by Ashish Saradka
One of the most sought after case in the history of Karnataka and the one which gave media houses a “ Breaking news” for weeks and months was the Alleged Rape/ sexual assault case against The Seer of Ramachandrapura Mutt Sri Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swamiji.
The charge sheet filed in the sessions court had alleged the Seer of physically assaulting the a 48-year-old Ramakatha singer Premalatha Divakar before raping her. It also said that The Seer raped the victim each time he called her to his room on the pretext of holding a programme on Ramakatha.
He took her to various places in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, New Delhi and West Bengal, for religious functions. The charge sheet further alleged the Seer of raping/sexually assaulting her between June 2011 and June 26, 2014. And that was all that the media houses, Feminist organizations and certain Anti Mutt organizations needed to defame the Seer and the Mutt on the whole. Various allegations, protests were then carried out in the aftermath of this case and a lot of pressure was put on the Mutt and the Seer.
From political parties to Anti Hindu organizations’ tried to make the best utilization of this as they were all frenzy in taking a Jibe on everything and anything that related to the Mutt and people supporting the Mutt. But now the court has Dismissed the case calling it “ Baseless”.
This judgement comes from the court after the plaintiff Premalatha failed to produce any pieces of evidence supporting her accusations to the court. The DNA test of the Seer also didn’t prove the Rape charges. The other proof’s offered by the plaintiff such as phone call logs also had uncertainties and differences and also didn’t support the claims.
Now that the court has called the accusations baseless, the question is what are the media houses that broadcasted defamatory and in the appropriate news about the Seer and the Mutt going to do? It is not about a simple case, but about the beliefs of a lot of followers and a particular community.
Are the media houses are going to take the moral responsibility for broadcasting sensitive news which is proved baseless, and creating false opinion and propagating the same to the society. Will this important news get the same number of hours and days of media time? Will the media Judges and opinion makers now take the time to clarify themselves and apologize for the news they spread listening to just one-half of the story? This also leaves behind a bigger question.
“What action should be taken against these instances of misuse of women safety laws?”. Because this “playing a victim,” crying in media houses, seeking justice, creating emotional dramas have to somehow end. Else we may have to witness a day where every Socially active guy has to live in the fear of being booked by a case of this kind.
Having said this, it is up to the media houses to rectify their mistake and give a clarification about the claims and the stands that they took on this issue. Hopefully, truth prevails like this, every time and always.