Aarushi Murder Case: Please, Let’s Put an End to Media Trials

The Talwars were pronounced guilty by the media years before the CBI court did so.

3 min read

File picture of Aarushi’s parents Rajesh Talwar (R) and Nupur being taken to a court in 2013.

There is a concept of creation in our tradition. Parents are considered creators, equivalent of Brahma on earth. Giving birth alone is not creation. The life-long process of parenting is a virtue that is highly valued.

Can the creator be accused of destruction? That too on the basis of circumstantial evidence and suspicion? This is what happened to the Talwars – Rajesh and Nupur – in the Aarushi murder case. Even before clinching evidence was in place, my fellow journalists pronounced the verdict on the basis of some leads, and so-called confidential information from what we call “impeccable sources”.

Chronology of the Aarushi murder case. <i>(Photo: PTI)</i>
Chronology of the Aarushi murder case. (Photo: PTI)

Will Perpetrators of Media Trial Apologise?

Any report hinting at something different would be termed planted, or a figment of imagination of a biased reporter. The Talwars were pronounced guilty years before the CBI court did so.

Did an editor or a reporter or an investigating office ever consider another possibility – what if the Talwars had no role in the murder of little Aarushi? Now that the Allahabad High Court has acquitted the Talwars of all charges, will the perpetrators of the media trial apologise? Will the reporters chasing sensational stories rethink? What about damages done to human sensibilities?

The case is nine years old. Can anyone imagine the horrifying experience the Talwars went through? Will the acquittal erase some of that?

I have been an indifferent observer of the case. I would have glanced through some of the sensational headlines and new revelations in the case. I consider myself too incompetent to do any kind of investigation in cases of such complexities. But, I always carried one feeling deep inside: What if the Talwars are not guilty?

The feeling has stayed with me because I am a father of two children. I know how I feel about my children. They are, and will remain, special to me. I cannot, even in my wildest dreams, think of doing them any harm. I can become indifferent to them at times, but doing any harm, not a chance. Never.

I know this, and my children also know this. That is why they interact with me in a way that is unique to all children-parents relationships.

Now that the Allahabad High Court’s verdict has come, what will happen to the scars the Talwars have carried for the last nine years? What about those suspicious eyes that will stare at them still?

So, my humble submission to all the stakeholders in this, and similar cases: we must be alert to all wrongdoings around, but, we must be extra sensitive in cases that question the most fundamental assumptions.

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