Tehelka founder seeks support for print venture

MUMBAI: Tehelka founder Tarun J Tejpal will be back with his weekend print publication Tehelka on the Weekend in October 2003.

Tejpal's company has embarked upon a communication campaign to enrol people who will become a founder subscriber or a member of the Tehelka Engaged Circle. Tejpal hopes to preserve the publication's independence by enlisting support for the paper while hoping that this monetary support will contribute to sustain the publication.

Inviting subscriptions from thousands of people in advance, Tejpal claims that the new publication will represent everything Tehelka has come to symbolise, in the last three years - free, fair and fearless public interest journalism. Tejpal's website created waves two years ago when it broke the story of high level corruption in defence procurements.

Tejpal also claims that the publication will be aggressively independent. "It will not be aligned to any business house or political party. It will be aligned only to the public interest," he adds.

A note from the Tehelka team says that those who enrol as Founder Subscriber will join the ranks of luminaries like Shahrukh Khan, Shabana Azmi, Mira Nair, Javed Akhtar, Mahesh Mathai, Parmeshwar Godrej, Shobhaa De, Sunil Khilnani, Shanti Bhushan, Vikram Lal, Anil Aggarwal, Arif Mohd Khan, Jit Paul, Saeed Naqvi, John Singh, Dr.Prathap.C.Reddy and more.

"You will also be a part of the Tehelka National Collegium where you can have a firsthand discussion with people at the forefront of change and contribute to the agenda of Tehelka as well," adds Tejpal.

The note also says that those who subscribe to the Tehelka Engaged Circle will have a platform to connect with warriors who are on the frontlines, fighting pitched battles against all odds; with other like-minded socially conscious Indians.

The Engaged Circle will act as a catalyst to make issues into crusades and resurrect a critical mass that can make a bigger impact. "You will be invited to Tehelka National Engaged Forums as well, where you can come face to face with these warriors," Tejpal adds.

While referring to the past, Tejpal reminisces: "Ever since we broke the story on corruption in defence procurements, we have had to face relentless victimisation at the hands of a powerful establishment. In two years Tehelka's staff has gone from 120 people to three; its office has been vacated; its staffers arrested and harassed; and its debts have spiralled. Yet its support has grown, as has its resolve."

Tejpal goes on to add: "We are determined to keep Tehelka from becoming a bad story: do the right thing and be destroyed for it. We want Tehelka to be a good story: do the right thing, suffer for it, but succeed in the end.

The Tehelka Advisory Board has eminent personalities such as Anna Hazare, Kuldip Nayyar, Mahashweta Devi, Mark Tully, Ram Jethmalani, Swami Agnivesh, Shyam Benegal, Sir V.S. Naipaul, Alyque Padamsee, Mallika Sarabhai, Mahesh Bhatt, Kapil Sibal, Julio Ribeiro amongst others.

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