This is the text of the statement released yesterday condemning the attack on Shoma Chaudhary by a BJP mob led by Vijay Jolly.
We condemn the BJP lynch mob that attacked Tehelka managing Editor Shoma Chaudhuri’s house, physically jostling her at the entrance. Unsurprisingly, the BJP and right-wing forces in general have pounced upon the Tehelka sexual assault case to sweep attention away from the sexual crimes of their own Asaram Bapus and their Sahabs.
While Shoma Chaudhuri failed in her responsibility as an employer when approached by an employee complaining of sexual harassment within the organization, she is neither an accomplice nor an accessory to the crime of sexual assault of which the Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal is accused.
We also condemn the online harassment meted out to other women employees in Tehelka by the right wing brigade in the internet. Such harassment is only further evidence of the double standards of the right-wing forces who see this attack on the woman journalist as a political opportunity.
Sexual harassment and violence against women respects no political boundaries, and we are appalled that a party responsible for large scale violence against women should present itself as the saviour of women’s rights, and that, through a physical attack on a woman journalist. We recognize the distasteful political pre-election opportunism at work in these self-righteous stands by an ethically bankrupt party, and demand that Shoma Chaudhuri’s safety be assured by the state.
Shreya Ila Anasuya
Kalyani Menon Sen
Malika Virdhi, Maati
Meena Saraswathi Seshu