Claiming she didn’t want questions raised about her integrity to “ tarnish the image of Tehelka“,managing editor of the news magazine Shoma Chaudhury resigned from the organization early on Thursday morning,ten days after a young woman journalist wrote to her complaining about being sexually assaulted by magazine editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal.
The resignation email,sent out just before 6 am,says this had been a “damaging” time for everyone associated with Tehelka and that she had taken a series of actions in response to the victim’s complaint.
” To my mind,I acted on instant outrage and solidarity for our colleague as a woman and co-worker.
After the first steps to immediately address her expressed needs,the process of setting up the anti-sexual harassment committee was begun. There were only two days to act on the complaint before the story broke in the press. Post this,things have been misconstrued and have snowballed exponentially in the media,based on half-facts and selective leaks,” Chaudhury has said in her email.
She has also denied allegations of attempting a “cover up” and for not standing by her ” feminist positions”. “While I accept that I could have done many things differently and in a more measured way,I reject the allegations of a cover-up because in no way could the first actions that were taken be deemed suppression of any kind. As for my feminist positions,I believe I acted in consonance with them by giving my colleagues account precedence over everything else,” she says in her email.
Chaudhury,however,says she would come to office to close the issue and do the “necessary handovers”.
” It has never been a part of me to give up midway through a challenge. I would have liked to continue at Tehelka to see us through this dark time,but I am no longer sure whether my presence is harming or helping Tehelka,” Chaudhury added in her email.