Tag Archives: Shoma Chaudhary

A hunt, the aftermath, angry Indian men and a tragedy: Rahul Roy

Guest Post by RAHUL ROY

Nivedita Menon ends her commentary on the unfolding Tehelka sexual assault case in Kafila by asserting – “the time has come. It is now”. It should be, but is it? Are we witnessing the end game of an old Indian patriarchal sport called sexual assault? The sport is akin to another old game called the royal hunt that was an important part of elite political culture of South Asia. The rules of the sport were then as now heavily loaded in favour of the royal huntsman – weapons, support teams, timing, everything required for the thrill of a kill were with powerful men out to conquer. The expeditions however were not just about the kill. The sport was also a means of asserting authority over tracts of the wild and those that lived there and were by some misfortune not aware of prevailing authority structures. The royal hunt was an event to showcase to subjects the might, prowess and authority of the elite rulers. It was the stamping of power over human as well as animal kingdom. The royal huntsman could not but win. He could not but kill.
Continue reading A hunt, the aftermath, angry Indian men and a tragedy: Rahul Roy

Feminists condemn the BJP lynch mob attack on Shoma Chaudhary

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.

Nivedita Menon
Rohini Hensman
Ayesha Kidwai
Devaki Jain
Abha Bhaiya
Radhika Desai
Janaki Nair
Urvashi Butalia
Arundhati Dhuru Continue reading Feminists condemn the BJP lynch mob attack on Shoma Chaudhary

Everybody Loves a Good War – Tehelka and Essar: Bobby Kunhu

Update: A Day after the publication of this post, Tehelka changed the status of Essar from “Principal Sponsor” to merely one of several “patrons” on the Goa ThinkFest website.

Guest post by BOBBY KUNHU

Tehelka: Free, Fair, Fearless?

Without doubt, one of the most important documents to make its appearance after the arrest of Soni Sori by the Chattisgarh Government in Delhi on 4th October 2011 was the cover story titled, “The inconvenient truth of Soni Sori” that appeared in Tehelka, written by Shoma Chaudhary. It tells the story of Soni Sori and her nephew Linga Kodopi as narrated to Tehelka and the sequence of events that led to their persecution.

Nonetheless there is an intriguing twist to how this story was framed. The introduction of the story goes:  “Why were two tribals and the Essar group framed by the Chhattisgarh police? Why are Soni Sori and Linga Kodopi being systematically silenced? This chilling story of one family reveals more about India’s Naxal crisis than any official document can.”

In other words, Tehelka is arguing that Essar is also being framed in this narrative along with Soni Sori and Linga Kodopi.

Continue reading Everybody Loves a Good War – Tehelka and Essar: Bobby Kunhu