Tarun Tejpal, and the arrest for his sexual violation, has been followed by the Indian nation persistently and should act as a way to encourage rape victims to come forward.
The case received wall-to-wall coverage for the past 10 days. It managed to completely overshadow Narendra Modi, one of India’s TV favorites, renowned for his “astute administrative skills” and his “record for being incorruptible.”
The Modi rally in Delhi barely received any live coverage while the Tehelka sex scandal unfurled and was a lacking presence in the news. Modi managed to upstage BJP’s PM’s speech in August, which is one of the major political parties. However, it proved insignificant with the upheaval of the sexual assault by Tarun Tejpal, even though information was scarce throughout the day.
Despite sending apologetic emails as a way to retract his actions of sexual misconduct that have been categorized as rape, the courts refused his plea for bail as evidence stacked up against him, including his own emails. He is being forced to remain in police custody for the next six days, as he awaits further action.
He had emailed the victim to say he was extremely sorry for his “shameful lapse of judgement,” which he claims was the instigator of his crimes. He also made reference to multiple occasions of sexual misconduct, despite the victim’s transparent reluctance to partake in such attention from him.
He later went on to recall how at one point during the attack he argued he was her boss, implying this was a reason she should comply with his sexual advancement. However, he wanted to highlight the fact that as soon as he made this comment he withdrew it, and that it was very uncharacteristic of him to enforce his power as a threat.
Although there was no CCTV footage inside the elevator where the assault allegedly took place, reports have stated that there was footage of her running out in fright after the assault. The charges against Tarun Tejpal have been categorized as rape, which means he could face up to ten years in jail. His arrest has been followed by the nation, and should therefore make his case a way for India to set an example and encourage future victims to come forward, as the public waits in anticipation to see what punishment will be dealt for such a violation.
He was the editor-in-chief of Tehelka news magazine, well-known for its investigative journalism. The news organization constantly displays stories of a similar nature to the crime that he now faces. Co-workers of the magazine have now resigned because of the accusations made against him. However, he denies the allegations he faces.
As India has been under the microscope for poor attitudes towards the violence and sexual assault of women, it is encouraging to see the nation displaying such an interest in the outcome of the case. Many victims, such as the young journalist from Tehelka, have voiced a reluctance to report mistreatment because police have been criticized for their insufficient efforts to catch offenders.
In 2012, India had a staggering 24,923 cases of rape and 377 cases of molestation reported. However, numbers may be even higher due to cases of rape being overlooked as murder, if that was the end result, and victims refusing to come forward.
The Tarun Tejpal arrest has been followed by the entire nation, eager to find out the penalty for his violation. If the courts cast a just punishment for the sexual assault of the young woman, who refuses to reveal her identity, it will act as a highly beneficial example, showing that the justice system in India does take cases like this with the severity it deserves. This may urge future victims of sexual abuse to come forward and put their faith in the legal system.
By Melissa McDonald