Friday, July 1, 2011

Imagine if Dominique Strauss Kahn had been freed after rape charges in India.....

DSK was freed yesterday after the prosecution said it had serious problems with the case (as reported in The Times of India). There was a major credibility problem that prosecution had with the hotel housekeeper. She had apparently lied in her application for asylum when she scrambled from Guinea. She admitted she had lied about having been gang raped in Guinea. She also admitted that she had misrepresented her income to qualify for housing and had shown a friend’s child as her own to earn some tax concessions. Prosecution didn’t oppose DSK’s release. And the man was free. Just imagine if this entire show had played out in India.

Indian media would have first concluded (and then figured out why) that the government had a role in freeing up this powerful man! That the CBI (or the Delhi state police which works under the Central home ministry) had intentionally messed up the investigation so that he could be freed. Times Now would have put up a panel of women (who would no doubt have views that agreed with the channel’s) who would have torn apart the government and asked for the Home Minister’s resignation. CNN IBN would have chosen the music on their show to bring out the intrigue more powerfully – after all how often is a senior economist/politician/presidential candidate of a major nation in the dock in this manner – the opportunity simply could not be missed! NDTV would have thought very hard about who should anchor the show.....Sonia so that she can bash up the Congress government or Prannoy himself for his sympathetic views towards it. Or maybe Barkha for her ability to scream at every woman’s issue maybe. The channel may have waited for a few days to put out their show, but then, they have never claimed they are “first with the news”! Suhel Seth would have checked who was paying him for going on TV and what his brief was before choosing the channel. Swapan Dasgupta would have chosen which specific variation of breathlessness (a trick he learnt from a certain Shankar Mahadevan of Bollywood fame) he should use for this particular cause. One where he would appear like he was croaking to death with incredulity or one which was reserved for issues with political overtones!

The Left parties would have screamed that the US and France had arm twisted India into releasing him. After all, they have always maintained that India hardly has any foreign policy worth its name and everyone from the US to the UK and Germany and France have nominees on the foreign department’s advisory committee. The BJP would have demanded the PM’s resignation – why stop only at the Home Minister’s for such a lovely opportunity – for not speaking up on this serious issue. And thus allowing a crime to be perpetrated. In fact, the PM should have resigned simply because the act happened on Indian soil....after all, the PM has to resign some time, right??? Jayalalitha would have called Ram Gopal Verma saying this was a better story to make into a film rather than the Maria Susairaj one and that she had experience of acting and she even looked similar visually to the hotel housekeeper. And she would no doubt recommend a certain ND Tiwari to play the role of DSK in the film – after all his colorful past would be a prime asset in this casting! Astha channel would have played special shows on the Ramayana and Mahabharat suggesting meditation to older people who still have an active libido!

Anna Hazare would have stuck to his fast against corruption. He’s presently only looking into financial corruption – that too of the type that afflicts only politicians in the UPA government – he has no time for corruption of the mind. Of course, there is Baba Ramdev who’s flying into Delhi and in his meetings with whoever comes to meet him at the airport.....he wants to check whether he should sign DSK up as a brand ambassador for his libido-enhancing yoga asanas or should he go on a hunger strike against him. He’s a little unsure about where he stands on this subject....a little like he was about whether the PM should be included under the Lokpal or not. He’s also not sure what he should seek permission for at the Ramlila grounds this time.....should he just do what he did on the black money it a yoga shivir or something else????!

But on a serious note, Indian society would have got cut up like never before. Most people would have felt that politics had been played. That our justice system is archaic. Many would have said that DSK should have been chemically castrated. Most would have castigated (and that word does not mean the same thing as castrated!) the CBI or the police for its inefficiency. No body would have thought that maybe....just maybe....the man was being framed. That the housekeeper was indeed an opportunist. They would have dug into his past and found that he had a celebrated and fashionable wife and they would have concluded that “this type” of people had “such kinks”. In all cases, our responses would have been immature. And dripping with sensationalism.

The real truth is that as a society and as a nation, we believe in conspiracies. Something is always wrong. Someone is always up to some tricks. Also, we are socialists at heart. We believe that the rich always get away. They can influence the system and manipulate it to their advantage. This is a legacy of the past when every white skinned person was equated with atrocities hurled on us poor Indians. Whatever the reason, we are simply unwilling to consider that the rich may also be victims at times. Such are we, the people of India!

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