The Fall of a father, The Rise of a daughter
I was so inspired and moved, My heart goes out to Tarun Tejpal’s brave daughter. I don’t know her but I congratulate her for telling her father to keep his pants up.
That she told her father this and that Tarun is disturbed with his daughter’s anger and sadness is something we got to know from trusted sources. Not that we give a damn to Tarun’s feelings but good to know he feels…
I congratulate the daughter for ‘so far’ rising as a friend, for standing by the survivor who happens to be her best friend. It is exemplary that Tarun’s daughter believed in her Best friend. The victim had shared with Ms Tejpal the details of the sexual assault.
We know it must be a very difficult time for you young lady. But we urge you to extend this support to the survivor of your father’s violence ceaselessly. Stand against the perpetrator of violence even if it is your father.
We are all critical of sexual violence when we sit in front of our TV sets, when we lounge in our living rooms, while sipping coffee, while guzzling down beer. We have all looked at the Nirbhaya episode with grave concern. You must have been angry like million others. This is no less an incident. Your friend has been assaulted, hurt, violated and humiliated.
This incident must have scarred you also. Your father violated your friend, violated the trust you had in him, violated the tender space you shared with your best friend. However, Tarun violated more than your friend’s and your trust. He attacked and violated a human being’s body and soul in a way that she was left physically and emotionally battered.
It will be always painful for your best friend to lose you (if you decide to step back for FAMILY HONOUR). To be abandoned by one’s best friend when one is traumatized and brutalized is painful to say the least. To be not trusted completely by one’s closest friend when one has faced sexual violence is an inexplicable loss of faith.
Tarun must have been a trusted figure for your friend as well. He must have been a HERO to her like he is to you. And he must be a Hero in some ways I am sure. But right now Sister this is the moment of your life. This is the most trying moment. Who will you stand with at this moment?
Do you have the strength and more significantly the will to stand by your friend… stand by a woman till justice is done?
We are not asking you to not love your father. We are asking you to take a complex stand here.
Love your father, help him find his best self but stand by what is right. Your father is the perpetrator of violence in this case. He is also a very powerful man. The victim has trusted you as a friend and has confided in you. She didn’t go public with her complaint till she shared the details with you. She needs your support. You can make a huge difference here. You can set a precedence. You have done what Tarun Tejpal’s friend and colleague Shoma Choudhary couldn’t. You have not tried to justify Tarun Tejpal’s actions.
Set an example. Tarun Tejpal has set many examples in the world of journalism. You set an example now. Take a stand as this is the moment when you are really required to take a stand, when a stand will really make a difference. There will never be another time and another moment when a stand will be more required… when it will matter more. Your father is a habitual offender. You are aware of that. Don’t let him violate another soul.
You have risen as a daughter by challenging your father’s conscience. Now rise as a friend. Rise as a Sister! And we will stand by you…we the women of the movement…we are a home you’ll always have.