Action should be taken against Tejpal as per law: Shazia Ilmi
New Delhi – Former journalist and now Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Shazia Ilmi said on Thursday that she was not all surprised about the news of Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal being involved in a sexual harassment case, as almost every one knows how women journalists, or for that matter female employees, are treated by their male colleagues, especially those in positions of authority.
In an interview given to ANI, Ilmi said: “I have been a female journalist for years. Everyone knows how women are treated in offices, and it is very difficult to raise one’s voice.”
“I think, it is very important that every woman be judged upon her work and talent, rather than her willingness to hang out with her boss,” she added.
“It is a good thing that Tarun Tejpalji has apologized, has accepted his fault, and is stepping down. But, action should be taken according to the satisfaction of the girl and media fraternity,” Ilmi said.
“It depends on the girl (woman), whether she wants to proceed with the charges. There should be a committee even in private bodies,” she further said when asked about safety measures should be taken for women at the work place.
“We need to address whether the girl is satisfied with it (Tejpal stepping aside for six months), or there is more to it. This kind of discrimination, based on gender, should not be there. It is important to know what the girl feels, and what steps have been taken by Tehelka apart from Tarun Tejpalji stepping down. Everyone should come clean on this,” Ilmi said.
If you look at media organizations, a lot of women go through this kind of harassment,” the AAP leader said.
Ilmi’s response came a day after Tejpal sent a letter to Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhary, saying that he was stepping aside from his job fro six months and was squarely to be blamed for the sexual misconduct incident.
Tejpal further said that it was a bad lapse of judgment on his part, and that he had completely misread the situation.
He said that he has apologised unconditionally to the concerned journalist, but felt that he needed to atone for his misconduct further.
Tejpal, who is a founder member of the Tehelka magazine, said that he was stepping aside as an act of penance.
Chaudhary has sent a mail to Tehelka staffers apprising them of the development.