03 August, 2021

Spar, But Don’t Sensationalise

Enraged you get. Yet, let the accused tell his side of the story.

Khurshid Anwar
The former JNU professor and NGO director who killed himself in 2013
Spar, But Don’t Sensationalise

I have no love lost for an entitled JNU professor accused of being a serial sexual offender. I app­laud the women who have stepped up to file eight separate FIRs against him and will be rooting for the cases to reach a conclusion soon. But there was one thing that I couldn’t bring myself to root for: the protest against his bail.

Every time I see the circus erupt around a case of sexual abuse, I’m reminded of the keenly contested debating competitions in my school days. The deb­ate was more about the debater than the topic under discussion. The validity of arguments and the veracity of facts were not important: you’re considered a star as long as you demolish your opp­onent with impassioned one-sided arguments. Such sharply divided binaries make for entertainment, but in real life they can leave huge chasms that sometimes swallow living human beings.

Khurshid Anwar was swallowed by one such gladiatorial debate that allowed no space for logic, facts or due process of law. His was one of the first cases of the now-familiar sport called...

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