Tarun Tejpal: Haven’t violated or bent any rules

Although he wasn’t named in the original piece by Hartman de Souza in the Hindustan Times, Tarun J. Tejpal, the editor of Tehelka, offers a spirited defence in today’s paper on the alleged irregularities in his under-construction house in Goa:

“When I tell him [Hartman de Souza] the reporter he has cited was asked to leave the magazine on account of poor performance, he rages that the world will soon run out of water and power and food (and love).

“When I tell him we don’t do mining, our investors don’t do mining, I have no friends who are mining barons, and that we actively refused sponsorship from all the Goan mining companies for our Think conclave, he rages that all mining is bad, everywhere….

“I don’t tell him that our journalists have in the last few years done more work than anyone else against land and mining violations in Orissa, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Haryana and other states. I suspect for him if it isn’t in Goa it doesn’t count.

“I don’t tell him that Tehelka’s public interest journalism ends up in crucial PILs, Supreme Court mandated special institutional tribunals (SITs), and impacts policy on a myriad human rights issues on a regular basis. I suspect, for him if it isn’t in Goa it doesn’t count.

“I don’t tell him I go to the courts several times every month to defend ourselves against those whose wrongdoings we’ve exposed. I suspect, for him if it isn’t Goa it doesn’t count.

“I don’t tell him that if the top 100 media editors and owners declare their assets I would be delighted, if included, to declare mine. Such revelations might explode his rage to potentially fatal levels.”

Read the full article: Albert Pinto ko gussa kyon aata hai?

Also read: A magazine, a scam, an owner and his Goan house

Tehelka promoter’s woes just don’t seem to end

Moneybag MP says he didn’t turn off FW tap


  1. Jena

    By caricaturing Hartman de Souza Tarun Tejpal has stooped even lower. He has not clarified whether he killed a Goa mining story, instead claiming that he fired that reporter for incompetence. That Tarun is capable of claiming he has nothing to do with mining barons is such a white lie, because his buddy and “investor” KD Singh made his money in Jharkhand’s mines. Have some shame, Bunty

  2. Mysore Peshva

    Pathetic. Is this rant even a defense?

  3. Hartman de Souza

    He’s not been very accurate with his reportage of his phone call to me…I’m sure he’s recorded the entire thing…why doesn’t he just publish the unedited transcripts? Maybe there’ll be a better context provided to my anger…

    I still wouldn’t launch my book in an arts centre owned by a mining baron, or have him introduce me before Barkha Dutt took over, or pose with him and his family so that a sycophantic piece on me and my gang could appear in a Goan monthly magazine owned by a mining company…

    Arre Bunty, naach mere bulbul…

    Remember the next line anyone?

  4. Law of Omerta

    And how an icon falls.

    Once upon a time Tarun Tejpal used to be an icon. Now he seems to be a part of the gang of vested interests who have a finger in every pie…

    His magazine also seems to be biased in favour of a particular ideology. It has become a “Soviet Tehelka.”

  5. Terence Jorge

    For all the high regard and admiration I had for Tehelka and the work it has done in the distant past, these recent revelations about the man who steers this operation is deflating and shocking to say the least.

    Like every other expose this one could also go into a spiraling mess of attack and defense throwing its witnesses into a sea of confusion.

    That Goa is nowhere close to being ‘saved’ from mining, and caught in the middle of a fight between truth and money; that it took more than a year and an article on the nexus
    between Goan politicians and the illegal mining in Goa for Tehelka to sack a reporter for ‘poor performance’; that consumerism is destroying the world; that Tarun Tejpal launched his book “The Valley of Masks” at the Salgaoncar owned Sunaparanta Arts Centre at an event hosted by big time ‘mining baron’ Dattaraj Salgaoncar are facts and common knowledge, lying in plain sight, for anyone who wants to see them.

    I happen to know Hartman de Souza well enough for the past three years, working with him as a theatre artist. That he is a man of passion comes across strongly to anyone who engages with him. I could vouch for it and I’m sure there would be more saying that Hartman would fight just as passionately for any other state or country if he lived there for some time. Whether he is a veteran in the field, is only for those who have followed his theatre for the past many years to say.

    It is very amusing for me to see how in this article Tarun Tejpal says everything he wants to say by saying he does not say it. As far as facts are concerned there are two RTI’s put in to find out what appears to be a prima facie illegality. It’s the least I could do. This will show whether the old house was a ruin or a beautiful Portuguese-Goan house so typical of its kind and whether he cut trees or not. Interestingly, barely days after the piece appeared in the HT, the house in question was totally masked by bright blue plastic wrap…

    In case the shit hits the ceiling I hope our Tehelka man has done what he used to do best and captured his phone conversation with Hartman.

  6. Jena

    Deccan Herald reports:

    Tejpal’s remarks are just one part of the controversy around “Think 2011.” Alerted by indignant activists Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh chose not to turn up at the “Tehelka-Newsweek” show on Saturday.

    He was scheduled to participate in a session on the ‘dilemmas of development in a democracy’ with Omar Abdullah.

    “We warned him that the hotel is owned by Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka who’re in jail for the 2G scam. There’s a petition before the High Court against the property for CRZ violations,” an activist said. Designer Wendell Rodricks too boycotted the event over the hotel’s illegalities.

    Affidavit filed

    The Goa government has filed an affidavit in the court confirming the DB Hospitality property violated CRZ regulations. Yet the state government is a sponsor-partner in the Tehelka event.

    “The Tehelka people approached us and we have given them some support through the tourism department, industries and art and culture,” Chief Minister Digambar Kamat told Deccan Herald. Apart from a commitment of Rs 30 lakh for the event, the Goa government is hosting two dinners for 600 well-heeled “Think” attendees. It will also foot the bill for all the Central and outstation ministers participating and sponsor some sessions.

    “We have given them all the logistical support like buses and cars for the guests and protocol support,” a government aide said. Tejpal had several discussions with the chief minister in the run-up to the event.

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