The world literally came crashing down around 7 PM on 20th November on Twitter as one of the sleaziest cases in Indian media came to the forefront. Amidst the mud-slinging and debauchery online, one was visibly at a loss of words to even express the disgust, horror and angst at what had happened. Caesar’s nobility had been the gist of a great speech that made a place in the echelons of history; the stature of the man, hitherto among the elitest of journalists, was now unworthy of even the slimiest gutters in the world.
The Judiciary, the legislative, the media – the Indian woman is not safe anywhere. Forget the workplace, women bear the most dastardly abuses with a smile on their face within the “safe” confines of their homes. But that is besides the point. The astute arrogance brandished by the man in question, with no sign of the remotest repentance, has sent shivers down the spine of people across the country. As a fan of this journalist, and as a former employee of this organisation, it clearly makes me ashamed as a human being.
For an institution that had established itself as the champion of women’s rights, for a journalist of the stature of Shoma Chaudhury to blatantly hush up the whole affair, shame is too small a term to describe the fall from grace.
The pompous letter of atonement, the self-proclaimed recusal and the shoddy defence on part of the organisational head does not inspire confidence in people who would’ve otherwise wanted this episode to pass off as a horrific nightmare. The same magazine that has time and again given voice to the tortured women, taught them to raise their voice against Khap panchayats and moral policing was found to be lacking in action; even worse, brushing the entire narrative under carpet.
Even now, there were people – self-proclaimed women’s rights activists, who care two hoots about state-sponsored surveillance on private citizens, but are overtly eager to publicise their concern for the victim in Tehelka. Then there were those who took voyeuristic pleasure in sharing intimate details of the episode on social media. Media houses were quick to post columns and opinion pieces on sexual harassment at workplace and assume the high moral ground. Some idiots proclaimed their feminism by abusing the daughter of the perpetrator, forcing her to delete her Twitter profile. Somewhere, the victim, the sufferer lost her voice.
When glass houses lie shattered, the ensuing gush of blood is often attended to. Nobody spares a thought for the injured vein.
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