Thursday, November 28, 2013




Suddenly, Tarun Tejpal, of Tehelka, is Big news. All because, he touched a Girl here and there. On the same day and perhaps at the same time, there were Murders, rapes, Gang rapes etc – all over India. But, the touching of a Girl by Tarun Tejpal is the only Big News that India is interested in.

Indian Media, at least, several sections of it, since Generalization is always wrong, is deeply obsessed with sensationalism. Tarun Tejpal should not have done whatever he did to the Girl. That is Fundamental. That is settled.

He says it is consensual. She says, it is not. No one has seen what on earth really happened. Whatever has happened – inside that goddamn LIFT without CCTVs – will forever be subject to media speculation. On coming out, he wiped his sweat and she adjusted her dress. That’s Big News. Did she raise a FURORE ON COMING OUT OF LIFT? No, She didn’t. If something Big had happened, she should have. She chose what she thought was best. She told his daughter, who is her friend. Somehow, the private matter became public and now Tarun is fleeing and media is hounding. The 2 families perhaps would have dealt with it effectively and privately – probably. That would have been more than enough punishment for Tarun too.

How much did the Girl suffer then, thereafter? How much did Tarun suffer then, therafter and how much will he suffer now and in future. Every crime needs a Punishment, which is Just and Proportionate- and most importantly, reformative. The publicity and the media hype has already made it grossly disproportionate and non-reformative. No one can justify what Tarun has done. It is condemnable. But, how much?

India is not taking real measures – to stop eve-teasing and related offenses.  Eve teasing is still on Buses and trains. Police response is casual and sickening. That should change in a drastic way. That can happen only with reforming our Education system, which today, stands devoid of all character building content – thanks to our so called secularism.

But, We are sensationalizing every trivial thing that happens. Unfortunately trivial things only get sensationalized. What about the rapes and gang rapes which happened on the same day, its previous and subsequent days? No Media cared! Why? One Nirbhaya case was enough? The Girl in Tarun’s case was sensible enough – to tell his daughter – and the two were dealing with him effectively – as far as I can understand. But, once the Media steps in – you will never know what is truth, what is rumour and what is gossip. This is not the way western media deals with News. 

There needs to be some sense of proportion. Is Tarun’s touchy news more important than elections to the assemblies, the UMPP planned at Tamilnadu, or even the news that 4 teachers in a Puducherry Govt High school were accused of forcing girl students to watch pornographic content on school computers and sexually molesting them? Our Obsession with sex and violence is too, too much. One Tarun is not an exception. We are all the rule. And thanks to the TV channels beaming sexy content all the time. Women are also contributory factors to all this mess – as much as men.

Some Media men usually deal with news as they should  - but, even they have to play for TRP ratings and sensationalize when many others are walking away with better TRP ratings.  And TRP ratings seem to reflect what we all fall for. We all want sensational news, or news sensationalized News - not real, important news.

On sexual harassment side also, there are far worse news than that of Tarun Tejpal. So, why this Obsession with Tarun? Allow the Lady to deal with the problem in the way she thinks best. And, that probably would be the Best way. The Media trial and sensationalism is the worst possible way in such cases. If she complains – to Media, then there would be some meaning. Not otherwise. Ditto is the case with the Gujarat lady. All congress ladies marched to President’s Place to submit memorandum. Fine. Did they or any one know the real, full facts and did they present only facts and not rumour and gossip? What if, all BJP ladies go and submit another memorandum doing the opposite? Is this Politicking not sickening?

Sensitiveness is gone and sensationalism is in.

There are very few saner voices around.

But, this is probably another manifestation of the sexism and harassing tendencies in many, many  of us.

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