In solidarity with Kavita Krishnan:
]Thank you to all for the concern, affection and solidarity.
I would like you all to know: I have asked Rediff to apologise publicly, and I also want them to file and FIR and pursue it to find out the identity of 'RAPIST' so that he is punished, as their representative promised on phone they would do. I have asked them for the screenshot of the chat - they are yet to show me their will to act in this matter. They haven't yet posted the transcript online either, - maybe rattled by my having gone public with this.
I also want to publicly thank Mr. Onkar Singh from the Delhi Rediff office for his sensitivity and support - he was sitting by my side when this happened, and I probably would have taken much longer to figure out how to react, had it not been for him. He told me that Muslim politcal leaders also face awful communal abuse, as do women, on such chats.
Below is the letter I have mailed to the Rediff editor at firstname.lastname@example.org:
Mr. Ganesh Nadar fom Rediff had contacted me yesterday to participate in a live chat today, and I agreed. Mr. Onkar Singh from Delhi's rediff office came to my office today to facilitate the chat, which was to take place from 2 pm to 3 pm. The chat had been advertised as an opportunity to chat with me as one of the activists involved in the recent anti-rape protests.
During the chat, someone with a handle 'RAPIST' repeatedly intervened in capital letters. In one 'question' he said, "Kavita tell women not to wear revealing clothes then we will not rape them." The same man then posted another question several times: "Kavita tell me where I should come and rape you using condom." Both questions were in block capitals and very visible. Mr Nadar initially said live chats cannot be 'screened' - which I know for a fat is not true since I have been in such chats with other media groups. Later Mr Nadar said that the man in the Rediff Mumbai office monitoring the chat failed to spot the 'RAPIST' because there were 'so many questions.' I find this difficult to believe since this was the only handle in capital letters and the questions were also in capitals.
Yet, no one from Rediff did anything to screen the guest - me - from such offensive questions, or to block someone with a handle of 'RAPIST' from the chat!
Mr. Ganesh Nadar has informed me that Rediff has taken a screenshot of the chat and is filing an FIR and sending the screenshot to Worli cyber crime labs to identify the 'RAPIST.' But I am yet to get a copy of the screenshot though I have asked for it; excuses are being made. I am also yet to receive the FIR number. Mr Nadar is very vague and contradictory about why the transcript of the chat is yet to be posted; whether the RAPIST's questions will be screened there; whether I will receive a screenshot or only the transcript (which will only have the questions I responded to); and other queries that I have.
I demand a public apology from Rediff for its failure to ensure that a chat organised by them was a safe space for me, a woman. Condoning and allowing such intimidatory behaviour against women keeps women out of the online space - just as rape keeps women off the streets. I resent this intimidation, and in this instance, hold Rediff squarely responsible for failing to keep 'RAPIST' out of the chat.
Expecting a public apology from you.