Can media legally violate a prostitute?

Dinamalar


Many of us who read newspapers would have seen the furore when B.Lenin, editor of ‘Dinamalar’ was arrested in Chennai a few weeks back, after film actress Bhuvaneshwari’s prostitution racket was busted. Bhuvaneshwari it seems had mentioned the names of a few very prominent film actresses who were involved with prostitution rackets. The next day B.Lenin’s ‘Dinamalar’ newspaper ran a strory with photos and rates of all the women mentioned. Even when one forgets the fact that these women are established artists with a social reputation, the very fact that they live in a society and has families, and has not committed any verifiable crime (except allegations by another actress) should have put some sense into the head of these third rate journalists. I was more outraged when “The Madras Union of Journalists condemned B.Lenin’s arrest and blocked traffic in Marina”. If these protests meant their creed is like (only), then civil society has an immediate enemy at hand – Media. The Third Rate Media.

Yesterday’s News9 sting operation in Bangalore is no better, if any SOB with a camera and a satellite uplink can be media, we have a bigger issue at hand.

After confirming that she was indeed in the business of selling sex, the team returned with a camera. They broke open the apartment and started recording. Apparently she was with a customer. What followed reminded me of what happened on a New Year Eve in Mumbai and what happened in the Mangalore pub.

What gives these journalists the right, to violate the rights of a woman, even if she were a sex worker. She was wearing a two piece suit, when they broke open and the channel had the audacity to force her to reveal her body. She was trying to cover her breasts and her face with her hands. Two men pulled open her hands to reveal her body and face on camera. WTF!!!!!

Bombay Dosti guest posts on News 9 outrage in Bangalore –

Yesterday, I lost it. Another WTF moment. If it was just another ‘third rate journalism’ as a friend calls it, I would not have bothered so much. But this was the limit. The trouble is, if not curtailed now, I am not sure, what it would turn into, in the future.
News9 is a bangalore based English ‘News’ Channel and of course, it is a 24 hr channel. This channel does give a lot of local news which may be useful to the city residents. This channel often has programs which shows a highly biased moral stand. When possibly half the population has such a point of view, it is possible that a channel could thrive on that. After all, our soaps are not different.
But, what made me angry, was the latest bit of breaking news that the channel released yesterday.
News9 made a sting operation and found that a service apartment in Bengalooru was being used for prostituition by a Russian lady. The channel team member posed as a prospective customer discovered this fact. Had they stopped with that, I would have not bothered, thinking it was another sting operation. But what followed was a gross violation of human rights.
After confirming that she was indeed in the business of selling sex, the team returned with a camera. They broke open the apartment and started recording. Apparently she was with a customer. What followed reminded me of what happened on a New Year Eve in Mumbai and what happened in the Mangalore pub.
What gives these journalists the right, to violate the rights of a woman, even if she were a sex worker. She was wearing a two piece suit, when they broke open and the channel had the audacity to force her to reveal her body. She was trying to cover her breasts and her face with her hands. Two men pulled open her hands to reveal her body and face on camera. WTF!!!!!
Later, the police was called to take action and probably take her into custody.
By what limit of imagination, can we accept this?
Even if I were the worst criminal in this world, and even if I was of the loosest character possible, you have no right to violate my body , without my consent. PERIOD.
There has always been a debate about this moral judgement even in the case of rape. In some countries, even the law mandates that a rape victim’s sexual habits should not be questioned. Her sexual habit, should not come in the way, of delivering justice to her.
Its similar in this case as well. Does her, being a sex worker(that too alleged) deny her the right to human dignity? And who decides? News9??????????
To put it simply, the channel must be taken to task for having abused her physically and for having tortured her mentally. This is Violence instigated against a woman. Whether she is a sex worker or not is not a matter of consideration. This channel had obviously no right to do to her what they did. By the way, why am i talking about their rights?
They were doing things against the law. How else should I describe a man forcing a woman to reveal her body on camera? If this is not violation, what is?
Sorry, an apology will not do. The channel was violating the law and they should be answerable. Now, it would be great to see them report that! Would be a good dose of local news!
The sad part is, even a local news channel has a lot of influencing power. It they shout stupidities for an hour and show the same stuff, people watching it will be programed to think in that direction as well. It was a live phone in program, and many people calling in, were talking about how the Police is not taking action and how the Police is involved in such sex rackets.
Oh ya, blame the system.
But in that process, we are letting this mind poisoning devil into our living room. I really need some air!

P.S: What do you think? Should the Government step in here? I need Free-media for free news, not a free-turn on along with my evening news.

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10 Responses to Can media legally violate a prostitute?

  1. Nikhil Narayanan October 24, 2009 at 3:54 am #

    BVN/BD,
    I did not watch TV9. I did follow the story on twitter as it involved a Kerala minister’s son, albeit in the initial hours.
    Such journalism stinks. Trashy newspapers survive, evening newspapers with only scoops and sensational news thrive. Like wise, such channels grew. Since it is all about real time, sting operations become live. All about TRPs.
    The way they acted as mentioned here is appalling. I understand the focus of the story moved from the price catch minister’s son to the “prostitute” during the course of transmission. So, blame them for not just the way it was done, but also how the news metamorphosed.
    if any SOB with a camera and a satellite uplink can be media Not just the media, but take law and order in hand,do some policing.

    -Nikhil

  2. jina October 24, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    Trying to be ruthless and soulless has somehow become the hallmark of so called ‘cutting edge’ journalism. I wonder whether the viewers actually applaud these or runs them in their to be ignored tray of visuals you see everyday.
    I think its equally disgusting to invade a deceased persons home and ask pointless questions, make alluding allegations based on gossips against real individuals…the list never ends.
    Sadly, how and who will take them to task- unless you boycott them, I dont know what could be a permanent solution?

  3. scorpiogenius October 24, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    Can’t believe this happened! This kind of barbarian acts must never ever happen again even to criminals, leave alone a prostitute.

    I’m shocked!

  4. Praveen October 24, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    That channel stinks. I used to work there once upon a time for a short period. Am so glad I am out of that place and its been ages.

  5. aswathy nair October 25, 2009 at 10:03 am #

    No doubt its outrageous at a time when girls are not safe even at their homes let alone prostitutes with their customers.But the audacity of the media to dishonour a woman for creating news is highly condemnable.what shocks me more is the attitude of the public who goes with such news in the guise of safeguarding our so called morality and culture….it sucks.

  6. bvn October 25, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    Nikhil, Our media has some very serious inefficiency where the government has to intervene and regulate. First thing is to remove the assumption here that media does some social good compared to other businesses. Media is just another business, and they shouldn’t be allowed to cross a line. Even victims have rights, not so today in India.

    Jina, It’s like the Roman mob and the Gladiators, the mob is wrong too, this depravity in the media is just a symptom of our own decay. But the media decay can have larger collateral fallouts. So you don’t need to boycott them, the govt can take them off air.

    Scorpio, This is serious shit and media needs to get a hit here, just like post Mumbai atrocities by NDTV and IBN.

    Praveen, oh that’s a first person account. Why don’t you do a follow up post with your exp?

    Aswathy Nair, Outrage is the word, but I hope the government reacts. I have no hope for the right wing moral brigade government in Bangalore.

  7. Deepak October 26, 2009 at 8:28 am #

    If you want to get some legislatures to fight against such third rate journalism, there are journalists (i don’t know their rate) out there to help you.

    http://www.hindu.com/2009/10/26/stories/2009102651900800.htm

  8. bvn October 26, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    Deepak,

    Thanks for the link! More about the ‘Rape of News’ by Times of India, which sells “News space” to corporates. From DNA and Hoot…

    http://tinyurl.com/yf8cogo
    http://tinyurl.com/yhm3b4a

  9. Ajay October 27, 2009 at 4:07 am #

    The media is an agent of information not a god-damn lynch mob. Next they will be tarring and feathering the girl and I am sure a lot of snootty folks would applaud them for media activism. At the risk of being ostracized, I am all in favour of the business of sex, yeah that is what it is, being legalised and the women involved being given the same protection accorded to any other employee in our social state. I wonder why the TV reporters didn’t try to pull the pants off the sex-worker’s client with equal gusto.

    The response should be clear, the entire team should be booked with Molestation, Sexual Harassment, Assault and Battery and any other relevant sections in the Indian Penal Code. Unfortunately, all of us can expect to see the Sun rise in the West before that happens. And no one will bat an eyelid until they fall foul of our media mafia. Make no mistake that’s what some sections of the Indian media, not a syndicated, but a mafia complete with tommy guns!

  10. jay March 22, 2010 at 1:16 am #

    The news 9 people did human rights violation The NHRC must take action.

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