Guess who suddenly learnt that creating hysteria and mouthing hyperbole is not the right way to go about correcting wrongs.
Arundhati Roy in the latest interview here to the BBC clearly has grown a lot mentally since the Tejpal phenomenon. I have never heard her say anything so very calm and composed.
Q: What was your reaction when you first heard about the accusations against Tarun Tejpal, as someone who knows him and is familiar with Tehelka?
A: Heartbreak. I think all of us are already braced for what we know is going to be mass hysteria in the media in which everybody is just not given time or place to think.
The fact is that what has been alleged against him is a pretty serious crime and you do have to admire the fact that a young colleague did have the courage to stand up and say what happened to her which isn’t normally the case.
Yet, because of what happened in the [Delhi] gang rape last December, there is a lynch mob that is howling in a maximalist way. I think what we miss is a real addressing of the problem. On the one hand we are talking about sexual harassment, molestation and rape being a phenomenon which very many women go through. Is this media hysteria going to address the problem?
Women have fought for the expansion of the legal definition of rape and I think that is a work in progress.
It is an un-nuanced law – some parts are good and some are draconian.
By expanding the law and cranking up the punishment what you are getting is a lynch mob after a few high-profile cases – but the phenomenon is not being addressed.
Q: Are you suggesting that this is an issue that the law cannot completely address?
A: I’m partly suggesting that. There has to be an institutionalised way of addressing this which cannot just be crude. Everyone cannot be sentenced to death or life in prison or hounded in the public eye. We need to calibrate our responses, calm down and think about it a bit.
It seems as if she has also developed a new found respect for the Indian legal system.
Q: How do you think you can do this while also delivering justice to a victim?
A: If we could put these systems in place then victims can also make their own decisions to a great extent of whether they want to go to a court of law or address it in a different way. The building blocks are in place but need to be more civilised.