Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | July 5, 2011


Last week, I was terrified to read about a gruesome murder that happened in India some years back. The lower court that heard the case passed its verdict and as always the verdict grabbed quite a significant media attention. I am not qualified enough to comment on the verdict but what terrified me more was the way a large and influential part of the society reacted to the incident. A filmmaker released the horrifying trailer of his upcoming movie on the incident on the day of the verdict, tele- financiers started offering roles to one of the accomplice in a television series and the media went frenzy with debates that had anything but empathy for the deceased or his family. Somewhere down the line, I felt that India was celebrating the crime in the disguise of hatred. I felt that too many people were trying to make a profit out of the crime.

I know I have an outdated way of thinking. The way things are dealt with in this case, perhaps is the way issues are dealt with in these times. I must say I have been scared the moment I saw events unfolding. I am no supporter of moral policing, but I wonder when increasingly the “urban literate” citizens of a state turn morality into a mere option what happens to such a state?

Dangerous criminals were always part of the society but I really wonder whether their criminal background or association was ever such a fodder for profit at all levels? It boils down to choice I guess in the new social order. If I don’t like anything, the literates will suggest that I avoid such things. It is indeed not as easy these days as it used to be.



  1. Making profit out of a ghastly murder is one aspect. Another aspect is building up “hype” around the crime. Yet another is the verdict, about which you have been discreet enough not to comment. Let me be indiscreet. According to the verdict of the lower court, killing a man by stabbing him repeatedly and then dumping his body in a jungle and then trying to cover up the crime by misleading the police is not “murder”, but “culpable homicide not amounting to murder”.

    I would like to ask the honourable judge, ‘Sir, what is murder?

    Our value system is garbled. I don’t know where we are headed.

  2. If you are seriously (rather than rhetorically) interested, Tanmoy, any lawyer or law textbook can tell you. You might also look up this link:

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