Sunday, July 13, 2008

India Obsessed with Nuke Deal and Murder Mystery

India Obsessed with Nuke Deal and Murder Mystery
Syed Ali Mujtaba

In New Delhi there are two dramas that are currently being staged. One of course is the nuclear deal and second is the twin murder mystery that rocked the neighborhood of the national capital some two months ago. Thanks to the national media the entire country is forced to follow the two dramas scene by scene frame by frame. It seems both the media and the government are consciously engaged in diverting the peoples attention of the people on controlling the prices of essential commodities that’s hitting the roof.

As far as the nuke deal is concerned it has become plain and simple politics. The ruling Congress party that’s piloting the nuclear- civil deal with the US has come to loggerheads with its own allies; the left, who are oppose to the deal. The left by pulling out of the government has reduced the ruling alliance into a minority. The Congress party, the dominant partner in the ruling alliance, instead of seeking truce with its left allies, is hobnobbing with other political parties to muster political majority. It’s resorting to horse trading to reach the magical figure of 272 to pass the floor test in the Lok Sabha.

There seem to be a sense of desperation in the current dispensation that’s keen to override the domestic agenda for foreign policy consideration. This political wisdom is logic of a rare kind. There are so many issues that are left out hanging due to lack of consensus in India and government is going ahead with other pressing issues. However, the desperation for the clearance of the nuke deal is something unprecedented as if the national existence is in jeopardy if the deal does not get through at the stipulated time. This is something intriguing and some one has rightly commented what‘s the deal behind the deal?

However more then the nuke-deal, it’s the Arushi-Hemraj murder mystery case that’s gathering a huge TRP rating on the TV channels. Even though it doesn't concern any common Indian, the TV channels have been selling this story like a hot potato for two months now. The entire country is forced to solve this murder mystery of a minor girl Arushi Talwar and a domestic help Hemraj that was committed at a home in Noida town in the state of Uttar Pradesh, adjoining Delhi.

The TV channels try to force down the throat a concocted story that the father of the deceased Mr. Talwar when found that her minor daughter was having sex with the domestic help Hemraj killed the two in a fit of rage. A simple honor killing theory leaves many question a begging. Can a father kill his own daughter? If the father is the killer, could the mother remain silent; whether she is a mother first or a wife first?

The TV channels are not answering these simple questions and making a killing out of their concocted honor killing story. The channels conducting media trial on the television screen have shown no respect to the mental agony of the parents they might have been undergoing due the murder of his daughter. Imagine if the murder suspect would have been some political bigwig of country. Can the TV channels sell this juice uninterrupted for two months in a row? Can any one imagine how many TV channels may have been up in flames by now? Poor Mr Talwar, who is neither Ram Sevak nor a Shiv Sanik and can no way gather a mob to silence the canard on the TV, has little option then to quietly suffer the humiliation.

The big question is who has given a license to the TV channels to conduct such media trials and play with the sentiments of an individual. Can they be pulled up for such crime or will it become an order of the day and carried on forever in the name of providing entertainment?

If the TV channels are stupid, the Central Bureau of Investigation is equally callous in handling this case. Willy-nilly the premier investigative agency of India too have fallen prey to the concocted story of honor killing and picked up the father of the deceased on grounds of suspicion. Talwatr a middle aged dental doctor was kept in confinement for 50 days to be released on bail when no evidence could be mustered against him. It was the same CBI that initially claimed to crack this case basing on the confession made by the suspect during the polygraph test evidence that has no locus standing in the court of law. After 50 days, its same CBI that saying…You find him I will fix him… we are still clueless about this murder mystery.
However, this case brings out some very hard questions that the people of the country may like to know the answers. Is every Indian guilty till the police exonerate him/ her of the charges? Can the investigative agencies have such sweeping powers that it can detain a person for indefinite time on mere grounds of suspicion? Can it retrieve its action without any accountability? Who will compensate the tarnished moments of the person that comes with such arrest?

Imagine, the arrests that are being made in bomb blasts and communal riot cases, where people are arbitrarily picked up on grounds of mere suspicion. I am aware of a case where one person was picked up and had to languish in jail 12 yrs to come out proven innocent. This case is of Kolkata where a bomb blast had taken place some time in 1970s. The guy in question who was in his 20’s then was having his hair cut in a barber’s shop when the balst took place. The police when came looking for the suspect found the identity of this guy who was wearing a sleeveless singlet and a Technicolor lungi identical to their imagination and thus picked him up. The poor mother of this guy who lived in a remote village in Bihar could hardly afford any money to travel to Kolkatta to fight for his son’s case. Unfortunately, there were not many human rights activists who could take this up or the TV channel that could conduct a media trail. In the end the poor chap had to be in jail for 12 long years for a crime that he never committed. His name is Bharati, and I know him well.

To cut the long story short, the Union Minister Renuka Chowdry has spoken on the Arushi Talwar murder case and advised Mr. Talwar to sue the Uttar Pardesh police for tarnishing his image. Why not the honorable minister herself files a public interest litigation case against the UP police, the CBI and the TV channels for misrepresentation of facts in this case? Where are the professional PIL filers, who jump in at slightest pretext to overburden the courts with public litigations? Why don’t they come out and fight against such injustices in the country? Well in India to give advices is very easy job the most difficult is to fight for a cause. This seems to be true about the Arushi Talwar murder case as well.

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at

1 comment:

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