TEHELKA had become an exclamation in the placid world of journalism. A world where all events are evaluated in terms of money, for it to find a place in the mainstream media, TEHELKA had become a space for the prohibited. It was, therefore, a great tragedy to see its founder giving it the rudest shock possible, but fortunately TEHELKA’s foundation was not as fragile as its opponents thought. The investigative spirit, dedication of its journalists and courage to speak the truth have given it the metal that has kept TEHELKA floating and surely will make it sail once again in the turbulent sea of truth.
As an activist, it was encouraging to find news reports in TEHELKA way back in 2000 about the murky world of politicians, which ordinarily gets negotiated and dumped in the editorial wastepaper basket. The 2001 exposé on Bangaru Laxman not only exposed the pseudo righteousness of the saffron party but also “discovered” the innovative method of “stinging”. For the first time, the actual “picture of corruption” was on the TV screen for all to see. Though exposing and fighting against corruption has of late become a ploy to hit at the opponent, sting operation has come to live and become an accepted mode of investigative journalism. Even the Supreme Court has approved of sting operation as a legitimate tool for accruing information. TEHELKA should get its due credit for introducing this innovative method in the realm of journalism.
From the Bangaru Laxman days to the exposé of Amit Shah’s role in the murder of Tulsiram Prajapati, TEHELKA has many feathers in its cap and the magazine has come to occupy the space of a rebel. The great debacle due to the Tarun Tejpal episode is, therefore, the real testing time for the magazine. Has TEHELKA grown as an institution or has it remained as the reflection of the ideas of individuals will now be established. Many of us believe TEHELKA had outgrown its original conception and matured into a magazine that catered to truth without fear or favour and would, therefore, survive the present hurdles and continue to be Oh! TEHELKA.