We all know how the case transpired. A helpless girl and a very bad boy in an altercation and then the world comes to know about it. As per the allegations, a 22-year-old boy named Sarabjeet harassed Jasleen Kaur in Tilak Nagar area of New Delhi.
'Braveheart' as she is better known after the incident, Jasleen clicked pictures of the person and flashed it in the Social media platform. She put up his bike number plate (DL 4S CE 3623) as well which lead to fast tracking. He was arrested and booked under Sections 354A (punishment for sexual harassment) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of IPC. Jasleen was rewarded with Rs 5000 for standing up to abuse. CASE CLOSED!
What if this was really not the version? What if this was a blatant misuse of the privilege to be a woman and what if, she was wrong from the start?
Not denying that atrocities against women are on the rise but this also leaves men in a vulnerable spot. With an accusation being just enough to drag a person to the police station, things don't look very bright for the other sex.
INSTANT JUSTICE: HOW RIGHT IS IT?
Jasleen took to social networking website Facebook to highlight her plight. She flashed pictures of the alleged 'pervert' and wrote a statement to draw further attention to her post. Facebook shared her ordeal, Twitter took the political twist and Media jumped the gun. This was the beginning of a viral trending topic in days to come.
Many of the comments on Facebook and Twitter actually asked to hang Sarabjeet Singh (the biker), simply because Jasleen Kaur told us that she was being harassed? So what? How is this any different from villagers branding a woman a witch just to kill her. Somehow, a witch hunt, when applied to men, does not make feminists angry at all!
Facebook and Twitter, one can't deny, has made us all 'slacker activists'. We will mechanically 'like', 'share' and 'retweet' in the support for a cause. Do we even question the cause?
The whole ordeal took a different turn when a witness sprung up with a view on Zee TV that contradicted the claims of the girl. According to the witness, the episode followed at a traffic signal junction wherein the girl tried to break the signal. This was stopped by a boy (Sarabjeet) at which point the girl argued.
The witness was accompanied by his wife who saw the whole incident. This is when, according to the witness, the girl took a picture of the boy and threatened to teach him a lesson for stopping her. In simple words, contradiction of claims.
IS MEDIA THE CROOK TOO?
Media has been responsible for changing the way we consume news. In the era of digital competition, staying ahead amidst the countless news channels only lead to the "making a news out of anything" (We are still trying to digest the Assam News on Scantily clad women being a social menace!)
The whole nation (whether wanting to know or not), was informed by the Times Now desk on the severity of the confrontation and Arnab Goswami along with his sidekicks jumped up to label Sarabjeet as a pervert. A campaign ensued and the news went on. The most basic thing was ignored. What is the evidence with the woman? Just her word? This 'juicy' bit of news could not be resisted by any of the media houses who came up with their own innovative headlines.
Social media and News media were the judge, jury and prosecutors in this case which was clearly one sided in which they had condemned him to jail.
This is at the same time when a minor girl was gangraped in Baksa district of Assam but being in Northeast, we will not see this news take the turn of another Nirbhaya episode.
THE POLITICAL TWIST
The issue has now become murkier after revelations that Jasleen was an Aam Aadmi Party member, a social activist and yes, an intern in NDTV. Now these facts were not highlighted but it is now clear that she had the 'reach' in order to throw titles at the boy and threaten him with severe action.
With Arvind Kejriwal's media twitter account handler congratulating Jasleen Kaur, she just got the leverage she wanted. The Spokesperson of the party joined in and urged all Delhi girls to follow her example (doubt that is right though)
MOB VIOLENCE THE UNAVOIDABLE FALLOUT
It's a simple case of brainwashing and outrage that erupts from an illogical source. Comments is Facebook and Twitter suggested that Sarabjeet should be hanged! Now the point here is should he be just because a woman accused him?
We need to recollect the shame we witnessed in Nagaland a few months back when a rape accused was dragged out and lynched in public. This was while evidence was being collected. Sadly, he was not even responsible.
Social media is a powerful tool. Don't take an action till you know the truth. Stand up for a cause only when you know that there is evidence for/against it. There are just so many issues. Why not start with something reasonable?
(By Nawaz Yasin Islam)