Monday, 31 August 2015

on sheena bora case.......

The sensational Sheena Bora murder case has rocked the moral bedrock of India’s rapidly rising middle class. The story, as it unravels, has more than a powerful dose of elements that is apt for a classic murder mystery. The fact that a mother can allegedly kill her own daughter for possibly consolidating her powerful social life and beyond is shocking in any culture – for Indian society it’s spiteful, frightening and deeply unforgivable.

Now there is a faint personal connection here:  the victim happens to be my wife’s classmate and the main suspect, the mother of the victim, Indrani Mukerjea technically was my boss way back in 2007, when as a trainee reporter I joined NewsX  – the company she founded with her  former mighty media CEO  husband, Peter Mukherjea.

It send shivers down the spine to think such a morally unsound character and greatly undeserving person was made to run a news channel, that when launched, was suppose to set a new benchmark for television news reporting in India!  Well, that never really happened, the channel spluttered in a pretty obnoxious manner literally shattering the dreams of hundreds of highly talented young people. It also speaks volumes about the vulgar nature of some of the Indian corporates and the notoriety of their operations.

There is another connection too, Indira and her family is from Guwahati, when I was born and raised until age 9 before being packed off to a boarding school.

It will be wrong to pass a moral judgement on a society or even question its eco system just because the people involved are Assamese, but to a great extent, it will also be not unfair to say that a section of Assamese middle class is hounded by a very distorted and narrow view of modernism and liberalism that has resulted in a generation that is arrogant, superfluous and intellectually hollow.  The reason is simple: a large number of Assam’s pseudo- rich don’t make money from enterprise but from corruption. Insurgency and other political reasons and lack of ambition among youth has meant that people from the region despite being socially progressive and educated, when compared with rest of India, struggle to find their  footprint at national or international level. Try looking at Assamese media: it’s shamefully rotten.

This is no to say that it doesn’t happen in other societies (it does in a much violent form but in a much more conservative set up).

Sheena’s life was very sad. Her murder mystery has turned India’s privately owned noisy television channels into a full-blown entertainment channels. We hear “expert “ commentary from the handful of India’s mouthpieces, who like parrots, speak virtually on every subject, and seems to have made television appearance their full time job. Their only qualification: they can speak good enough to create noise. 

Let’s hope that no child ever has to go through what Sheena went through. She is a victim of moral ineptitude of our complex and myopic society. In the mist of all these I wonder why national media is not saying much about Peter Mukerjea. Is it because he is one of them? A former Star TV CEO and what not.  Should he not be seen as a morally foul character. Read how he met her :( Is he also not one of the classic  failures of the India Inc. – not just because of his personal life but the way he handled INX?