Into the Void

The curious case of Tehelka's missing archives

01 December 2018
Sometime over the summer of 2018, Tehelka’s archives, comprising 18 years of work, seemed to be disappearing online.

“Did you know all our Tehelka stories are gone?” I asked a friend and former colleague from my time at the magazine. As the words hung in the air, I saw his face fluctuate between the shock and horror that had dawned on me just a few weeks before.

In mid August, I had settled down with my laptop to tackle the tedious task of updating my résumé. A handful of my Tehelka stories have been a fixture since I left the magazine in early 2014. It had been my first job—I was tossed into the deep end of reporting and expected to teach myself to swim—and I had produced some of my best work as a rookie journalist.

I clicked on the links that I had stored for years, but instead of the comforting sight of familiar pages and words, I landed on a 404 error. I tried another link, and the browser again announced its trouble finding the page. A third attempt also resulted in the 404 error. As dread curdled in the pit of my stomach, I frantically googled my name and as many stories as I could remember—by headlines, by various combinations of keywords—but I came away empty-handed.

Aradhna Wal is a Delhi-based journalist.

Keywords: Tehelka Archives Internet Tarun Tejpal Charanjit Ahuja Pari Saikia Nishita Jha Sankarshan Thakur Mahesh Langa Rohini Mohan Shoma Chaudhury DNAinfo Gothamist Gawker Freedom of Press Foundation Wayback Machine Raghu Karnad Sonal Shah Poterfolio