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Tragedy on Trial

The outcome of procedural justice involves both cost for some and benefits for others.

The news of a young film actor’s death by suicide on 14 June 2020 was expectedly met with disbelieving horror. But what followed after the first few days has taken on ugly and controversial twists that have completely buried the tragedy of the young actor’s death. Television news channels, various lobbies in “Bollywood,” and politicians have all, under the guise of demanding justice, used it to push their own agendas. The manner in which the events following his death have played out brings to mind the phenomenon of “grave robbers” who profited from the plundering of graves, in the process, however, ensuring that history and archaeology were robbed of major sources of study. This tragedy has been “plundered” by various sections for their own benefit.

The coverage of the Aarushi Talwar murder case in 2008 by a large section of Indian mainstream media led to massive criticism. But instead of introspection and course correction we now have television news channels treating the young actor’s death as a spectacle with more and more shrill treatment. At first, the media unleashed the usual sermons on how mental health issues, particularly during the lockdown period, must be attended to. However, that was soon abandoned in favour of conjecture, speculation, and opinions, which stripped bare not only the actor’s life and actions but also those of the others involved. In fact, the media has been treating whosoever it wishes as the “accused” and the “victim” in the case insensitively.

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Updated On : 3rd Sep, 2020

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