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'A jail cell breaks a human being into pieces'

Last updated on: September 23, 2020 12:10 IST

'It breaks my heart to see her almost being lynched and burnt at the stake like a witch.'
'How desensitised have we become?'
'We don't even want the truth to unfold.'

IMAGE: Rhea Chakraborty with her brother Showik. Photograph: PTI Photo

Actor-musician-author Karan Oberoi was wrongly arrested for sexual harassment and the experience has made him empathise with all those who get prosecuted without a fair trial.

That's why Rhea Chakraborty's media trial and arrest has shaken him up.

"What does it tell us about us as a nation when the character of an individual is assassinated without waiting for adequate proof, just to score the highest TRPs?" Karan asks Subhash K Jha.

What are your thoughts on Rhea Chakraborty's vilification and arrest?

It is horrid, unfair and saddens me to no end.

It breaks my heart to see her almost being lynched and burnt at the stake like a witch.

How desensitised have we become?

We don't even want the truth to unfold.

 

What do you have to say about the media's role in it?

Our collective anger at whatever our pathetic plot is, needs a direction, and the media is providing arsenal to go on a shooting spree!

Has our collective consciousness as a nation been numbed to that extent?

What does it tell us about us as a nation when the character of an individual is assassinated without waiting for adequate proof, just to score the highest TRPs?

Who do we to blame? Ourselves!

It's time to introspect before it is too late.

We need to be rational and allow justice to take its course.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Karan Oberoi/Instagram

What if she is proven innocent of all the charges?

If she is proven innocent in all this, and it doesn’t break our heart, then we are dead and just waiting to be buried.

A jail cell breaks a human being into pieces, especially if they come out innocent after this horrible ordeal.

I’ve been there and I know what it does to the human spirit.

Do you empathize with Rhea more because of what you have been through?

I empathise with any human being, who is being persecuted without any closure of the matter, irrespective of the gender.

Truth and justice should be gender agnostic.

I had tremendous support from Day 1, so my circumstances were a bit different.

But yes, I know what the hellhole (prison) can do to the mind of a human being and I also know what it would do to her aged parents with both children behind bars.

Do you think this case is a warning to us?

A wild, mad animal kept in our backyard wouldn't be selective about attacking. You could be next!

That is what we need to be cognisant of.

It is akin to giving a loaded gun to someone and ask him or her to shoot with impunity, without accountability.

And you do realise that my taking a stand on the truth could have the lynch mob coming to destroy me, especially with my case still in process?

I am in a slightly more vulnerable spot than most right now.

I would have been crusading on the streets for Rhea Chakraborty but for that vulnerability. I will once my court case is settled.

How is your book on your prison experience progressing?

The book Holy Cow is ready for release in December.

I've written three more books, all romantic fiction, during the lockdown.

In my imagination, I still have the freedom to see the world with rose-tinted glasses.

In real life, I've become cautious about getting into a relationship after what I've gone through.

SUBHASH K JHA