Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Day That Began Badly... Arushi Murder Case - Overkill?

Had an interesting day. Began badly, but gradually I kept the faith, worked hard and am now in a position to tell all. So here goes:

One of those days: woke up in a tizzy with wife complaining that the kitchen drain pipe was disgorging water into the kitchen, which was then seeping into the drawing room. A slight leakage was detected last night, which was dismissed unceremoniously by yours truly. After all, I am only a renter of the property!

But as calamities go, this was emergency, as the house was filling with water. There was water everywhere. I was sloshing through pools within the flat. In fact, I was thinking of writing “wading” but that would be an exaggeration.

Put on my shorts above my boxer shorts and ran to the intersection to call a plumber. There, a boy said he knows a plumber named Babu. Any Babu would do under the present emergent situation, I sort of blubbered. Then he looks in his mobile phone, searches his wallet and takes out several train tickets on which he has scrawled numbers, and, aw shucks, shakes his head.

What? No Babu to repair my kitchen plumbing?

I go back yank the pipe out, go out and lash it strongly against a wall, and whoa, out comes a lot of garbage that was clogging it! Problem solved. But lesson learnt: maintain your rented house as good as your own.

Worldly wise Anthonybhai has these words of wisdom: “Kya, apun not too much caring about rental accommodation, no men? Aisaich hota hai Mumbai people, no? They think they are here on rent and dirty the place, kya men? No manners only, no?”

Arushi Murder Case

Later in the morning I watch something of a spectacle unreeling on television. A minor stampede, in fact. Hundreds of television cameramen and photographers virtually hounding, yes hounding, Rajesh Talwar and his brother, as the former comes out of jail.

I guess this “trial by media” has gone on too far. I think it is high time the media apologised to the Talwar family for hounding and persecuting them like common criminals. That a father could kill his own daughter, whatever the circumstance, sounded very odd to me. Especially since Indian fathers are so attached to their daughters, treat them better than sons (I have personal experience of this), and consider them as princesses.

Not only that, now that Rajesh Talwar has been proved innocent, how about allegations that he was having an affair with Mrs. So-and-so? The media has no right to speculate. It went into overdrive as it graphically showed the murder situations that “could have happened” when that was the job of the forensic department of police. The presenter on television went into overkill by strutting around and pointing fingers and discussing “what if” scenarios, which weren’t their domains. Their job is to report facts and leave it at that. Instead why couldn’t they say, “A teenaged girls Arushi was murdered and the police is investigating the case.” And why the “Arushi Case”, why the hoopla? Because Rajesh Talwar was high profile and lived in a tony locality? Thousands of murders occur in India and why was only this case picked up. Was it because it was convenient to show a successful couple as being decadent? I could hardly believe that when I saw the cameramen virtually fight with each other to get a shot at Rajesh Talwar. They were like hyenas attacking the carrion left behind by a lion.

The individual is vulnerable in today’s world. The media is not where an individual can go to seek justice he doesn’t get from the system. In halcyon days gone by, a man could write a letter to the editor and get his affairs sorted out at the highest levels. Not anymore. The media will only show what is profitable for them, get them better TRPs.

Anthonybhai has a perfect explanation for this, too: “These media people no, men? No sense, kya men. They only after TRP-BRP, as the rights-vights of common people are friggin kachra, men. These people are like that only, aisaich hai.”

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