To every judgmental Indian following the Jasleen Kaur- Sarvjeet Singh case.
Jasleen Kaur ‘courageous act’ was what my news feed on each of my social media account was flooded since Monday.
Again an uproar about feminism, women empowerment, gender equality and what not.
A well framed post by a girl on Facebook and the alleged ‘pervert’, ‘molester’, ‘eve-teaser’, ‘harasser’, ‘creep’ behind the bars. With the speed of light her original post went viral on social media and hence with a picture of guy on Royal Enfield, it was not that tough after all to identify the person, given the lightning fast speed and access of these sites. We quickly assassinated the character of an unsavory soul over a high power bike. It has to be his fault, right?
We made this a national issue and passed our judgment right away.
We held our heads high having played the wise judge and championing once more in the support of women.
Now comes the other side of the story. Sarvjeet when out on bail used the same platform as Jasleen to put forward his insight about the case. Now we had an entirely new version of the story. But all those who had supported Jasleen declaring ‘the pervert should get a lesson for life, of course he should’, ‘it is because of men like these that women are unsafe in India’, now were dumbstruck and didn’t know whom to believe. Natural it is. After all we were supporting a cause, weren’t we?
Sarvjeet Singh and Jasleen Kaur took turns to lash out on news channels, trying tO prove each other guilty. Words fled in like arrows and allegations like swords on the prime time daily debate hour of reputed news channels. Of course we didn’t have a conclusion.
The same here coming out of the blue was Vishwajeet who narrated his own version of the case according to which Jasleen Kaur had fabricated the incident to frame and defame Sarvjeet Singh. Tables turned and Sarvjeet Singh came out as the innocent, and Jasleen Kaur, as the main culprit. The case changed from women empowerment to sexism.
Yaay we all have something new now to talk about. What we are upto now is bashing the girl and her whole gender.
But, aren’t we committing that same mistake again? Vishawjeet’s statement could very well be the truth and Jasleen Kaur could have framed Sarvjeet. Or, Vishwajeet could be a well-constructed eye witness, brought up to turn the case in Sarvjeet’s favor. Another one may just bump in supporting Jasleen tomorrow. He could be an innocent man falling prey to a well fabricated lie or she could really be speaking the truth – there’s no way to know through social media alone.
Eve teasing, harassment, molestation are daily occurrences around us. There is no denying fact that social media had given voice to such countless victims.
But what is easier for a women in a country like ours, where we jump onto conclusions even without verifying facts and believing whatever is served to us on platter by the media, is to play the victim and frame an innocent man and ruin his life overnight.
There’s a reason why every criminal’s face is hidden or blurred in media before he/she is proven guilty. And putting up his photograph directly on a social media platform was not a wise take. Her allegations may be right or may be not. But her way of addressing the issue certainly needed redressal.
No doubt our judicial system is slow and the justice delivered is almost unsatisfactory. And there’s no doubting the fact that social media does make the system function faster. Had it not been the viral post of Jasleen on Facebook, the police probably wouldn’t have looked into the matter at all.
Media has immense power. With power, comes immense ‘responsibility’. We need to realize and follow our responsibilities. The ones who shared these stories on social media are equally responsible. We should think twice before sharing/endorsing anything on social-media. This is not the first instance of social media trial.
This incident brings about a bad name onto the concept of women empowerment. It widens the gap of mistrust between men and women.
Let’s not seek days where we become so cynical that we have to doubt even the genuine victims. Let’s raise our bars and be more patient before giving mob justice rather than correct one.
“Kyunki akhir hum badlenge tabhi to badlega India!”