New Delhi: Tarun Tejpal has stepped down as editor of Tehelka magazine for six months, taking responsibility for what managing editor Shoma Chaudhury termed an “untoward incident” for which he extended an unconditional apology to a colleague. Chaudhury sent an internal email to staff to which she attached a letter written by Tejpal with the subject line “Atonement”. “A bad lapse of judgment, an awful misreading of the situation, have led to an unfortunate incident that rails against all we believe in and fight for,” Tejpal wrote in the email, a copy of which was seen by Mint.
“I have already unconditionally apologized for my misconduct to the concerned journalist, but I feel impelled to atone further,” he wrote. He added: “Because it involves Tehelka, and a sterling shared legacy, I feel atonement cannot be just words. I must do the penance that lacerates me. I am, therefore, offering to recuse myself from the editorship of Tehelka, and from the Tehelka office for the next six months.” The emails did not specify the nature of the incident. Mint could not immediately reach Shoma Chaudhury or Tejpal for comments. The Business Standard newspaper on its website quoted Chaudhury as saying, “It is an internal problem and we are not setting up any enquiry into the matter.”
Tejpal worked with The Indian Express and India Today groups and was managing editor of Outlook magazine before founding Tehelka in 2000. He is also the author of two novels, The Alchemy of Desire and The Story of My Assassins.