Friday, November 22, 2013

Sex, Sting and Tehelka

I am sorry for this rather prolonged absence, but I had my reasons.
Now I am back and I HAVE MY REASONS.

Some of you may still find my seemingly lalala absence inexcusable. I am sorry. How about I self impose some sort of a lameass punishment on me. Will that suffice? Whaaaat? Last I checked people were doing it - A six months of paid vacation for ‘sexual assault’. Isn’t that right? Based on this, my absence should cost me what? A week long holiday in Phuket?
Tarun Tejpal! Have you read his novels? I was a fan. ‘WAS’ being the word worth notice. I was about 20 when I read ‘Alchemy of Desire’ and I was like boy! he can describe sex without straying the boundaries of sleaze even once. Wow! There’s a writer I’d like to read more often, I thought. However, by the time I read his second novel I realized something else. Hell, he could be smack-dab-in-the-middle sleazy and yet you may not for once notice it.

What I barely registered back then, seems like a shrewd observation now. Of Course I did not pay much heed to it at that time. If only I knew what was coming I would have probably noted it down in my journal.
Anyway Tarun did what Tarun did .. But what are we doing? Spreading awareness on internet is one thing but sharing unverifiable content just for the heck of it is simply something else. What may be information for us may simply be arousing stories for someone else. Believe it or not, many just read it for the kick or worse, share it for a like or two.
Think about a hundred times before you click ‘share’. Do you really want to share something, which in all certainty, was a very private correspondence between two individuals. Besides, sharing such details about the victim is not just immoral it is plain illegal. I hope you know that?

And by simply not taking her name but discussing everything else under the sky related to her, you are doing her no favor either. So learn the spirit not the letter of the law and this specifically applies to fellow bloggers.
Show support, no one is stopping you. But don’t let your support be a hindrance in the way of victim herself. A suo motu FIR says it all, if she would have wanted to bring things in the public domain, she could have done it in a split second. But she chose not to, so show some restraint please.
This happened back when Nirbhaya was the victim. I don’t know what sort of a sick mentality do you have to possess to actually share a rape victim’s sorry picture in order to garner some sympathy/publicity whatever.  Which, whether was her picture or not, jury is still out.

If anything, expose TARUN not his victim.
Secondly, PLEASE WAIT. I know, I am biting the bullet here but still please wait before you pass the judgment. I mean, yes he has taken responsibility to an extent and yes, that means that there is some guilt. But to brand him a rapist may be a little too early. Tehelka has done a lot to piss major political powers off and well this is their time to pay back. Don’t get swayed as a result of some political revenge and please don’t politicize this issue so much that the real ends are left hanging somewhere in the middle.

Lastly, it is not just about a single individual. It is not about Tarun Tejpal. It is about you and it is about me. It is about every single woman, working or otherwise. It is about every single man, employer or otherwise.  It is about gender equality in spirit and not just in letter. You can’t legislate for reform, reform comes from within, I read somewhere. We can go on passing bills after bills and  we can go on making guidelines after guidelines but till the time we do not have it in us to actually bring ourselves to implement those guidelines – there won’t be any reform little or large.