Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal steps down after allegations of sexual misconduct.

published on November 20, 2013
Tarun Tejpal, the founder-editor of weekly news magazine Tehelka, stepped down from his post on Wednesday for six months after tendering an unconditional apology for “misconduct” with a female colleague during the magazine’s THiNK festival in Goa earlier this month. The matter went viral on Wednesday evening with many accusing Tejpal of being let off easily.

“A bad lapse of judgment, an awful misreading of the situation, have led to an unfortunate incident…” wrote Tejpal in an email to Shoma Chaudhary, Tehelka’s managing editor. “I feel atonement cannot be just words… I am therefore offering to recuse myself from the editorship of Tehelka… for the next six months.”

But as his email and Chaudhary’s subsequent email to Tehelka staff informing them of Tejpal’s decision spread across social media, many expressed outrage at the tone of his ‘atonement’ email and at the fact that he had been let off so easily; some called it a “six-month holiday.”

This, especially since the woman concerned is believed to have written an email to Chaudhury in which she narrates details of the assault. In the email, the woman has alleged that Tejpal physically assaulted her at least twice during the festival and that she informed three colleagues about the incidents when they happened. The female staffer said that she couldn’t inform Chaudhury at the time because it was impossible for her to get a minute alone with the managing editor given the demands of the festival on her senior colleague’s time.

In her email, the female staffer has asked that “Tehelka constitute an anti sexual harassment cell as per the Vishakha guidelines immediately, to investigate this matter. At the very least, I will need a written apology from Mr Tejpal…”

Top journalists described Tejpal’s letter and apology as grossly inadequate and demanded more accountability from the magazine. “It is meaningless for Tarun Tejpal to “recuse” himself as editor. Sexual harassment at Tehelka has to be dealt with according to law,” Tweeted senior editor Siddharth Varadarajan.

Read More : http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/tehelka-editor-steps-down-after-allegations-of-sexual-misconduct/article1-1153778.aspx

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