NEW DELHI, Nov 25 – There was a time when celebrated and award-winning writer Arundhati Roy was considered close to Tehelka Editor-in-Chief Tarun Tejpal, who is currently in the spotlight over his alleged molestation of his junior colleague at a hotel in Goa. It seems, however, Tejpal has lost the support of Ms Roy as well among other things.
In an article in Outlook magazine, the author of God of Small Things talked of the “Rape Number Two” that has engulfed the news magazine Tehelka and its founder, Tarun Tejpal.
“Outrageously, it is being suggested that Tarun is being ‘framed’ for political reasons — presumably by the Right-wing Hindutva brigade. So now a young woman who he very recently saw fit to employ, is not just a loose woman, but an agent of the fascists? This is Rape Number Two: the rape of the values and the politics that Tehelka claims it stands for, and an affront to those who work there and who have supported it in the past.” (Read Arundhati Roy’s column in Outlook here)
Ms Roy writes, “What has happened now has not shocked me, but it has broken my heart.” Mr Tejpal has been accused by the Goa police of raping a younger woman colleague earlier this month at the magazine’s high-profile annual conference “Think-Fest”.
Tejpal suggested on Friday that the attempted “sexual liaison” was consensual, a charge the journalist has firmly rejected.
In an earlier written apology to her, Mr Tejpal, who is 50, said, he regretted the “shameful lapse of judgment that led me to attempt a sexual liaison with you on two occasions… despite your clear reluctance that you did not want such attention from me.”
Ms Roy writes in Outlook that Mr Tejpal was a partner in India Ink, which first published her novel, The God of Small Things. However, she said they later grew apart.