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Expose – Tarun Tejpal’s ThinkWorks took over highly profitable #THiNK2012 at no cost #STINK2013

 

MONEYLIFE DIGITAL TEAM | 27/11/2013 1

The 2011 director’s report of Anant Media, publisher of Tehelka, claimed credit for THiNK Fest, the annual Goa jamboree in 2011. But next year, this highly profitable event came under the control of Tarun Tejpal-controlled ThinkWorks but no consideration seems to have been paid to Anant Media

THiNK Fest, the big annual event that has mired into a big controversy after Tehelka’s editor Tarun Tejpal allegedly sexually assaulted a woman journalist from his magazine during the event, is claimed by Tehelka owners to be a product of ThinkWorks Pvt Ltd and not Anant Media Pvt Ltd, which owns the magazine. However, the directors’ report of Anant Media in 2011-12 (the latest available) claims great success for THiNK Fest in 2011. The directors’ report of Anant Media of that year says: “The company organised a mega event at Goa THiNK Fest 2011, which was a mega hit in the year 2011.” Anant Media is the owner of Tehelka.

 

According to a report in the Indian Express, THiNK Fest is organised by ThinkWorks, which is owned by Tarun Tejpal, his sister Neena Sharma (who signed as Neena Tejpal in the ThinkWorks directors report) and the Tehelka magazine‘s managing editor Shoma (Suparna) Chaudhary. “The only association of Thinkworks with Anant Media Pvt Ltd, which publishes Tehelka, is that it buys advertisement space from the magazine, though the sponsors said their understanding was that THiNK Fest was organised by Tehelka magazine,” the report says.

 

So, when the highly successful property THiNK Fest come under by control of ThinkWorks?

 

Going by the directors’ report, the event was owned by Tehelka, at least till 2011. If so, Tarun Tejpal, his sister Neena Sharma along with Shoma Chaudhary acquired control of this highly successful event the very next year. In 2012, ThinkWorks was a shell company, and was earlier called Babbler Brooks Pvt Ltd. In 2012-13, ThinkWorks earned Rs14.26 crore as revenues from the event and just under Rs2 crore as profit. This year’s event was even bigger and more profitable. There is not only no evidence that Anant Media, owner of Tehelka was paid any consideration to pass on the THiNK Fest property to ThinkWorks, but also no cost or revenue-sharing with Anant Media.

 

Interestingly, while Tehelka and Anant Media are trying hard to align themselves from the THiNK Fest (due to the controversy) their respective logos still shows the ‘crow’ in high esteem!

Even, on the THiNK Fest website, if one wants to read any article, it redirects to Tehelka portal showing the connection between the two.

 

Subsequent to the revelation that THiNK Fest is not a Tehelka event, critics have asked if THiNK Fest is owned by a separate firm, then why were Tehelka magazine staffers forced to work in it, leading to the alleged sexual assault on a woman journalist by Tejpal.

 

The alleged incident happened in a lift in a five-star hotel in Goa earlier this month. The Goa police had on 22nd November lodged an FIR against Tarun Tejpal under sections 376 (rape), 376 (2)(k) (rape by a person of a woman in his custody taking advantage of his official position) and 354 (outraging modesty) of IPC in connection with the incident. Conviction under section 376 of IPC entails a maximum of life term in jail.

 

According to another report from Indian Express, Tarun Tejpal had joined hands with controversial liquor baron Ponty Chadha before he was killed last year to start an exclusive private club for “select urban Indians” called Prufrock.

 

Officials in Wave Industries, the flagship company of the Chadha Group, told the newspaper that Chadha decided to invest in Prufrock in early 2012 after Tejpal made a business presentation on the concept of an exclusive private club.
Chadha was killed in a shootout in his farmhouse in Delhi in November 2012, but his son Manpreet ‘Monty’ Chadha decided to honour all business commitments of his father, the report says.

 

Prufrock, the private club, is owned by Thriving Arts Pvt Ltd, which was set up in June 2013. On 10th July, the company issued shares to two stakeholders at Rs10 per share — 72% to Tejpal and 28% to his sister Neena Tejpal.

 

On 26th August, Chadha Hotel’s Pvt Ltd invested Rs2 crore for 11,111 shares issued at Rs1,800 per share in the venture, the news report says.

  • #999; padding: 2px; display: block; border-radius: 2px; text-decoration: none;" href="http://www.kractivist.org/india-think2013-of-tehelka-by-tejpals-firm-more-stink2013/" target="_blank"> #India #Think2013 of Tehelka by Tejpal’s firm ,more #Stink2013
  • #999; padding: 2px; display: block; border-radius: 2px; text-decoration: none;" href="http://www.kractivist.org/india-tehelka-rape-case-tarun-tejpal-bail-plea-lies-and-denials/" target="_blank"> #India – Tehelka Rape Case – Tarun Tejpal, Bail Plea- Lies and Denials

 

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#India – #Think2013 of Tehelka by Tejpal’s firm ,more #Stink2013

Tarun Tejpal & Shoma Chaudhury-owned firm organises THiNK Fest, not Tehelka

Appu Esthose Suresh : New Delhi, Mon Nov 25 2013, 1IE
TehelkaTHiNK Fest is organised by an entity called Thinkworks Pvt Ltd, which is entirely owned by Tejpal, his sister Neena Tejpal and Shoma Chaudhary.

Thinkworks is Tejpal’s most profitable firm

THiNK Fest, which is at the centre of the controversy over the alleged rape attempt by the founder and editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazineTarun Tejpal on a woman journalist, is organised by an entity called Thinkworks Pvt Ltd, which is entirely owned by Tejpal, his sister Neena Tejpal and the magazine’s managing editor Shoma Chaudhary.

 

Thinkworks Pvt Ltd, which is entirely owned by Tejpal, his sister Neena Tejpal and the magazine’s managing editor Shoma Chaudhary.

 

 

The only association of Thinkworks with Anant Media Pvt Ltd, which publishes Tehelka, is that it buys advertisement space from the magazine, though the sponsors said their understanding was that THiNK Fest was organised by Tehelka magazine.

Neena Tejpal told The Indian Express, “It is a different company and the only tie-up we have is we use Tehelka’s ad space.” When pointed out that the THiNK Fest website uses Tehelka’s brand name, she said, “No, it never used the brand name. It’s always been a different entity.”

 

 

Thinkworks is one of the five companies promoted by Tarun Tejpal since 2006. Two of the firms are in hospitality industry. Started in February 2010, a year before the first THiNK Fest, Thinkworks is the most profitable business of the five with a gross revenue of Rs 14.2 crore as on March 31 this year. According to the filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), Tarun Tejpalhas 80 per cent stake in Think-works, while Neena Tejpal and Suparana Chaudhary have 10 per cent stake each. Suparana Chaudhary is the official name of the managing editor of Tehelka magazine, who is better known by her pen name Shoma Chaudhary

 

 

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#India- Tehelka’s #Think2013 opens amidst Protests in Goa #Stink2013

A group of public spirited citizens holding placards protest against the Think Fest at Bambolim on Friday.

November 9, 2013

 A group of public spirited citizens holding placards protest against the Think Fest at Bambolim on Friday.

Photo by: Siddesh Mayenkar
deccan

 

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Open letter to all Speakers at #THiNK2013, Goa, actually the #STiNK2013

bloodhands
Dear Speaker 
We understand that you are scheduled to speak at the ‘Think ‘13 Festival’ being organized by Tehelka at the Grand Hyatt, Bambolim, Goa from 8th to 10th November 2013.
 
We bring to your kind attention the following brief facts regarding the said event:
 
  1. Most of the sponsors are alleged to be involved in major illegal activities such as illegal mining scams, telecom scam, Radiatapes, Sponsorship of Salwa Judum, environmental destruction and displacement of indigenous communities.
  2. The organizer of the event is collaborating with the illegal acts of these corporations. The refusal to expose illegal mining in Goa, in spite of having a story researched by one of their own journalists much before it became Public knowledge, amounts to covering up the illegal mining and allowing the wanton destruction (done by the same corporations who are sponsoring the event now).
  3. The venue is a construction in violation of CRZ laws.
  4. The event is for the very rich only, as is evident from the entry charges.
 
It is very clear that holding this event is only an attempt to create a clean image for the same corporations who are alleged to be involved in massive scams, environmental destruction and displacement of indigenous communities.
 
We therefore request you to kindly boycott the event, or, announce your disapproval of, or, non-association with, the tainted corporations and their anti-people acts.
 
Thanking you,
Members of the Goan Society, including John Fernandes, Benaulim; Zarina Da Cunha, Nuvem; Abhijit Prabhudesai, Curtorim; Sidharth Karapurkar, Navelim; Rony Dias, Cuncolim; Fr. Victor Ferrao, Rachol; Cassian Furtado, Varca and many others

 

 

 

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#India – Tehelka’s #THiNK2013 – The Unbearable Stench of Blood Money is #STiNK2013 #mustread

 

stink2

 

JOIN US WHEREIS THIS STINK FEST YAAR

STiNK2013 – The Unbearable Stench of Blood Money

 

When the fourth estate is peddled like real estate, when journalism and dirty business collude, and when Orwellian ‘doublethink’ becomes the way of the scribes; we can unhesitatingly conclude that the so-called fourth pillar of democracy has been reduced to smithereens, much like the other three pillars.

 

Since its first edition in 2011, the Tehelka ThinkFest has been seen as a severe blow to the codes of journalism. The first ThinkFest featured the benevolence of the most controversial names in the business world that year, Essar and Tata Steel, both corporations stuck neck deep in a quagmire of accusations, from being involved in mining scams, telecom scams, sponsorship of the Salwa Judum, Radiagate, environmental violations, illegal land grab, forced displacement and several other crimes. But it was no surprise as Tarun Tejpal, the top gun at Tehelka, had earlier been seen that year at the Jaipur Literature Festival defending the event’s sponsorship by criminal corporations like Shell and Rio Tinto; he had essentially argued for his own case. That Tehelka was not the going to organise seminars on rural issues in Jamia Milia auditoriums anymore. That they would now openly solicit endorsements from the very corporations they had exposed in their publications.

 

Shoma Chaudhury, the Managing Editor of Tehelka, in an interview defended Tehelka’s decision to rake in blood money, saying it was to tell stories of the poor. Since 2012, aside from its problematic coverage of Soni Sori and Lingaram Kodopi’s cases, the publication seems to have cautiously veered from reporting any scams about Essar and other sponsors.  Even prior to the ThinkFest, the publication was totally mum on the 2010 medieval-era styled pillaging of villages in Odisha’s Kalinga Nagar, where Adivasi communities have been fighting Tata Steel with their lives. In the same NYTimes interview, Shoma mentions how Tehelka refused money from Vedanta, but many might be aware of how Tehelka had once carried a Vedanta press release in the guise of an article glorifying Vedanta’s CSR activities in Lanjigarh & Niyamgiri, attributing it to a reporter who personally claimed that he had not written it.

 

This year, the Think Fest has amongst its sponsors even more infamous corporations like the Narendra Modi-backed Adani group, land grabbers like DLF and late liquor baron Ponty Chaddha’s Wave. The Adani group is widely known for its illegal land grab for its illegal SEZ and port in Mundra, all facilitated by the Gujrat Govt. It is India’s largest coal importer, biggest private port operator and biggest thermal power producer (read one of India’s biggest polluter). The Modi government has allegedly alloted land to Adani at the rate of Re.1/- per sqm, at least a thousand times less than the market rates. In fact, a CAG report highlights that Adani gained more than Rs.70 crore when the Gujarat government-owned GPSC sold natural gas to it at rates much lower than what it had bought from the open market. Another CAG report says that Adani Power owed at least Rs. 240 cr as a fine to the Gujarat Govt but was officially fined a little more than Rs.79 cr.

 

After destroying more than a thousand hectares of coastal mangroves and being slapped with a Rs. 200 crore fine, Adani needs all the goodwill that events like ThinkFest can garner for it. After all, it is India’s most indebted company with a debt bill of at least Rs. 65,000 cr while its revenues stand at Rs. 47,000 cr.

 

The rise of Adani is closely linked to the rise of Narendra Modi in the post-riot situation. Modi needed big business to support him and Adani fulfilled that role. In return Adani was given a free run to devastate nature and society and rise from a mere Rs.3,300 cr company to a Rs. 47,000 cr company within a decade. With Modi’s blessings Adani has grown rapidly and made inroads across the nation and world. While its proposed coalfields in Australia are going to be one of the single largest producer of greenhouse gases, in Odisha, the company’s goons have been seen orchestrating attacks on activists like Prafulla Samantara, who are opposing the massive proposed coalfields in Angul. The infamous Tata port at Dhamra, which is devastating Olive Ridley nesting grounds, is slated to be taken over by Adani soon.

 

While one could get stuck on Adani, there’s a long list of logos that make up ThinkFest’s Patrons that need to be talked about. Essar, for instance, continues to be one of the chief patrons of the event. If this video from the first fest is anything to go by, Neena Tejpal herself admits that Essar and Tehelka essentially share the same values, at a time when the memory of Essar’s role in the telecom scam, in supporting the Salwa Judum, its illegal diversion of water from river Mahanadi and land grab in Jagatsingpur for a steel factory where displaced people are protesting, was fresh in our minds. Essar’s relationship with Modi, of course, reads out like a jaded Bollywood love story– with Shasi Ruia accompanying Namo on foreign tours to Switzerland and South Korea, making promises of undying investment at Vibrant Gujarat summits, falling out in the face of 8000 crore sales tax dues, being caught in a compromising position by the CAG and eventually making up.

 

Also on the red carpet of sponsors are JSW Steel, pulled up by both the Lokayukta and the CBI in connection with the Karnataka mining scam, causing a windfall Rs. 890 crore loss to the exchequer in resources, just as JSW wired a hefty thank-you in the form Rs 20 crore donation to Yedyurappa’s son’s trust for turning a blind eye to its excesses.

 

Iconic scammers DLF, whose large-scale land-grabbing stunts have even found mention in Tehelka, are presenting the John Pilger session, if only to add to the irony that the ThinkFest is the perfect example of the industrial-military-media complex that Pilger always endeavored to expose.

 

A session with Medha Patkar (quite a feat to get her to endorse an event sponsored by Coca Cola), Bianca Jagger and a former Maoist revolutionary is being presented by a defense equipment manufacturer, Pipavav, just as disarmament activist Binalakshmi Nepram is also a speaker at the event. Pipavav has just been awarded a 920 crore contract to build warships for the Indian coast guard.

 

Other sponsors include chronic polluters and cartelists United Phosphorous, who slapped a 25 crore defamation lawsuit against activist Rohit Prajapati for exposing pollution at their VAPI plant. United Phosphorous also leads the race in Mumbai’s garbage scam to process the city’s waste in its Deonar dump for a whopping cost of Rs. 26,000 crore, and displace those amongst its poorest who make their living from garbage.  To stir up some local angst, Goan mining companies also feature on the list of sponsors.

 

If that wasn’t enough to fill one up with disgust, the line-up of speakers is no less. Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, BJD MP often seen on TV defending Naveen Patnaik’s corporate resource grabbing, a high-flying mining and cable TV baron, is being heralded as “The Golden Boy…clearly a doer, a technocrat eager to set an example of good governance and efficiency”. This “‘accidental politician’ irritated by the inefficiencies of the country still beset by many of the problems of the ‘licence raj’” is no less than an Adani. His mining company, IMFA, availed of loan waiver from the amounting to over Rs. 2000 crore from the Naveen Patnaik government in 2007.

 

Then again, Panda hasn’t had a fraction of the good times that Vijay Mallaya has gotten away with. And yet here is, presented by Tehelka as ‘the Maverick Mogul’, his achievements listed as “bringing back to the country the sword of Tipu Sultan, Mahatma Gandhi’s eyeglasses” and “an annual calendar shoot with stunning models” (not necessarily in that order, but well, “it says as much about Mallya as the balance sheets do.”)

 

THiNK is a celebration where people like Nandan Nikelani, Vijay Mallya and Jay Panda will be promoted endlessly to the point that all their past misdeeds are pushed out of our consciousness into oblivion.

 

While a few names like Medha Patkar, Bianca Jagger and John Pilger on the guest list might make  Think seem like an honorable seminar to attend, just a little digging exposes it as a vulgar celebration of dirty blood money appropriating a journalistic organisation that was, until now, seen as a torchbearer of truth and progressive values.

 

It is understandable that there is no outcry from the general public, who might buy the general rhetoric of the sponsored bottomline. But for those in the know, those who’ve seen the truth behind the logos, who’ve resisted it in their own capacities, and who have yet chosen to actively engage with or ignore the goings-on on this rotten stage, it raises uncomfortable questions.

 

It signals an era where even vociferous dissenters believe that struggles cannot exist unless legitimised by the media, just as the avenues of getting an uncomfortable story covered are rapidly shrinking in the face of media corporatisation. It makes even the socially defiant among us afraid to call out this mainstream masquerade and risk the chance of never being invited to the ball.

As it trivialises and capitalises on the very pillars that it stands on, ThinkFest forces us all to do a double-think on what kind of inconvenient truths and truth-tellers we can live with, as the lines blur.

 

 

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