29 July, 2021

A Dachau Of Safety

A new legal glare pathologises workplace familiarity, hurts freedom

Illustration by Sorit
A Dachau Of Safety

Damn Tarun Tejpal for mixing up foul play with foreplay. Did he really believe the young journalist’s protests were really a come-on, when all she was saying was to F-off? Now, with that wilful and ludicrous act of sexual violation, he has pushed even harmless workplace bonds and affiliations into the glare of legal scrutiny, and criminal tangles and processes. Cubicle cruising and boardroom fancy is no longer about fantasy and romance, or excitement and fervour; it’s now about legal suits, a merciless justice system, and stringent punishments.

It must have been shocking to Tejpal’s devotees that, for a New age peddler of thought merchandise, their long-haired You Guru lived in an apostolic age, as a kind of Jesus of Nazareth, where he thought public shaming, “atonement and laceration” was enough punishment. That’s so last century. Today, the law is ironclad: sex offenders are locked up even before trial, undergo lab tests, are scrutinised by forensic science, and have charged slapped suo motu on them. A guilty plea means a maximum...

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