A 14 year old girl’s life was splattered on to the television screen as everything about her was questioned. Her character, her friends, everything. The thought itself is horrifying. May such travesties never befall your close ones, but for moments just imagine it to be one of your sisters or your mother or any female friend in Aarushi’s place. Now experience the pain. Chauvinistic males discussing how a ruptured hymen described sexual activity before the murder( a highly pertinent point to be noted is that the original forensic report filed a few days after the murder read that the vaginal area was “NAD”(sic) yet a report filled latter suddenly manifested anomalies), high-headed conservatives deeming pyjama bottoms and cell phones to be sexually provocative, disgusting cheap reporters who are not fit to report even a stupid traffic jam abashedly claiming her murder to be caused by a sexual affair. There have been purists claiming she sent messages to her boyfriend which possibly prove her supposed promiscuous behaviour and justify her murder as an “honour killing”. To all of you cringing in disgust, this is what the Talwar’s are going through.
The nauseating lack of prudence by the media at reporting this case, coupled with their sensationalised depiction of each and every step in the judicial and investigative process has led to a common phenomenon which is known as “trial by medial”. Virtually, the nation has sentenced the Talwar’s already for murdering their only daughter and their servant Hemraj because of two reasons: the knowledge the two possessed about Dr.Rajesh Talwar’s affair and the sexual activities of the two.
Here’s the shocking truth. The previous sentence, in no part has been proven. There has been no evidence, not even circumstantial evidence or a hint or a clue which supports the hypothesis that Dr.Rajesh Talwar was having an extra-marital affair. The entire theory was based on a sole statement by Krishna, his assistant at his clinic and Hemraj’s friend. Ironically, Krishna was originally one of the named accused and was also arrested but later let off on bail. The police recovered from his room, a bloodied kukri (Nepali weapon) and a bloodied pillow. Yet, no action was taken after his release. As of now, he is untraceable and reportedly in Nepal. Moving on, the clashing evidence with regard to Aarushi’s private parts and the long decay and decomposition of Hemraj’s body before being found points at one thing- the theory maybe correct, but as of now, nothing proves it. Lastly, the Talwar’s are merely named suspects, but no evidence, no court of law; no investigation has backed this suggestion by proof. Wild expeditions by the media has distorted reality and painted a world which has already sentenced certain people based on nothing but theories which drive TRPs to their channel.
I do not claim to be an expert at anything and pronounce judgements. The criminal could have been anyone, maybe the Talwar’s themselves. But maybe not, and that’s what makes all the difference. The entire case has exposed India. A archaic police with nearly dysfunctional logistics, a flawed Judiciary with improper communication, a detrimental and disgusting media which has clearly stepped beyond its mandate and taken advantage of a tragic moment for their own personal good. Equally are to be blamed are us. We, as a populace have matured but the monotony with which we are doing so, with a complete “today this tomorrow that” attitude, is astounding. Not one person has questioned the blatant violation of ethics and freedom by today’s media. Vehemently the media has argued for its right to free speech. But does free speech include wild incitement? Does it include the right to pronounce people guilty? Does it give them the right to discuss a girl’s private life, even though she’s dead? We have been sucked in by the mantra today’s media follows- “Flash something. Flash it big. Flash it many times. That’s the truth. Everything else is false.” I confess I too am a late entrant with regard to certain facts about the situation and I have no excuses to offer. But today, we have failed. As people, as citizens, as humans and definitely as a country.
It has been 5 years since the horrific double murder. Scams, development, news, results, weddings, deaths, all have come and gone. But we await justice. Justice for Aarushi, whose life was snatched away. A life that may have been anything. She may have been the next Prime Minister, a dentist or a common thief, anything. But she won’t. For most of us, life shall move on, and actually is moving on. But we carry on our shoulders, the burden of humanity, and as people, we owe it to truth and justice.
I leave you all with a small thought. God forbid such a happening, but in Aarushi’s place, it could have been you or your sister or daughter or anyone of your female relatives. Would your careless attitude still reign?