India got its own “Hugo Schwyzer moment” not long ago. It is a story that reveals a lot about modern Indian society if first you understand the context in which it happened.
Let us begin with that context.
As in other countries, feminists in India have strange, often chauvinistic bedfellows. After all, funding from rich and powerful men helps feminists make their careers. While they complain about male-dominated society, the hierarchy of that society is precisely what they depend on to survive, and in fact flourish. Consequently, they attempt to cover up crimes by powerful men in their own ranks.
While they paint all men as evil, and insist that men must change their mentality, they have a completely different set of standards for rich and powerful men. The resultant system in India is one where rich, elite men now help concentrate power and privilege into the hands of elite women who in turn become tools to oppress the majority of poorer and weaker men — denying their fundamental rights and civil liberties. Of course, these rich “alpha males” don’t mind sharing some privilege with feminists. Together they wield great influence on government, politics, media, tax money, NGOs, and the United Nations. Given this situation, the same class hierarchy that has always existed in India will remain in place in an only modified version. Weaker men and women will remain trapped in the stranglehold.
This is the game. Feminists and men of power both benefit as they continue to blame and oppress the remaining population.
Sometimes events transpire to embarrass one of these opportunistic men. Case in point: Tarun Tejpal, a leading male feminist in India, and Editor-in-Chief of the magazine Tehelka (which is Hindi for “Sensational”), has been accused of sexual assault by one of his journalists.
Shoma Chaudhury, the managing editor of Tehelka, is a well-known feminist. She made numerous futile attempts to cover up the sexual assault allegation, and defended Tarun Tejpal in the media. Then, she claimed that this issue was internal to her organization, and that she had set up an internal committee to investigate the charges of sexual harassment. This feminist woman intentionally blurred the line between sexual assault (rape) and sexual harassment. She argued that the victim has not approached police, and she is satisfied with an internal committee to probe the issue. Then, she appointed Urvashi Bhutalia, a feminist friend, to head this internal investigation committee. She said,
“You cannot say it is a criminal case because the girl has not gone to the police. Let’s not conclude it is a sexual assault or rape. My understanding is she wanted an apology and it was given to her. He [Tejpal] stepped down. It was something she had not asked for. It was much more than what she wanted.”
For his part, Tarun Tejpal recused himself from Tehelka for 6 months, terming it as lapse of judgement.
Letter sent by founder-editor Tarun Tejpal to Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury, a feminist
The subject line is: Atonement
My Dear Shoma,
The last few days have been most testing, and I squarely take the blame for this. A bad lapse of judgment, an awful misreading of the situation, have led to an unfortunate incident that rails against all we believe in and fight for. I have already unconditionally apologised for my misconduct to the concerned journalist, but I feel impelled to atone further.
I have already unconditionally apologised for my misconduct to the concerned journalist, but I feel impelled to atone further. Tehelka has been born and built, day on day, with my blood, toil, tears and sweat, and that of many others, against near-insurmountable odds. It has lived for and fought the big battles of our time, always on the side of the oppressed and the wronged, always on the side of equity and justice.
Within days, the email sent by the alleged victim to Shoma Chaudhuri got leaked to public domain and social media with every one to see the naked truth. The email of the alleged victim says, amongst other things:
On the night of 7 th November 2013, the opening night of Tehelka’s Think festival, I had discharged my duties for the day as the chaperone for Mr Robert De Niro. As it was Mr De Niro and his daughter’s first night in Goa and at the festival, my editor in chief Mr TarunTejpal accompanied Mr De Niro, Drena De Niro (his daughter) and I to Mr De Niro’s suite to wish him goodnight. (As his chaperone, my work was to be available all day to Mr De Niro and Drena, take them sightseeing, make sure they were well looked after in Goa and at the Hyatt—until they retired to their suite at night. )
As we left the suite, Mr Tejpal and I were in conversation — I have known him since I was a child, he had worked closely with my father who was also a journalist, and after my father’s accident Mr Tejpal had always been a paternal figure to me. He was responsible for offering me my first job, and was always just a phone call away whenever I needed his advice on a story or life. His daughter, TiyaTejpal and I are very close friends as well.
As we made our way out of the elevator of Block 7 at the Grand Hyatt, Mr Tejpal held my arm and pulled me back into the lift. He said—“Let’s go wake up Bob” (Mr De Niro) and I asked him why he wanted to do that. I then realized that Mr Tejpal was simply pressing buttons on the lift’s panel to make the elevator stay in circuit, preventing it from stopping anywhere, and for the doors to open.
At this point, he began to kiss me—from the first moment of his doing so, I asked him to stop, citing several reasons, including my friendship to Tiya, my closeness to his family, the fact that he had known me since I was a child, the fact that I worked for Tehelka and for Shoma Chaudhuri—who is my managing editor and mentor. It was like talking to a deaf person. Mr Tejpal lifted my dress up, went down on his knees and pulled my underwear down. He attempted to perform oral sex on me as I continued to struggle and hysterically asked him to stop. At that moment he began to try and penetrate me with his fingers, I became scared and pushed him hard and asked him to stop the lift. He would not listen. The lift stopped on the ground floor as Mr Tejpal’s hands were on me and could not press the button for yet another floor to keep it in circuit. As soon as the doors opened, I picked up my underwear and began walking out of the elevator rapidly—he was still following me, asking me what the matter was.
Now, India is a paranoid country as far as women’s issues are concerned. It considers itself as a global power, but large-scale poverty and corruption, along with its more than 1 billion population, keeps this country often in bad news in the international media. While the Government and media shield rich and powerful criminals, they harass and torture innocent poor and weak men using the police and courts. If a man breaks up with with his psycho girlfriend of 2 months, the police keep harassing him and the courts may charge him under an absurd statute called, “rape with the false promise of marriage”.
A 22-year-old software engineer was arrested on Sunday by Noida police for having a physical relationship with his colleague on the pretext of marriage.(link)
However, the same Government, liberals and feminists try to shield rich and powerful men. The poor and weak men are made to pay the price in loss of civil liberties.
At the end of the day, it is the male Presidents, CEOs, Media Moguls and the rich and powerful donors who help feminism grow. So, feminists have these strange (or not-so-strange?) allegiances. Powerful men and women together blame ordinary men by spreading misandry throughout society, generating a corrupt but effective synergy. The rich and powerful get to keep weaker men oppressed using feminist governance to increase their social hegemony over the masses.
In India, modern feminists have formed an unholy alliance with the age-old slave owners of Indian society. Both complement each other as they oppress the poor and socially downtrodden, while safeguarding their own interests, making sure they are immune for any crimes that they commit. (Link)
The location of the alleged crime: Hyatt, Goa, Day 1 of Think Fest 2013 organised by the magazine. The setting: a panel discussion on ‘The Beast In Our Midst: Rape Survivors Speak Their Stories’.
Shoma Chaudhury, as moderator, began sombrely, stating how 98 per cent of the rapes that take place are by perpetrators known to the victim. “We never look at how deeply misogynistic and prejudiced our own society is,” she said as she turned the spotlight “on our own silences and to deepen our understanding of how complicit we are about the beast in our midst.”
Yet this feminist tried her best to cover up for her boss. Tarun Tejpal has not yet been arrested. The victim has not yet filed a complaint. In such situations, rich people tend to pay huge sums of money to stop the victim from complaining. But, per these emails, a crime has almost certainly occurred, and it requires investigation. A case of rape can not be withdrawn by a complainant in India if the police have evidence. Due process of law is supposed to be followed.
The accused in this case is being treated far, far better than he has advocated other men be treated. Should this really surprise us?
(Hear about Feminist principles by Shoma Chaudhury)