Monday, March 13, 2006

Jessica Lall - Rang de Basanti Style

I had to write something after the endless discussions at the adda and Sarat's pointing out the fact that our country is absolutely and completely filmy. Jessica Lall was killed by Manu Sharma 7 years ago, after 7 years he walked away from it. The price of a crime 7 years of bail time. Well, that happens when your father is a rich sugar cane mill owner and a congress minister in Haryana.

The newspapers have been splashed with stories of anger and resentment against the release of Manu Sharma. The vigil at India gate brought wide publicity to the event. Rang de Basanti was still fresh in the masses mind and this was their turn to protest against the killing of a "pretty face" working in an fancy restaurant that did not even have the license to serve alcohol. Why India Gate but? What did Jessica do for the country that a vigil was held at India Gate? Sarat says sex sells but good looks sell even more. Was this the first time that justice was denied to someone? What makes the Jessica Lall case so different then? Are we all victims of appearances? Does a pretty, popular face deserve more justice than another person? Why could Matto not do what Jessica did?


At 11:41 AM , Blogger brijwhiz said...

It's totally ridiculous (while completely Sarat-like) to assume that people are pressing on the Jessica Lalll issue because she was a starlet. The issue is that in this particular case there is no doubt about the guilt due to there being many eye-witnesses and the fact that such a clear case has also been fudged by the police has really got the people pissed off.

And what about India Gate - why should someone have done something specific to have a protest here. I am sick of all this "what has someone so-and-so done for the country" questions. What the hell does it matter. If theatrics help bring some sanity into the country - why not??? When we stop theorizing everything and support people who act!!! Your adda is becoming more and more like the political party in Monty Python - Life Of Brian. Remember all talk and no action makes India Lallu's toilet paper.

At 11:41 AM , Blogger brijwhiz said...

Sorry about the rant. The post caught me on a bad day:)

At 12:29 PM , Blogger Sarat said...

Great point Meeta, about the fact that looks matter a lot more than we concede. And perhaps in this case, that's why people do care about Jessica.

Maybe it's also that, this wasn't someone who was dirt poor and not-a-model (like a waiter or someone), for whom society may not care that much about, but someone like Jessica, who was pretty, rich and upper middle-class that was murdered in cold blood, in full view of several witnesses. It perhaps riles the middle class and the upper middle class that someone from their kind was killed, and could not get justice. That brings it a lot closer to home for us middle-class educated elite.

Ha! Ha! I agree! India Gate was stretching the Rang De.. bit a little too far!:)

At 10:10 PM , Blogger Sib said...

I understand that it seems unfair that a pretty, upper class model's death is getting so much footage on TV and inciting people to get angry about it. I also agree that perhaps the death of an unknown, poor man would not have evoked such strong feelings...but we seem to forget one important fact...

If such a high-profile case forces the law-making bodies to come to grips with the legal loopholes that exist today for rich murderers to get away scot-free, and it forces them to change it for the better, so that at a later date even the ordinary person can be protected due to the changes, then why must we complain ? As in most other issues, if the involvement of a celebrity makes the cause better known, then perhaps it is for the common good after all...right ?


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