Anusha Rizwi and Manisha Sethi present a nuanced analysis of the scenario post the Criminal Law Amendment Act

“Since both the cases under discussion (Tejpal and Khurshid Anwar) had a life in the media before any FIRs were filed, it is imperative that we examine the role of the media in the course of these two cases in particular and on gender violence in general.”

“We would be naïve to imagine that this newfound activism of the media is a reflection of its gender sensitivity….Activists should realize that media can be an uncertain ally, at best, prone to be used opportunistically by both sides. If we choose it to fight our causes, we should also be prepared for a backlash when the TRPs on a particular issue begin to decline.”

“Why didn’t the NCW or the police take cognizance of the Muzaffarnagar rape victims, as it did with the Tejpal and the Khurshid Anwar cases? Is it because the TRP-driven TV media will not be interested in it and hence the test case had to be the one that can generate top billing? It maybe good copy but is it a fair choice?”

“The questions about woman’s agency and law remain just as vexed in the Khurshid Anwar case.  The recorded video testimony circulated in the public domain for months. Is it not criminal to circulate videos of a complainant of rape without her permission? Is it not alarming then that a prominent feminist at a public meeting held at JNU, indulgently dismissed the act as “impatience of youth”? ”

“Increasingly, the possibility of a second version in rape cases is being projected as a legal impossibility, a patriarchal and racist offensive. This sense of definitiveness is disquieting. As is the confidence in bulky charge sheets, the weight of which is apparently directly proportional to the evidence it carries.”

“Too much focus on a single celebrity case will detract from examining the signs of a harsh punitive regime inherent in this law.”

Read the full HARDNEWS article here.


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