Friday, June 13, 2008

Arushi murder case and the class system

I guess it was 17th or 18th May that the news of Arushi murder case came and had all of us hooked to our television screens or newspapers. The case has aroused a lot of public interest similar to the interest that was shown during the Jessica Lal murder case. I will not go into endlessly criticizing the news channels and the U.P. police as that I feel has been rightly and appropriately done by the print media a lot. I want to talk about an aspect, which I read in an article in one of the daily newspapers by Barkha Dutt. What she wrote was that the "Arushi murder case" has brought out the inherent class system in the Indian people and our print media.

First of all, the name given by the media to this case - Arushi murder case
not Arushi-Hemraj murder case or Noida double murders or something like that. People have almost forgotten that a second murder had taken place that night, and the media does little to remind them. While Arushi's photo is shown almost everyday in daily newspapers, Hemraj's murder seems to garner little attention. This just shows that in our country, if a rich man or a rich man's daughter dies, it is news but if something like this happens to the poor, it is hardly of any consequence. We have almost turned a blind eye to the poor people dying in our country everyday. It's almost as if they don't matter. About 10 days after the murder, 60% of the front page of 'The Times of India' was covered with new developments of the Arushi murder case, a whole article on what Nupur Talwar had to say, and on the bottom of that page, overshadowed by the Arushi murder case was a small article on how 16 gujjars had died in agitation. A friend of mine once told me about an outrageous statement of the Sharia law which goes something like - "The word of a man is equivalent to that of ten women", which essentially means that under Sharia law, if a man says something in court, more than 10 women must contradict him to disprove his statement. There seems to be something like this in India - 100 poor people killed will evoke as much sympathy as 1 rich person.

Even though we're a nation of a billion I still feel that each and everyone of us matters. We all have a right to live. We can't weigh two people on who has more right to live, even if one of them is the Prime minister of India and the other is a poor labourer. As we move towards more civilization and education, we should move to an egalitarian society in true sense. Earlier, people used to be discriminated for no reason at all - women, disabled people, people with diseases, people of "lower castes", etc. The sad fact is that all of that hasn't gone away till now. We talk of being in the 21st century and we are still unable to eliminate the basic prejudices in the minds of our people on baseless premises. I just hope we can move towards a world with more tolerence, more love and a world where hatred almost becomes extinct.


Shantanu said...

Well said man! Kudos for a power-packed punch to the system. Extremely well written.

Harsh said...

Really very serious point raised. Great Observation.