It has been more than two weeks since the Sheena Bora murder case came to light, and in the ensuing circus which all of us participated in, there have been several instances which makes us want to lower our heads in shame. But the embarrassing spectacle continues, with television channels continuing to give hourly newsbreaks and daily exclusives on the developing story. But perhaps the most embarrassing of all are the misogynistic, sexist, crass and downright mean jokes which all of us have been passing around on Facebook and WhatApp.
Here are some samples.
Husband: Have you heard of King Akbar?
Wife: Yes, what about him?
Husband: He had three wives.
Husband: That means I can marry two more times?
Wife: Have you heard of Indrani Mukherjea !!!???
Husband: I was just kidding dear!!!! You take things too seriously!!!!
One woman to another: How did Indrani Mukherjea manage to get an ex-husband to kill?
I can't even get the present husband to pick his towel off the floor !!
Indrani Mukerjea Ne Apne Pehle Pati Se Hui
Beti Ko Dusre Pati
Ki Help Se Mar Diya,
Kyunki Woh Uske Teesre
Pati Ki Pehli Patni Se Hue
Bete Se Shaadi Karna Chahti Thi.
Mujhe Lagta Hai Isse Toh Easy Sawal Yeh Hai Ki
“Kattappa Ne Bahuballi Ko Kyun Mara?”
There’s worse from where that is coming. One person is dead, most likely killed in a manner that makes cruel seem kind. There are wives and children, husbands and stars, childhood friends and wannabes rinsing the last drop out of any camera and newspaper space they can get to tell another Indrani story. The social media is on fire and Indrani jokes are dining-table staple.
Careers are involved, promotions and demotions are happening due to all the lying and leaking confidential information selectively to all and sundry.
In all this we have turned crime reporting to a circus, and we sit around the rink with popcorn and candy. This is perhaps the first time that a tragic crime story has both shocked the nation and been brought down to the level of WhatsApp jokes.
The problem seems to be that we have been pointing fingers at the other too long. The truth is that all of us are to blame. The police are not maintaining the integrity of the investigation and are feeding the media frenzy. About the media, newspapers, TV or digital platforms, the less said the better. And all of us, as individuals, are cracking jokes about the Mukherjea, speculating about their lifestyles and making crass jokes about the women involved in the case. We usually reserve our darker side to the four walls of our houses, but thanks to smart-phones, we can broadcast it across the world. If at all Sheena’s murder has done anything, it has stripped us off our pretence and exposed us for the voyeuristic lot we are.