Millennium Post

Tejpal not doing Goa cops favour

Should temporary breather granted to the Tehelka rape accused Tarun Tejpal be interpreted as a sign of the times to come? Perhaps not. Although the editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine was on Friday evening given a relief until Saturday morning, as a Goa judge ruled in favour of hearing his bail plea, this does not and should not mean that mammoth hurdles are already being placed in the way of justice. Tejpal is clearly acting like a man not just cornered but deeply aware of his transgression, in fact, crime. It was shameful on the part of his defence counsel to name the young journalist in the Goa court, admittedly not a mistaken act but a concerted attempt to malign the woman. Once again the Tejpal brigade is resorting to shove down the bunkum of the rape scandal being a political conspiracy and perhaps an orchestrated effort to carry out a smear campaign against the Tehelka supremo to escape the possible penalties that he might have to face, if convicted. Given that the punishment would not be less than 10 years in jail, especially because it could very well be an instance of custodial rape, one done by a man in position of power and authority over the woman, Tejpal and his family are bound to clam up and act to ensure self-preservation. However, Tejpal has already floundered on several counts. His attempt to insinuate that the young reporter is a stooge of the rival political camp, in this case the BJP, is simply abhorrent. Why would a promising young journalist give up her career, allow her bodily and mental sanctity be put under the harsh light of media scrutiny, if she was not deeply convinced of being violated by the man in question, in this case her former employer as well as, by their own admission, a father figure?

Now that Tarun Tejpal has come out from hiding, he’s behaving as if he’s doing a favour to all and sundry by agreeing to cooperate with the police and ‘join the probe.’ This after implicating the girl in a gigantic political conspiracy to bring him and his media empire down. His only interest is to protect the interests of his wealth, his organisation and the brand equity of his allied projects, including the possibly doomed Thinkfest and the probably aborted Prufrock, the elite, invitation-only club for the rich and famous to hobnob with each other. Tejpal was clearly using his news-cum-views organisation to build his dubious media empire, an enterprise of questionable credentials that has been striking nefarious deals with unscrupulous corporate bodies, most of them accused in gigantic scams, such as Coalgate, 2G telecom scam, the Goa iron ore mining scam as well as the front corporation of the murdered liquor baron Ponty Chadha. Therefore, Tejpal is clearly not alone in this battle, since he has the entire gamut of his political and business buddies backing him up. Several people have vested interests in saving Tejpal, whose fall from grace might in fact kick a hornet’s nest of trade secrets that they would want eminently buried under the sand of public and even media ignorance. Probably, this would end up becoming a war between the media and the political establishment at the end of the day, since it is us whose credibility is at stake in this case. We must keep up the pressure, on judiciary, on the political circuilt and the investigating bodies, so that law is allowed to take its own course. It’s our Nirbhaya moment and we must stand by our wronged daughter and sister.        

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