Monday, December 27, 2004

The MMS episode: Done to death !

Adding my $ 0.02 to THE DEBATE...

Frankly, there was nothing incriminating about 17 year olds having a fling. What's new to it? What made me sick was the mileage that media houses were deriving out of the incident.

The TOIlet paper lived up to its reputation, ensuring the story was covered. Daily on the front page. Sticky eyeballs, it generated for sure. What was even more sickening was the the fact that media houses, especially in Delhi, were adding flavours to the story.

When we notice the amount of freedom of expression that the internet provides us, and the fact that we have been privy to all kinds of content on the net, we will realise that the entire episode was a non-issue. It need not snowball into a national debate when we have farmer suicides and conflicts in the North Eastern states begging for more attention.

News channels had already done reporting the incident before the newspapers started. Every time I read the story, I thought of only one thing: What would be devastating impact of this on the boy and girl who have done this?

How would you feel if you were 17 and a stupid act - a mistake people that age commit out of immaturity - has suddenly become a national issue? It's not a pleasant feeling. You have an entire life ahead of you to construct. How do recover from the mental disintegration? The glaring eyes? The stifled laughter behind your back? In a country where sex is still taboo, how do you deal with the ignominy? It's worse than being hanged for stealing candy. At least you don?t live to describe the pain.

The insensitivity of the media needs to be severely criticized. It was a non-issue, I can go on record saying that. How would you like reading about your sexual escapades everyday in the papers? How would you like hanging your head in shame, thinking how you could ever reconstruct your life again? How could you read all that everyday and not feel the shame that your family feel? How could they blow it out of proportions like that?

When you understand our conservative cultural mindsets, you would realise the ignominy the young couple has faced. Hell, Clinton was the most powerful man on earth. And had a hard time cleaning off the stains. Try dealing with a problem like that when you're just seventeen.

The entire system - the judiciary included - has made the victims, the unfortunate scapegoats. The couple, Ravi Raj, the Bazee CEO... all scapegoats. Nothing but scapegoats. You punish one... and hope that the others fall in line.

When you're done with the story... just imagine: After being made the unnecessary scapegoats, how do you expect these kids to restart living a normal, respectable life again?

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