Firstpost Slanders Me: Update

So Tarun Tejpal, who’s hiding after being accused of sexually assaulting a female staff, a lady old enough to be his daughter, is right now the hot news all over the Internet and beyond. Meanwhile, all kinds of reactions have erupted with outrage leading the charge. Amidst this, it appears that the online media house Firstpost decided to rub some in self-righteousness on to Twitter users or “Tweeple.”

An article preachily headlined Dear Twitter, abusing Tejpal’s daughter for his sins is disgusting, meanders on–after such a self-explanatory heading, not much needs to be said–and serves us some screenshots of various Tweeple apparently abusing Tarun Tejpal’s daughter, Cara Tejpal.

It is nobody’s case that Tarun’s daughter should be subjected to abuse because of what her tharki father did. And those who do abuse Cara for no fault of hers are wrong.

What is equally wrong is for Firstpost to publish tweets of people who have NOT abused Tarun Tejpal’s daughter. And that includes me. My Twitter handle is @sandeepweb and this was what I tweeted, and it is what Firstpost carried in its preachy piece:

santweet

What exactly is abusive in this tweet? How is asking for the name of Tarun Tejpal’s daughter abusive? For the record, it was just an honest question, nothing more nothing less. On what grounds did Firstpost conclude that it was abusive? If that wasn’t enough, the Firstpost piece also draws defamatory inferences about my supposed reaction, when it says:

And finally shock/amusement at the fact that a woman, after being abused relentlessly for no fault of hers, has deleted her Twitter account: (Ed: added emphasis)

When all I did was merely to ask whether Cara Tejpal was Tarun Tejpal’s daughter. What part of my tweet conveys the “abused relentlessly” meaning?

The piece does not carry the name of the Firstpost journalist/writer who wrote it. Instead, a generic “FP Staff” is all it says.

Whatever it is but it clearly slanders me by attributing abuse to me where I did no abuse. So unless Firstpost carries an unconditional apology within 24 hours for slandering me, I shall be forced to take legal action against it for damaging my reputation publicly. 

UPDATE: Firstpost has since apologized to slandering me with the following text:

Editor’s note: We’ve scrubbed the abusive tweets previously included in this article. On consideration, we believe it defeats the intent of the article to give such tweets wider circulation. One tweet by Sandeep, which was not abusive, was also deleted. We regret lumping this tweet along with the other abusive ones.

 

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23 comments for “Firstpost Slanders Me: Update

  1. Anita
    December 22, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Your tweet is in very poor taste.

  2. December 17, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Hi Sandeep,

    I hope you don’t mind if I post a comment in your blog on a subject unrelated to the current topic of discussion. My comment is about case of the Italian Marines still held in India. 

    Can I borrow the title of one of your previous articles to tell you that I am also in search of the honest journalist?
    Upon the suggestion of an Indian friend of mine, Biswajit, I am turning to some bloggers in India hoping that they won’t be afraid of looking at events with an alternative perspective, bringing to light what we strongly believe is a different truth and taking on the lies of politicians and the official media. 

    We have very strong reasons to believe that some powerful Kerala politicians of the Congress Party (namely Chandy and Antony) have tried hard to frame the Italian Marines all along and that they are now trying to delay the case with any possible means in order to avoid a new huge scandal for the Congress Party ahead of the general elections.

    At the end of this comment I will make available the links to two documents:

    Document # 1 – The Italian Marines’ Story Under a New Perspective
    Document # 2 – The Technical Analysis Supporting It

    I would like to emphasize that I am writing to you as a friend of India and with the utmost respect for the Indian people, who have shown in the last round of State elections the strength and vitality of the Indian democracy.

    I would kindly ask you to devote some time to read the two documents (at a first glance they may not be easy reading for somebody who doesn’t know the story in depth) that are finally starting to circulate widely here in Italy.

    With the help of a few concerned friends, basing ourselves upon information publicly available (but mostly neglected by the media due to a well-orchestrated political campaign), we are offering a very different perspective on how the facts in the case involving the two marines may have unfolded.

    If confirmed, this new perspective on the Enrica Lexie case may well become the last of several episodes of abuse of power, political corruption, deceptions and lies under the current UPA government. 

    However, after the fake Keran operation has been exposed, you may find less hard to believe that the Enrica Lexie operation may have followed the same kind of script.

    My current intent is primarily to let the Indian people know what may have happened so that they may probe the alleged findings in more depth themselves.

    The long detention of two innocent men would mean not only that a grave crime has been committed towards them and their families, but also that the families of the two dead fishermen may have been taken for a ride (together with the rest of the country) and denied any justice. 

    If the big news for the Italian side here is the innocence of the two marines, for the Indian side the big news is the manipulation of the democratic system by a few corrupt politicians.

    With best wishes.

    Document # 1
    http://berseker.over-blog.com/2013/12/a-revised-version-of-the-story-involving-two-italian-marines-and-a-powerful-political-clan-from-kerala-8.html?fb_action_ids=255550504602308&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

    Document # 2
    http://www.seeninside.net/piracy/pdf/abstract_lexie_290713.pdf

    • December 19, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      Hi Sandeep,

      needless to say that you should feel free to use the information that I have provided to you in any way you feel like.
      I know it’s huge what some corrupt politicians have allegedly done, but I also think it’s the kind of news that official media will tend to hide and that independent bloggers may build a reputation on.
      For any back-up information or clarification you are welcome to contact me through mt fb account.

      Stefano

  3. S. N. Hebbar
    December 7, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    I am not finding any articles in this website for many weeks. What has happened?

  4. December 5, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Good that you got justice! I read many articles of FP and find it good most of the time. But then there would many creative writers there and hence this lapse.

  5. AthRat
    November 27, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    Clearly the most recent update on FP indicates that they indeed have apologised to Sandeep for categorising his tweet as slur against Cara Tejpal, but that’s just legal and formal niceties.
    But if indeed they had categorised Sandeep’s Tweet i.e ” Can someone confirm if caratejpal is TT’s daughter” as slander, who really can blame them??
    That’s they key really. Wrap abuse in seeming “non abuse” and you can get your message across without any fear of reprisals.

    • gbhai
      December 3, 2013 at 3:48 AM

      So is the mere fact of being acknowledged as TT’s daughter abuse or, in this case, an inquiry to confirm the same? Do you subscribe to some sort of weird, archaic notion that children are de facto culpable for the sins of their parents? If not, then where is the insult, or the defamatory characterization of little Cara here? If anything, Sandeep probably sympathises with her for TT has hurt her as well. A more likely interpretation of Sandeep’s question would be to see it as an outcome of concern rather than sort of non-existent condemnation.

      • AthRat
        December 3, 2013 at 9:33 PM

        Yes, I think that I may have committed the same mistake that FP did. In retrospect I believe that categorizing sandeeps question as a slur or slander may not be tenable in this case. Hence, I’d like to tender an unqualified apology for the same. Just for the record, ideologically I belong to the “leftie” camp so no one here would have a problem guessing where I stand on matters such as NaMo for instance, and I personally believe that if people introspected and owned to mistakes when shown to be mistaken the world would be a much happier place.

        • K.P.
          December 5, 2013 at 8:46 PM

          Well then maybe you should start practicing in full what you preach, and “introspect” upon the insidious and meretricious notions of leftism which you subscribe to, which may have some (highly limited) value in Western societies but in India is simply an irrelevant, redundant cacophony of brain-farts masquerading as an ideology for the acutely deracinated, and which in practice amounts to nothing more than being “anti-Hindu”. If you did that, and managed to liberate yourself from the intellectual void that I imagine has most likely been life-long, then the self-indulgent facade of fake superiority and magnanimity you no doubt strut around with on a daily basis might be fractionally justified, and you might *then* be contributing in some small manner to making the world a “happier place”. Not holding my breath though.

          No reply necessary.

          • AthRat
            December 5, 2013 at 11:18 PM

            This is not a reply but a thank you note, to your royal upper caste highness for having taken the trouble to try and bring a wayward such as myself back into the “fold”.

          • gbhai
            December 8, 2013 at 8:17 PM

            Well said K.P.: leftism in India amounts to nothing more than being anti-Hindu. While supremacist and hate-filled religions like Islam and Christianity continue to shred through the pluralist Hindu spiritual traditions of India, giving rise to religious fascist states of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kashmir, all that these wooly-headed intellectual puppets of the West can see is saffron.

  6. mats
    November 26, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    To me, that reads like a tasteless childish abuse to me. Especially because it is coming from a juvenile obsessive abuser like Mr. Sandeep. Honestly!

    • November 27, 2013 at 12:29 AM

      Calling someone names anonymously without even attempting to prove any of it, however is the mark of a great and mature person. Cackle more why don’t you?

      • mats
        November 29, 2013 at 2:29 AM

        What anonymity are you speaking of? Coming to the ‘tweet’ from Sandeep, can’t you see how childish and abusive it is, not only by intention but also by its phrasing? And it comes from a blogger whose specialization is only in tasteless juvenile abuses.

  7. happy
    November 24, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    FP has the policy of Shoot First and ask/apologize later.

  8. CC
    November 23, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    Sandeep, do not let them get away with this. This is outrageous!! I suggest you write an open letter to the editor of FirstPost.

  9. Vinay Shekhar
    November 23, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    Glad to see this below the article on Firstpost

    Editor’s note: We’ve scrubbed the abusive tweets previously included in this article. On consideration, we believe it defeats the intent of the article to give such tweets wider circulation. One tweet by Sandeep, which was not abusive, was also deleted. We regret lumping this tweet along with the other abusive ones.

    Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/india/dear-twitter-abusing-tejpals-daughter-for-his-sins-is-disgusting-1241967.html?utm_source=ref_article

  10. November 23, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    What is in social media of late is divided into two specific area concerning politics.
    Irrespective of subjects,SM is divided between Anti Modi and Pro Modi camps.

  11. Araanya
    November 22, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    I agree that First Post was wrong to have used your tweets in a slanderous manner. I also agree with First Post about the dubious intentions of you tweets. To seek out Tarun Tejpal’s family publicly for what, if not to name and shame them in one manner or the other? I do stand by your right to comment and query as you please. Only that I agree with how First Post deciphered your intentions – too quick and too callous though they were to jump the gun. You may not that have intended to shame Tejpal’s daughter in any manner whatsoever (though of that I’m not terribly sure), but that is exactly what you did.

  12. Raj Shinde
    November 22, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Sir please let us know if they apologised or not.

  13. gbhai
    November 22, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    Sandeep, this is a sign of your own modi-fication, i.e. gaining street-cred through drive-by shooting, fame through notoriety and stature via mud-slinging. What Modi is to politics you are going to become for journalism. The heat in the kitchen is going to go up and up. But you are going to stand it, and you are going to come out looking like 24K gold in the eyes of all who love India.

  14. Krishnan
    November 21, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    seems first post is afraid of u sandeep :)

  15. Raghavendra
    November 21, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    See the note at the end now –
    Editor’s note: We’ve scrubbed the abusive tweets previously included in this article. On consideration, we believe it defeats the intent of the article to give such tweets wider circulation

    Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/india/dear-twitter-abusing-tejpals-daughter-for-his-sins-is-disgusting-1241967.html?utm_source=ref_article

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