<link rel="stylesheet" href="//fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Open+Sans%3A400italic%2C700italic%2C400%2C700">Tehelka Archives « Aam JanataSkip to content


Four months in jail without bail, and with testimony that has visible loopholes, certainly requires a case to be examined thoroughly, not just by the courts but also democracy’s watchdog, the media.

Tehelka’s editor Tarun Tejpal, facing a rape charge levelled by a young colleague, is languishing in a Goa jail with bail being repeatedly denied, even as his friends and family rush around for judicial intervention and justice that remains elusive.

The Citizen had a close look at the alleged victims testimony and compared it to the CCTV footage available of those fateful moments in a five star hotel lift in Goa. While there is no footage of what happened in the few seconds/minutes that the lift took to go up and come down from the second floor of the hotel, what happened around the lift does not bear any similarity to what the alleged victim claims had happened.

In other words while the CCTV footage does not establish one way or the other whether the finger penetration constituting rape had taken place inside the lift, it does seem that the associated trauma and agitation that the alleged victim referred to in her complaints was strangely enough not recorded by the cameras.

The verbal ‘testimony’ of the alleged victim is not fully supported by the CCTV images. Narrating the events of 7 November 2013, the opening night of Tehelka magazine’s Think Festival in Goa, the alleged victim said in her written testimony, “as we made our way out of the elevator of Block 7 at the Grand Hyatt, Mr Tejpal held my arm and pulled me back into the lift.” It must be pointed out here that earlier they were in the Lift to drop actor and guest Robert de Niro, and his daughter to their suite as the alleged victim was on what she says “chaperone” duty with the Hollywood star.

So according to her Tejpal caught her arm and pulled her back into the lift saying “Let’s go wake up Bob.” The CCTV footage does not record this at all. Instead it show that after dropping the star to his suite on the second floor, they exited the building chatting rather amicably. Of course there is no CCTV record of this but apparently a hotel staffer passing by saw the two chatting and has given a statement to this effect. Tejpal later spelt out the details of the conversation and these were reportedly highly erotic stories told by the alleged victim to him. The Citizen is not repeating these, as while she has not denied the conversation, it is outside the realm of this report.

The CCTV then records the two re-entering the foyer after about five plus minutes and they go back into the lift together. The alleged victim seemed to be walking in quite easily, with Tejpal neither holding her wrist, nor dragging her into the lift. Incidentally the Hyatt Hotel Block 7 has only two floors, so there is not much that a would be rapist could do inside without the doors opening. It is not a very busy foyer, but waiters on duty can be seen opening the lift doors for de Niro’s entourage, walking up and down, as well as guests in the few minutes that are basically under scrutiny.

Again The Citizen is not in a position to gauge what went on inside the few seconds/minute in the lift as this was not recorded and both the alleged victim and the alleged accused have their own versions of this. This is the part when the alleged rape is reported to have taken place. The lift then opens on the second floor as per the CCTV recording and both come out, Tejpal in fact a little ahead, she following without fleeing, and they move out of the range of the cameras, supposedly having taken the stairs to go down again.They are seen then exiting the building.

The alleged victim, however claims, that the lift finally stopped at the ground floor and not the second floor where they were heading in the first place. And that Tejpal manipulated the buttons. And that after the alleged rape she, “picked up my underwear and began walking out of the elevator rapidly, he was still following me asking me what the matter was.” There is no way to independently check out the conversation, but the images do not show visible signs of agitation on her part.

The alleged victim then records how she informed her colleagues in Goa, and called her boyfriend long distance to tell him what had happened. But that she did not want to lose her job so the next morning she continued as if nothing had happened. There was even a fairly normal work related exchange of messages between her and Tejpal. Then at night when she was going up to fetch de Niro she met Tejpal, according to her version and he said, “come up with me, we have to get something from Bob’s room.” She claimed that she was scared as she did not want a repeat of the night before, and said she would go up and get what was required.

“I was scared of getting into the lift with him again, and more terrified that he was going to try and take me into a room this time. By this time he was holding me by the wrist and had taken me into the lift (which is barely a few steps away from the lobby of Block 7 where he had asked me to wait),” she has said. The CCTV images are at variance with this. Tejpal was not holding her or pulling her. In fact as they were getting into the lift a guest passed by and stopped to chat with Tejpal, who then followed her into the lift.

Then of course there is her testimony of what happened inside the lift, how he lifted up her dress, and the crude remarks that allegedly followed. And that she was so upset that when the lift doors opened on the second floor she said, “I’m taking the stairs and started to walk out”. He pulled me back in, sensing that I was on the verge of hysteria–by this point he was totally comfortably physically manhandling me, but sensing my sheer panic he did not touch me until the lift reached the ground floor. Right as the doors were about to open, he patted my behind once more.”

The CCTV footage shows them getting into the lift as outlined earlier, and in 20 seconds they are on the second floor. The door opens, she walks out first, Tejpal follows her out. He then stops and without touching her turns and goes back into the lift. And she runs back behind him and enters the lift. She could have taken the stairs if all that she said had happened, it was just two floors down. There was no dragging back, no pulling her in. And 20 seconds later they re-emerged from the lift on the ground floor, and walk out quite casually together.

The jury is clearly out on this one.

This article by Seema Mustafa was originally published in The Citizen - republished here, because their site doesn't seem to be working.

Breaking news being tweeted right now is that Goa police will be filing a 2700 page chargesheet against Tarun Tejpal for sexual assault. For a sense of proportion for those wondering how normal this is, the chargesheet against the Delhi Gang Rape (that gave birth to the law amendment that qualifies Tarun Tejpal as alleged "rapist"), Torture and Murder was 1,000 pages and people had mostly interpreted that unusually large number as symbolizing the gravity of the crime (I am no lawyer, or have an idea of a normal charge sheet. I went by reactions on Twitter.). This chargesheet is almost three times as big as that one (going by number pages alone) against a single "rapist".

As per DNA:

Investigating officer Sunita Sawant has charged Tejpal under sections 354, 354-A (sexual harassment), 341 and 342 (wrongful restrain), 376 (rape), 376(2)(f) and 376 (2)(k) (takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in his custody).

The 2,684-page charge sheet filed before Chief Judicial Magistrate Anuja Prabhudesai has examined 152 witnesses including the victim, staff of Tehelka magazine and the investigating officer in the case.

The charge sheet mentions that there are enough statements on record to prove that Tejpal has admitted the commission of rape, sexual harassment and outraging the modesty of the victim.

The investigating officer has noted that there are incriminating emails in this regard containing his apology, email letters to the victim regarding rape, sexual harassment, and outraging her modesty which were retrieved at his instance.

I am very fascinated by this phenomenon, since I have been following this very special case since a while now. Will update.


It is over two months that Tarun Tejpal has been in jail for raping a woman who did not want to file a police complaint. His chargesheet keeps getting delayed, and so does bail. Since I have taken a lot of interest in how this is unfolding, I decided to follow up and I still think that this case is very, very .... strange.

For one, the victim did not file a complaint. What the victim did, was released a series of emails to the media, who published them without question. Then hopped in BJP's Social Media team, a parade of panelists where the "Tejpal" side was mostly token and largely booed out of the arena by well organized media. Extremely reasonable skepticism "Why did the victim get into the lift ith someone who raped her on the day before, the second time?" was met by well organized bullying. Apparently, one cannot expect aversion for the rapist or at least some wariness and if the rape victim is fine being with her rapist alone, who are we to comment on that? The image of Aditya Raj Kaul yelling at Shoma Chaudhary and openly insulting her on National media was something you don't see sane journalists do with the worst criminals. It wasn't reporting. It was a pure hate attack. Nice suggestion for the country to understand how to understand this case. Point out the outrage. Done.

The full horror of the case was discovered by us as a nation, at which point the Chief Minister of Goa had to take notice and the police machinery swung into action and the case dropped into oblivion as long as Tejpal made no move to get free.

Not having been in the lift with Tejpal and his victim, I am not going to comment on what "really" happened or not.

My issue continues to be with the completely unbalanced response to this case, which now has started looking a design - NOT by the victim, who may indeed turn out to be wronged at the end of the day.

Check out this second series of very low key developments. Tejpal's bail application was accompanied by a copy of an email the victim had sent his daughter after his daughter visited the victim's mother. This is the same visit that got a complaint of intimidation. However, the email thanks Tiya Tejpal for visiting the victim's mother and in fact, even acknowledges Tiya's concern that the victim may be getting bad advice and says that she needs time to process what has happened (apart from accusing Tejpal of sending emails to her father's friend claiming that what happened was mutual). The victim actually appreciates Tiya Tejpal for being there for her all through in that email.

The next morning, she calls this same visit intimidation and does a press release asking Tejpal's family to not contact her further.  Something clearly changed between Tiya Tejpal visiting a woman who was a close family friend and who had stayed at Tiya's place in Bombay and the next morning, when someone who had staunchly supported her even asking after her was labeled intimidation in front of the media.

This email pretty much put paid to the intimidation accusations and went completely unreported by media. Out of the blue, came a new intimidation accusation. From his Investigating Officer, Sunita Sawant this time. The strange part of this is that her reply to Tarun Tejpal's bail application makes no mention of intimidation. It was apparently simply claimed in court.... and to the real court - the media. Got widely reported - as did Tejpal's letter of denial. There is no other mention of Tarun Tejpal not cooperating all through. Not even with the media hunting for things to publish about him and finding all kinds of things.

Within a day of Tarun Tejpal's letter denying intimidation of Investigating Officer Sunita Sawant being released, there was a new accusation. Again intimidation. This time, the victim claimed that Tarun Tejpal's family was harassing her by sending an email with a photograph of hers. Tejpal has denied. Asked cyber cell to investigate. And so on. The Think Festival website must have got lakhs of hits in the wake of the festival, and the photo was right there on the front page. Probably because no one had realized a rape accusation would happen. It got taken off much later.

Anyone who knows the basics of "stealing" pictures to add to blog or tweets knows that anyone can copy images off the internet. There is no way a recipient of an anonymous email can know who sent it. So anyone could have sent it. Considering that this whole case was built with carefully crafted "press releases" that did not redact victim's name, so I am a bit skeptical of emails becoming public in this case. Right in time for a new accusation of intimidation.

So basically, a crazy accusation got a crazy response and we are sending the cyber cell investigating how a picture published publicly got circulated to people. Good luck finding that out. More importantly, there were several websites that published her photo. Many of them identifiable people, who can be proven guilty just sitting right here. Madhu Kishwar tweeted out her name. Scroll.in a site created by the founder of Kafila (also some history of hate with Tehelka)  published her photo, including the "intimidating" photo that got circulated way after everyone and his cousin into publishing knew that this was a rape victim and thus not ok to reveal. It has been taken down now. BreakfastNewsTV continues to have two of her photos in their coverage of the case. Nice profile shots, no blurring, no blacking out, nothing, which they haven't even taken down a week after photos got called as intimidation tactics. Identifiable people, organizations. No problem. Anonymous email becomes a new intimidation case against pet villain.

Funny part here is that the article on scroll.in quotes Kavita Krishnan, who had been among the victim's close "supporters". There is absolutely no way she could have missed it, since even if Scroll didn't give her a copy, her followers on Twitter and Facebook would be sure to tell her that an article quoted her and sent her links. That is how social media works, but apparently she too didn't have an issue with the photo till it was time for a new intimidation complaint, when an anonymous email gets attributed to Tarun Tejpal as soon as he denies an accusation of intimidation, which had come as soon as he had dented the previous accusation of intimidation.

On a side note, Kavita Krishnan also "helped" another victim who claimed to be brutally raped. In that case too, the rape victim's accusations were leaked to the media instead of filing a police case. Khurshid Anwar committed suicide. Tarun Tejpal is in jail for the last two and half months. Neither of their victims filed the FIRs and both the victim's accusations on email for one and tape for another got leaked to media. The accused in both cases were left wing intellectuals, both victims were actively engaged in women's rights - one as a journalist, the other as an activist  and right wing social media took up and ran with the accusations with no room for any questions, till suicide for one case, and jail for another.

Khurshid Anwar and Tarun Tejpal may both be guilty - suicide or stepping down to allow fair process is proof of nothing, but the case gets rigged up through public opinion well before it hits the court, and to me this stinks of manipulating the justice system. It may simply be a case of Kavita having more faith in media to get instant results after appearing in panels and seeing the effectiveness. Or it may be someone else dishing out such rubbish advice - to misuse the anonymity granted to rape victims to launch a media war - turning the protection into a weapon.

I am not saying that rape accused must not be socially condemned, but a pattern here of trying a case in media courts alone and no FIR - till TRPs (or crisis) escalate enough for police to take it up - by which point it is judged and all that remains is for the police to present it as reported in the media in a court of law. These two cases so close to each other are rather extreme for a coincidence and yet I can neither imagine what the explanation could be nor can I remember the last time so many commonalities happened in two cases completely unrelated other than happening close together in terms of time. All other cases around this time were very subdued. Whether it was the Supreme Court intern or Dainik Bhaskar employee, or the marathon fight of the ex-STAR TV employee. No interest. So what was so special about these? Can't imagine any common factor other than the "leftist intellectuals".

A few other strange things came to my notice. I spoke with someone who is unwilling to be named for reasons I found convincing, but another clear bias is the police wanting a "water tight case". Notice I am not saying police having a water tight case. I came to know that at least one person interviewed by the police in relation with the case shared what they saw, and her statement was not recorded, because what she described would dilute the case. She had not defended Tarun Tejpal, but her observations would make the accuations ... not as they sounded in the email. I don't want to get into those, simply because this isn't about the victim or slandering her, but the Goa police cherry picking statements in their "investigation". So in this I am inclined to believe Tejpal when he says he is unlikely to get a fair hearing in Goa.

Another anomaly I was informed of was another witness being requested to say she saw something she did not see. Both of these are second person accounts, and thus I do not want to get into their details, though I believe that the sources did not have any motive to deliberately give me wrong information. But that again is my belief. The point is that if a housewife can find out so much sitting at home, how is it that our media is not able to go beyond press releases issued by one party in a serious crime and chasing in the direction they point?

And I did one more thing. One I believed is standard journalistic procedure conveniently set aside for this case. I contacted Tiya Tejpal. NOT about Tarun Tejpal, but about actions attributed to her and published in print. I figured if we can print quotes of family members of Delhi Gang Rape and murder accused, then it isn't unreasonable to give a family member of an accused who has been reported doing and saying things the chance to at least confirm that the reporting is accurate. Basic verification before printing stories, I have heard. Not if the target is Tarun Tejpal, it seems. I only wish someone had shown such dedication on the Radia Tapes.

My communication with Tiya Tejpal I will post separately.

I had made this comment on the victim's statement to media published on the Kafila blog. It did not clear moderation, so publishing it here.

Because you are a journalist and feminist, I would like to ask you, would you recommend a victim of rape to release one sided correspondence in a high voltage campaign? Do you think it will help her interests? Do you think it helped yours?

For that matter, what is your objective? As a reader and someone interested in the freedoms and rights and empowerment of women, your method of going about this has been very alarming. This has been magnified by a media that carelessly chose to recycle your articulate voice rather than finding their own. You may be the victim, the entire media is not and the sense of outraged accusation echoing has created a very unbalanced story.

The result is that we are in a place where a situation having two signs is being reported as outrageous and used to imply guilt.

I cannot, of course blame you for the actions of others, but I hope you understand my concerns in the larger interest of women, when I say that this has alarming implications for them. It will not be long before people realize that something that wasn’t even rape a short while ago has not even seen the accused be able to speak a few lines uninterrupted to present their side. And this is not just limited to Tejpal, but Shoma as well.

I do not dispute that rape must be punished, but it creates a worrying question about what our right is to expect men to include women in workplaces if we cannot assure them of a fair hearing if an accusation is raised about them. Because we cannot deny that Tejpal has stepped down, Shoma has stepped down, an organization may collapse, and we are nowhere near a court of law yet.

It raises alarming questions about how honest a place of work can be with a victim, if confidentiality implied in her correspondence is shattered by her or her supporters to turn what was unquestioning support (that is the claim) into a proof of guilt.

It is a terrifying example of how a feminist who knows her rights and how to articulate them can turn media into an instrument of punishment using selective releases of information and defaults we have painstakingly established to create a compassionate audience for women.

I wish you well, but I cannot ignore the alarm in me that this reckless and extremely targeted campaign (I notice there still is no explanation for why the 3 witnesses who did not report are not accused of covering up as well) has set a very damaging precedent a lot of working women will end up paying for.

You may not have thought about the larger implications, and it is natural that you didn’t. It is complete media failure that media did not think beyond the direction provided with each release. It is unfortunate that apparently no one anticipated the glaring political bait in Tejpal and Tehelka being in a rape scandal.

This is a mess. And like you said, it will be a long battle, that you haven’t made easier for yourself either, if you actually expect justice from a court of law. If all you wanted was to bring Tejpal down, then that is good, because that has gone down well and I will feel better that at least some good has come out of this.

This comment not containing any abuse, I can only presume was edited for the views.

I will update this post to reflect if Kafila does publish the comment eventually.


Here are some of the things that don't add up with regard to some of what the victim says and what is known/observed/claimed in my view.

Who leaked the emails?

Increasingly it is appearing that the emails were leaked with the girl's knowledge and as a warped kind of press release series. There is a reason I am calling it a press release. They seem to have been circulated mostly to journalists and media professionals very rapidly and they do not seem to have any kind of selective audience in terms of a private email updating a trusted friend of what is going on. They were very clearly for release as a campaign, because they hit the media almost simultaneously from multiple sources - something that would be more uncertain if journalists were not sure that they could use the emails for reporting.

Is it rape, sexual harassment, molestation or sexual misconduct?

This question is really important, because the victim describes a rape in her letter of complaint to Shoma. She calls it molestation. And she demands an apology for sexual misconduct. And this is one letter so far. I am not a lawyer, but to the best of my knowledge, sexual misconduct is sexually offensive behavior that is not exactly illegal. I imagine many don't know the distinction, but would a journalist reporting on women's rights know the difference? I cannot imagine how she wouldn't know unless she was really bad at her job - which all indications are she was good. I also don't believe this discrepancy was accidental from someone used to reporting using precise terms writing an official letter stating the wrongs against her.

Why is there no complaint against her senior who took no action against her rape?

Unless the victim is deliberately targeting Shoma, I cannot understand why her senior, whom she confided in is not accused, but apparently actually on her side. For all intents and purposes, this senior heard her complaint and did not find it serious enough to take action. Unless of course any action he took was beyond the requirements of his role and can't be disclosed in media for fear of weakening her case in the media court - for example helping the victim get confessions she could take to court.

Were Shoma and Tejpal's daughter special targets?

Senior not taking action immediately, when the alleged crime was raw did not bother her and in fact, he continues to be "on her side" including resigning with a letter accusing Shoma of doing what he did, but the criticism on Shoma is for exactly that - avoiding doing anything.

When in fact, Shoma had, at the very least done far more than any actions this senior took, as is evidenced by the flurry of emails being leaked. Regardless of accusations about motives - which in my view are not substantiated in any conclusive way - it cannot be disputed that immediately after getting the victim's email, Shoma did indeed make Tejpal write that letter of apology - which would at least involve confronting him and forcing him to toe the line - as I can't imagine a rapist or honest man with any sense of self preservation blithely giving it in writing that he violated a girl. This is not exactly ignoring the complaint.

What apology was requested?

What the victim puts in writing describes rape, calls it molestation/sexual harassment, asks for unconditional apology for misconduct - which is what she got. Tejpal's email acknowledges and apologizes for misconduct and neither rape nor molestation. The victim herself states in writing that she agreed to the euphemism:

In a phone conversation with me, you asked that he be recused from doing so because he had already admitted to sexual molestation in his emails, and because we needed to “protect the institution”. In this conversation, I said, “I trust you to do the right thing”.

But the problem apparently was that the "right thing" was not doing as she had asked and agreed to. What she wanted was an admission of guilt - which too she has stated in some letter, I forget where.

Did she want the apology or not?

That the victim had asked for an apology is clear from the leaked emails. Tarun Tejpal made an informal apology to her as well as a formal one following it. To which she replied

The only people you owe an apology to are your employees at Tehelka, for desecrating their and my faith in you. Please do not attempt any further personal correspondence with me - you lost that privilege when you violated my trust and body.

So if Tejpal did not owe her an apology, or should not attempt "further personal correspondence" with her, then what exactly was she asking for?

What was hushed?

The only hushing here seems to be on the victim's side. Her supporters concealed the sexual assault, did not independently take adequate measures to protect her and continued to do nothing even on hearing that she had been harassed again. She did not seem to have a problem with this. She confided to Tejpal's daughter who did not have a problem confronting her father whether festival or not - same daughter is now accused of intimidating the victim. Shoma got Tejpal to make her an apology that was copied to the journalists she had confided in. Tejpal's stepping down could not be kept secret anyway, but the action was chosen and circulated with a limited explanation that raised more questions than it answered and couldn't possibly be "controlled" anyway - as also seen from the immediate leak of the letter.

If the "hushing" is about prefering to deal with it within the organization, it is hardly a new thing in organizations to not want to court justice. As for hushing, this case has got more publicity than any other case of workplace sexual harassment I have heard recently. And the publicity was engineered by the victim or her supporters and not prevented in any way.

This actually was the part that angered me, because Shoma and Tejpal - whether guilty or not - were clearly acting on an assumption of confidentiality that the victim had explicitly stated a preference for and confirms even in her resignation letter, while publicity was deliberately seeked once the "apology" was in writing. This is deception and I am fine with it (so sue me) if it helps victims get justice, and kicks up a shitstorm. I am uneasy when the deception serves to completely wipe out what one side has to say. Or rather, I'm fine with deception helping give voice to someone who would find it difficult otherwise. I am not fine deception being the basis of establishing a "truth" version to the point that others are not allowed.

If we are to believe media, no sexual harassment happens in other media houses, and if it happens, it is immediately made public and sexual harassment committees deal with it with due process and eploitative seniors go to jail. So someone point out some news reports for the organizations talking loudest at the moment about an organization that was able to issue an apology and get the person to step down to allow for better investigation within days of receiving complaint.

Is Tejpal guilty or innocent? I have no idea. Is Tehelka trying to hide something? It doesn't look so at the moment, though the first interviews pointed in that direction. They make perfect sense if you consider that the victim had stated a preference for an internal process as well as not wanting an FIR - something her supporters independently confirmed and defended as well at that time.

Did she want a sexual harassment committee?

As Shoma points out in her letter, the victim may have wanted a sexual harassment committee, but did not submit her nominations for who she trusted. This is a fact not "leaked" to media. Not just that she did not suggest anyone she trusted, but that she was actually asked to provide names she trusted, because it breaks the bubble of yet another accusation - that a sexual harassemnt committee would have been controlled by Tejpal to discredit her. Check Niti Central for a script of what such a committee would to.

And so on.

I didn't really want to bring this up, because it goes against my grain to question claims of a victim of sexual abuse. At the same time, it is abundantly clear in this whole saga that "feminist defaults" have been used excellently to influence public opinion and that kind of exploits feminism as well. Here are some:

  1. Do not question the victim when she claims rape. But this was not a court of law, victim actually did not claim rape - you'd have to question her to establish it was rape if she claimed sexual molestation - and the process of dispensing justice had started well before the emails were done leaking.
  2. Use of language to convey guilt. "You are now attempting to establish that Mr Tejpal has “another version” of events (as surely, any sexual predator does)..." in the victim's resignation letter, for example. The thing here is every person on the planet involved in anything has their own version. Having another version is not something exclusive to sexual predators or those somehow guilty. On the other hand, establishing one version as right and discrediting any other from even being stated is an indication of suppressing one side - not its invalidity.

Anyway, this is now turning into a mud slinging thing, which was not my objective. At the same time, I think unpleasant and counterproductive to the victim's credibility as these questions are, the need to ask them has been born out of the magnitude of "truth" that is being assigned to them.

I also accept that a victim sees things from a unique perspective and cannot be expected to be neutral. This does not mean that everything she perceives is fact. Nor does it mean that every wrong she believes is done to her was intentional or even about her at all. A classic example being the stormy night crap from Tejpal's letter that she replies to with cutting feminist outrage that sounds more like Tejpal fixated on her boobs instead of a thunderstorm he was already listening to. And it probably feels really unfair to her that her purpose of visiting him didn't register on him, but the fact of life is that we do a lot of work without it having any impact on us in terms of being a long term memory. Would I remember the reason for someone who routinely meets me for work visiting on a day I remember sharing something beautiful with them? I wouldn't. I would probably remember it in detail when something relevant to the work came up - which wouldn't be the weather.

This isn't rocket science and I bet all the people outraging don't remember why their subbordinates visited them in some moment they remember either - something that a media that was actually making an effort to understand the situation would realize and form their own responses instead of parroting accusations.

The problem is when an entire news media industry adopts the same bias - by accident or design - and magnifies a cry for justice to the point that it becomes a holy cow that can't be questioned and goes on a rampage of accusations and slander and not just against the person accused of the crime, but (ironically) women associated with him, organizations associated with him and questions start coming up whether an organization employing hundreds will survive the scandal, then this is very dangerous. It is also an alarming lack of critical thinking in media.

The victim can change her mind, want one thing at one moment and another at another as long as they all lead to her perpetrator being nailed. And it is normal for a troubled mind to be thus. The media cannot abdicate their own neutrality or claim a collective trauma to accept all she says as the complete truth and proceed to accuse people on the basis of not doing what she would want done later as a criticism of their doing what she asked for. Among other irrational things.

I am frankly scared at the implications on women's rights with this, because women at large do not have the power to deal with men if they choose to be paranoid about what women can do to them and it cannot be long before people realize that they have not heard Tejpal being listened to fairly at all. Hell, *I* would worry about professionally asking any man to have unchaperoned interactions with women if I couldn't even guarantee all parties a fair hearing if an issue arose.