Will ‘the victim’ be served justice beyond the FB hashtags?

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This isn’t the first time that a woman has been abducted, molested and assaulted and from the looks of it, it certainly will not be the last either.  2016 saw the horrendous atrocities meted out to Jisha, while 2012 saw Nirbhaya and the unmentionable brutalities that she had to endure. Now as the new year dawns, we hear of a young actress, and how she has been mercilessly attacked by a group of men in a moving car, as it sped along the streets of Kochi for two hours.

Public outrage as in the former cases is immense this time as well, and the social networking platform has seen an overflow of roused status updates and passionate pleas for justice. Stars and ordinary men and women have joined the fray and there have been arguments and counter arguments. There are without doubt, the never ending propositions that succeed every attack, that an introspection is imperative. There are the customary yells that demand a respect for our women and the incessant recommendations that the girls learn to fend for themselves.

With a celebrity involved, the television channels have also been having a field day, with some dwelling on the meaty aspects of the story, and even rendering an unconditional apology not much later for having come across as downright insensitive. Numerous assumptions and allusions are made by a skeptical audience; implausible and yet juicy backstories that supposedly exist are mentioned in hushed whispers. Fact and fiction intertwine. And almost inevitably, at the end of it all, fingers are pointed at the fabulous world of showbiz and casual, generalized statements made as to how things might not be truly what they seem. End of story.

Beyond all this scandal and slander, the victim as in every case, remains crouched behind a shroud of angst, trying hard to come to terms with the trauma that she had been put through. She struggles to scrub away the grime and dirt that has stuck on, and to start afresh, harrowing though it feels. The initial hysteria having dissolved away, the soaring public will find new avenues of excitement and pinpoint a fresh story that demands derision even as the headlines will give way to something more squalid than ever before.

And only the hashtags will remain.

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