On the Sushant Singh Rajput case I have a couple of points to make.
The first point is that the criminal justice system is broken in India. I have myself been the victim of a serious crime and in the end I compromised the case for a fraction of the total amount that was stolen from me. Forget about the culprits going to jail I could not even recover 20% of the total amount stolen. The only way I could have continued the fight was to pursue the case in court for decades and I did not have the cooperation of the police and the public prosecutors. Pressure was being put on me to compromise the case and in the end I succumbed.
What SSR’s family has and what I did not have is the support of powerful politicians. The media coverage that we have seen over the past weeks is – I am sure – with the blessings of the top politicians of the country. The only way to get justice in India is to make such a nuisance of yourself that the police and judiciary are forced to do their job. Left to themselves they are not going to do their duty.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said – in his essay on Compensation – that if the law does not do its job then private vengeance manifests itself. In India there is the sight of people taking to protests wherein the agitators break the law in order to draw the attention of the public and the top politicians to their cause. Without the cooperation of top politicians, they will not be able to get their lawful rights.
In the SSR case there is the matter of the law being broken by the news media channels in their coverage of the case. There is little doubt that this news coverage amounts to criminal defamation. Because the news channels have the support of the politicians they said whatever they liked in their news coverage. There was not much respect or fear of the law.
However Bollywood has now organised itself and move the Delhi High Court against the sort of coverage that the news channels are doing. It remains to be seen what the effects of this will be. But there is little chance of the case being pursued to its logical conclusion and people being jailed for criminal defamation.
The second point is the obvious. If politicians are taking an interest in the SSR case it is because they think that it will help them win elections. There are elections coming up in Bihar and West Bengal and also the Maha Vikas Aghadi – which is in power in Maharashtra – is opposed to the BJP. If so much noise is being made in the news channels it is because the politicians think that it will help them electorally.
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