is great. Tehelka is great
— Sachin Kalbag (@SachinKalbag) November 20, 2013
Lyricist Javed Akhtar however, has sprung to what seems to be a defense of Tejpal.
It is a shame that some one with such impeccable values has committed such an act but unlike some he has the guts to accept and repent
— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) November 21, 2013
Other tweeters seemed aghast and enraged at Akhtar's reaction, and Akhtar's son, Farhan Akhtar, has also attacked Tejpal.
Woke up to the shocking news of Tarun Tejpal!! A person in his position has to live by the ethical standard he demands of others! Sad...
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) November 21, 2013
@Javedakhtarjadu can I murder someone and repent ?
— अंकित जैन (@indiantweeter) November 21, 2013
Shame on you @Javedakhtarjadu ! I really regret that once I used to adore you as a lyricist.
— Ashok (@nationalizer) November 21, 2013
Editor Shoma Chaudhary has also come in for flak, with some saying that her accompanying email seems to defend Tejpal's actions.
And this Shoma Chaudhary? Woman, are you for real? You should be the FIRST one demanding an investigation. For shame!
— Sucharita Tyagi (@Su4ita) November 21, 2013
— Manreet S Someshwar (@manreetss) November 21, 2013
Shoma Chaudhary is taking Tejpal's side. Why am I not surprised. No hope until women themselves are sensitive to such crimes.
— Shubhashish (@shubHASHISH) November 20, 2013
So disgusting!Surprised firebrand Shoma Chaudhury is soft on this. Tehelka editor facing sexual assault allegations http://t.co/N2wJw32zxo
— Vinita Deshmukh (@VinitaDeshmukh) November 21, 2013
Updated Date: Nov 21, 2013 11:32:28 IST