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Jasleen Kaur Case – do we judge blindly?

Social media is a very powerful platform for the public to voice their opinions. We have seen many cases where social media has intervened and forced the authorities to take action towards justice. It is a voice that cannot be ignored and a voice that can make or break a person. Recently we have seen many women take to social media to fight their issues against eve teasing and molestation, and they have been met with a raging response from the audience. It was wonderful to see the women taking a stand for themselves, and to watch the audience support them, until the Jasleen Kaur case.
The Story:
Jasleen Kaur was crossing the busy Tilak Nagar crossing in Delhi, when a man nearly rammed into her with his bike.
She stopped to remind the guy that the light was red, and instead of apologizing he began to argue with her. The argument led to Jasleen telling him she would file a complaint with the police. The guy then dared her to go to the cops, threatened her, and continued to abuse her verbally. Jasleen turned to social media.
Social media was quick and merciless while publicly shaming, labeling him as a ‘pervert’ and ‘molester’. Not only was the public on Jasleen’s side, so were some celebrities. The police arrested the alleged man and rewarded Jasleen with Rs. 5000 for her bravery before making thorough investigations.
[Before we move on, really? Rs. 5000 for ‘bravery’? This is what all women should do, not only the brave. We can understand you want women to speak up for themselves, so empower them to do so! Don’t encourage them to do it for money! Come on!]
The other side of the story:
Sarvjeet Singh publicly came out as the guy in the picture and firstly denied nearly running Jasleen over. He claimed that he was about to take a left turn which was free, when he ran into Jasleen. Sarvjeet also denied verbally abusing her, or threatening her. Instead, he labeled Jasleen as ‘an immature child who’s looking for fame’ and as someone who was just trying to extract ‘political mileage.’
Now with two sides to the story that had no proof, and social media raving over it, the police could not even ignore the case. Upon further investigation, Mr. Vishwajeet came out as an eyewitness to the case, in defense of Sarvjeet. He claims, ”She (Jasleen) abused him and made an obscene gesture that I cannot repeat on camera. My wife was sitting on the rear seat and said – this girl is so wrong. If she was sanskaari, she would not have talked like that in front of so many people.’” —Vishwajeet, Eyewitness to Zee News. After this point, the tables had turned and it was Jasleen’s turn to face the merciless media. Profanities such as ‘bitch’and ‘prostitute’were thrown at her by the relentless media and Jasleen was arrested.
Can you see what’s wrong here?
Jasleen and Sarvjeet were prosecuted by the police one at a time because of the media that couldn’t make up their mind about who was wrong or right. Nobody paid any heed to the fact that Sarvjeet did not deny that he nearly rammed into Jasleen with his bike. Jasleen was said to be guilty on the basis of not being ‘sanskaari.’ She’s a woman, and if she abuses, or makes an obsene gesture, so she is not ‘sanskaari’ and therefore most be in the wrong, is it?
Here’s what we think
Given the general disregard most Indians have to traffic rules and civic sense, we’ve seen this happen quite often. Boy nearly rams into girl, girl gets annoyed and shouts at him along the lines of “What do you think you’re doing?” and maybe abuses. Boy does not pay heed to her and does not apologize. Girl gets annoyed further and shouts abuses, as well as warns him that she will go to the cops. Boy gets nasty, shouts abuses back, as well as threatens her if she dare go to the cops. Social media steps in and makes a much bigger deal out of this than it is.
isn’t it possible that there is no true side to the story, and each thinks that the other had instigated them to their worst behaviour? Nobody will ever know which of the two was telling the truth, anyway. Neverthless, the eye witness had no right to make a judgement on Jasleen based on how ‘sanskaari’ she is or isnt. Also, if Jasleen did abuse first, she did nearly get rammed into, and breaking traffic rules is also an offense. We can know one thing for sure, social media is definitely not the best judge when it comes to such cases. Media tends to judge way to soon, and often, blindly.

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