When the Tejpal “Progressive” Veneer Slips to Display a Brahminical Choti

When the Tejpal “progressive” veneer slips to display a Brahminical choti, accompanied by Brahminical angst at being oh so “up-pressed” by a young woman’s rape complaint, and that unique Brahminical monopoly over HURT.     

TT’s brother MT whines that TT’s being charged with rape inside lift, traumatised him (MT) so much he doesn’t use lifts; go on dates etc, AND that he (MT) started keeping a ponytail. Puzzled? Don’t be, it’s good old brahmanism. 

MT says, believe it or not, that “the ponytail became my personal talisman, the last grasp of a defeated Brahmin boy searching for divine protection from relentless attack.” Now that TT is off the hook, he has ceremonially uploaded video of himself getting the choti shaved off! 

In the rarefied world these men and their friends inhabit, it is felt as outrageous for a “Brahmin boy” to face some loss of face for supporting a brother accused of raping a young employee. 


And in that world, all the pain belongs to tragic hero – the man of privilege forced to nobly endure the injustice of a judicial trial process dragged out to 7 years by none other than the hero himself – and HIS family. The survivor with whom he “attempt(ed) a sexual liaison” against her will, is not entitled to any pain. She cannot make performative hairstyle statements, since on her, a ponytail will just be a ponytail – not a signifier of “Tragic Brahmin Hero Forced To Undergo Unjust Exile Till Kingdom Is Inevitably Restored And He Can Return Triumphant.” 

“PM Cries” for the disaster PM wrought is pure evil. 

But it is merely banal, I think, when Minty Laments Minor Inconveniences caused by the wanderings of his bro’s Irresistible Exceedingly Charming Sexual Aura (gushing description of AURA – guess that is a useful four letter word for it that FB won’t object to – is by eminent historian dude bro).



It is an insult to the courageous political prisoners (Bhima Koregaon, CAA/NRC protestors) imprisoned by the regime, that Tarun Tejpal’s supporters are implying his experience of a rape trial to be an act of political victimisation by the regime. His Press Release claims he felt the “boot of the state”. No he did not. It is the political prisoners who are feeling that boot. He merely faced the consequences of forcing what he called “sexual liaisons” on his employee. Do NOT let them turn the survivor of his unwanted, forced “sexual liaison” invisible. SHE has more political integrity in her little finger than he does in his entire self from choti to aura. His acquittal is merely another instance reminding us how difficult it is for rape survivors to get justice in courts, whether in India or the USA (read Chanel Miller’s Know My Name). The acquittal does NOT prove HER to be guilty of lying about rape. It does NOT prove that HE is a falsely accused martyr. The acquittal does not, as his press release implies, prove he was “falsely accused by his employee”. It simply means the court held that the evidence did not meet the threshold of evidence they expect to convict a man of Tejpal’s class for rape. If a working class man had apologised in writing for rape, you bet the court would lose no time in convicting HIM for rape. As for the “seven long years” crap – the trial was dragged out BY TEJPAL himself, with the help of his army of top lawyers.

Now try to unsee this.


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Kavita Krishnan Written by:

Kavita Krishnan is Secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA). Kavita is also editor of 'Liberation', the monthly publication of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (CPI-ML).

One Comment

  1. Nirupama
    May 31, 2021

    What an utterly irresponsible & dangerous piece!!!!1. It forces a false valence between ‘pressing for a sexual liaison’ and rape 2. Completely ignores the caste & class privilege of the victim herself 3. Believes that character assassination of the accused and his brother is sound response to the badly worded judgement that our old-fashioned judges unfortunately tend to indulge in – a judgement which otherwise may have sound legal merit  4. The brothers are bratty whining Brahmins against whom just the verbal allegation of rape is sufficient evidence!!!
    These are EXACTLY the strategies the Govt has used against human rights activists languishing in jail that Ms. Krishnan professes to be supporting!!! – linking peaceful protests to anti-national insurgencies; ignoring evidence; labelling & discrediting JNU, Jamia etc. as mischief-making privileged brats pitched against the simple, nationalistic Hindu. Very Very disappointing! 

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