The sensational Sheena Bora murder case has divided the country into three camps - one who think the 25-year old was murdered by her own mother- Indrani Mukerjea; another that have no clue what is going on; and a third, who are disgusted at the 'rabid' witch-hunt launched by the Indian media.
While there is no denying that the story is intriguing and deserves the attention but coverage should be based on fact.
But till now the reporting has been bizarre, macabre and in some quarters downright witch-hunty.
Indian media not only has gone overboard in handling the stories, and in some twisted way it is actually punishing "Sheena" by mixing up the facts with fiction.
The line separating yellow journalism and truth has brazenly been erased by the TRP seeking "story-tellers." While the investigations on the case is still on, most media houses already have passed their judgement, and have found Indrani guilty.
The coverage - of the sensational murder case - in any other country would have been illegal, where the court could hold the media in contempt for "prejudicing or interfering with proceedings."
The handling of Sheen Bora case just goes to show that we have not learned the lesson. The 2008 murder of the 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar, remains the most "shameful" chapters of Indian journalism that shows how news gossips are being packaged as "hard news". The myopic baseless "pulp" news stories spurned out by gossip writers, quoting unnamed dubious sources, fed the curious perverted imagination of the masses. They destroyed the dignity of a dead child, all in the name of "Freedom of Press."
While in the Great Wide West there is a clear demarcation on tabloid newspapers and hard news dailies; sadly no such distinction exists in Indian media, where all news channels and newspapers hunt together as a pack of 'mangy rabid dogs' with no decency and shame.
In UK, The Sun and The Guardian do a splendid job on catering to their specific readers while maintaining their respective journalistic stance. But that is not the case in India and Sheena murder case has proved it to us that even respected news publications such as The Telegraph could not resist the temptation.
Instead of being the Fourth Estate, Indian media today behaves as a rich obese kid, who loves nothing but the junk. He is gaining mass, expanding from all places but what the growth is actually harmful and does no one any good.
In their vain attempt to out do their competitors, news televisions channels come up with baseless allegations without even thinking the repercussions of such claims on the lives of the individuals concerned.
But who do we blame really? While pointing at the greedy televisions channels is an easy way-out, the real culprit is the silent audience, who 24/7 is being forced fed - in the name of "Breaking News" utter useless content.
The problem is the media does not take THE PUBLIC seriously and it will continue to do so, till somebody shakes down the structures of the existing so-called "fourth estate" of our society.
And till that happens, Sheena, Aarushi and many such victims will be crucified again and again....