Former Tehelka journalist speaks out

There’s been some very nasty business going on in the Indian media world this past week, and I’ve avoided commenting on much of it because so much seems to be laden with vitriol and sexism (particularly towards Shoma Chaudhury who, although has clearly made mistakes, does not warrant the personal and often sexist attacks that have been leveled at her). This piece, however, from the journalist who was allegedly assaulted, is worth sharing. Not least because of her articulation of some important feminist principles that I hope aren’t lost completely in the fallout of what is going to happen.

KAFILA - 10 years of a common journey

This is the full text of the statement issued today to the media by the gutsy woman journalist who refused to take sexual harassment as routine. More power to her and others like her!

I am heartened by the broad support I have received over the past fortnight. However, I am deeply concerned and very disturbed by insinuations that my complaint is part of a pre-election political conspiracy.

I categorically refute such insinuations and put forward the following arguments:

The struggle for women to assert control over their lives and their bodies is most certainly a political one, but feminist politics and its concerns are wider than the narrow universe of our political parties. Thus, I call upon our political parties to resist the temptation to turn a very important discussion about gender, power and violence into a conversation about themselves.

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Elen

Travel writer at www.wildernessmetropolis.com. Editor, writer, traveller, reader, literary critic.

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