No title, only facepalm

October 15, 2012 § 30 Comments

To the editorial team of the Times of India, Bangalore edition,

Sup guys.

I woke up to this:

I’m an alumnus of the NLSIU, and pride myself on it, and anything happening to students or faculty of the campus disturbs me greatly. And this IS a disturbing incident. But guess what was more disturbing than this.


Where do I begin?

1. When the Press Council of India, CEDAW regulations, the Supreme Court, almost every body imaginable, comes out with regulations relating to disclosure of names of victims of rape, the intention was NOT so that people would stop naming their kids that particular name. No. Let me break it down for you – the reason is that victims of rape face intense public scrutiny and harassment, and so that they should be able to come to the Police with the confidence that their identity would be kept from the public, at least. Any information that can be used to decipher her identity is undesirable. Understood? So congratulations on not releasing her name to the public.

NLSIU has a “SAARC quota” as we used to call it where at maximum 5 students would be taken in from neighbouring South Asian countries every year. Why her being a “South Asian” student was relevant is beyond me, but at least it isn’t clear… oh wait, you identified her as a 2nd year student. Well done, you guys.

Pointing out the native village of her “friend” is probably useful in some way that is beyond my tiny brain to comprehend.

2. It is IRRELEVANT what the Police say. The question is, what you choose to report. The gory details of the case are unnecessary. Yes, I understand that the public is perhaps concerned about violence in the Jnanbharati Campus and the Nagarbhavi area in general. I don’t see the relevance or importance of the information as to whether a 10 rupee note was thrust into the girl’s hand or whether her IPad was returned to her or not. Since the commenters seemed most excited about these two pieces of information, I assume that’s what you guys were looking forward to.

3. “Jnanabharathi police were tight-lipped about the victim’s whereabouts” – you guys were angling for an interview? Sure thing.

4. “However, the police sought to play down the gang-rape allegations, saying the girl bore no injury or struggle marks during the medical examination.” is full of conjecture. While it may, for the sake of argument, be true that a rape victim bore no injury or struggle marks, the fact is that the Supreme Court and various High Courts, for DECADES, have acknowledged that signs of struggle or injuries are not necessary evidence to prove rape. While the Police may have disclosed the contents of the medical reports (not that I’m condoning that), surmising that this meant that they were trying to “play down the gang rape allegations” is really unnecessary. At least quote the cop and name him.

5. I really don’t see how speaking to the Registrar, Vice Chancellor and students of NLSIU is going to help and I’m glad no one decided to give you any comment. And yes, the Vice Chancellor of NLSIU travels, a lot, you have established that this is some “dream destination” earlier in the article. I can see what you are attempting to do there.


Hey people at the Deccan Chronicle!

I was actually looking to set an example to the TImes of India on how to report a rape case, and I found your article.


Why didn’t you just post the janamkundali of the poor guy while you were at it?

Thanks so much for the information that she makes friends with men on social networking websites and naming the particular country she was from. Also you guys seem to have gotten reports from “a hospital source” on the whole marks of struggle thing. So you guys have actually outdone the ToI in terms of facepalm. I’m thrilled to bits.

PS: All that aside, the article is an editorial nightmare. Fire your proofreader while you’re at it.


Both of you should take some lessons from the report as published by the Deccan Herald.

1. No details about the victim were given, besides her age.

2. No details about the friend were given and his name was changed.

3. The statement which was made placing doubts on the version of the victim was attributed to a Senior Police officer and not a conjecture on the part of the reporter.



Oh yes, my qualification to comment on this is that I’ve taught Press Laws and Media Ethics, and have practiced Criminal Law for 6 years. I’m sure this happens in every rape case, and am sure you guys will not clean up our act. But one can only try.



§ 30 Responses to No title, only facepalm

  • aa says:

    Aren’t you doing the same by linking the articles ?

  • Argh says:

    Umm.. typical lawyer, throwing years spent in the legal field with a generous helping of cock in your face in a lame attempt to awe.. Certain newspapers/channels doing masala reporting is the biggest thing that worries you about this case? Really? Free press and free markets mean if there is a market for people who want to read masala news it is perfectly fine for someone to supply it and make money.. The fact that certain newspapers report news the way you want it too corroborates this.. Everyone’s needs are met, its just an efficient market.. Do yourself a favor, and get a life, something you probably missed out on through all those years in law school.. That would certainly explain why you’re so bitter and make these pathetic attempts at sarcasm

    • Megha says:

      “Masala news”?! Really?

    • R says:

      “Everyone’s needs are met”… Argh, you have missed the point of the article entirely. The most important needs here are the rape victim’s needs: she needs anonymity and protection from media glare at this difficult time. If all the recent post-rape suicides in Haryana haven’t convinced you of that, there is something seriously wrong with you. Actually, if you are getting off on reading the lurid details of gang-rape cases you call “masala news”, you’re just plain sick and twisted.

    • agmenon73 says:

      You are one sad human being, to get kicks from some one’s trauma and details and then support it, on the basis of market forces driving it!!!

    • M says:

      “get a life”. Spectacular comeback. You must be proud.

    • MidoriiJade says:

      i) Newly received or noteworthy information, esp. about recent or important events.
      ii) A broadcast or published report of news.

      What the hell is “masala news”? It doesn’t matter if a market exists for such “news”, because “masala” is not a type of journalism ,you pathetic excuse for a human being. For the people so desperate to read “juicy details”, there are tabloids. ToI has yet again proved that it caters only to the brain-dead and the barely literate, as can be seen by just one visit to their official website: The comments show exactly the mindset of the average reader. And, you know what? The Newspaper makes it worse. (and actually takes freakin’ pride in the same! Imagine that?!) That’s not just sick, it’s utterly condemnable.

      I don’t know who you are, or what you do, but clearly you don’t have a very high opinion of lawyers. Why? Was one mean to you? Because this is a really whiny comment. Stop whining.

      Everyone’s needs are met, it seems. *shakes head in disgust* You disgust me. And it’s you who feed the raping and retardation that these men “indulge in”.

      And, one last thing. Re-read your own comment before you put it up. Bitter? You’re the bitterest lemon on this page, Mr./Ms. Argh, and I can assure you that everybody on this page has more of “a life” than you. You know how I know that? Because life gives you experience, and you clearly have very little, or you wouldn’t be talking absolute shite like this.

      Would you like to blame Chinese food as well, while you’re at it?

    • Navin Kumar says:

      This man is a troll, attempting to inflame people into responding. Do not feed the troll. DO not respond.

    • thatdoesntsoundright says:

      “typical lawyer”..well here is news for you asshole..this is why lawyers are, you know, important for the society…to provide reasoned arguments in a system that follows the rule of law…….

      I absolutely sure you have no idea about media law ……oh god, who am I even talking to. What an idiot.

      • lord voldy says:

        @ that does not sound right.. “I absolutely sure you have no idea about media law”.. I’m sorry, were you trying to compose a sentence? That doesn’t look much like one. Did they not have remedial English classes at your “school”? Since crap is all you seem to understand.. I absolutely sure you be a f*cking faggot, s*ck my salty chocolate covered balls b*tch

    • This is why lawyers suck says:


      • This is why lawyers suck says:

        See that’s exactly why lawyers are retarded, add no value to society and certainly do not have a life.
        6 of you spent your “valuable” time on this (especially midorrijade my compliments on writing a page long response including a dictionary reference, really you’re too kind)

        • This is why lawyers suck says:

          After all this the only real argument you offered on TOI is so pathetic it collapses on its own: ‘ToI has yet again proved that it caters only to the brain-dead and the barely literate’ (it is only the most widely read english newspaper in India, so apparently the vast majority of India is brain dead.

          • This is why lawyers suck says:

            Since you already know this and have this delusion of being the “cream of the crop” do yourself a favor and don’t read that freaking paper, you have plenty of choices.

          • This is why lawyers suck says:

            So much for lawyer’s giving logical arguments and getting their facts right. Btw google is a great way to check facts like TOI’s circulation just fyi and you don’t need to go to law school to know that kids.

          • This is why lawyers suck says:

            None of you have really explained why a paper has to conform to your journalistic standards, instead you resort to name calling like the lawyer above and complimenting yourself on your “incredible value to society”

          • This is why lawyers suck says:

            Well I’ve got news for you: you’re all losers and boast the largest collection of ethically devoid money grabbing liars of any profession and society would be so much better off without you

          • This is why lawyers suck says:

            Bottom line is when the brain dead majority matures to your level they will stop reading and TOI will go out of business or change, nothing for you to whine about

          • This is why lawyers suck says:

            Now why don’t you spend your precious time cramming those humongous books so you can throw random legal references and pretend you’re actually worth something.

          • This is why lawyers suck says:

            Lawyers just got their wimpy little asses trolled!!!

  • Gurumurthy Pandit says:

    I commend your efforts to teach something to jugheads. Watching Indian TV and reading news articles online, i just dont understand if the reporters ever go to a university prior to joining their dream jobs.
    I recommend you start a survey to make a point and get the people fired at the two newspapers.

  • Lord Akoroth says:

    An excellent piece.

    The reporting of rape in India does have a sickening lack of thought many times. I especially hate the interviews with the immediate family. What are they hoping the heart-broken father is going to say? .

    Everyone wants to sell newspapers, but there is a line and I am glad to see that at least someone is pointing it out, even if the newspapers themselves apparently cannot see it.

  • --- :) ---- says:

    The same TOI published an article condemning the press about over detailing rape cases. Talk about irony. Good one.

  • agmenon73 says:

    Good one, was time some one wrote about it…..

  • Asfaq says:

    I read that article in ToI too. Winced.

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  • Suchita says:

    Both ToI and Deccan Chronicle have a comments section in the online versions of their articles. I think it might be worth reproducing a link to this post as a comment on each of these articles. If the author of the post is comfortable with this, am happy to post the comments.

    • Suchita says:

      As an update – one can’t include links in their comments on TOI articles. So nothing done there. I have included a link to this post in my comment on the Deccan Chronicle article, the comment has to be approved by the moderators and hopefully will appear in the comments section of the article soon.

  • Rohitakshar says:

    Can we get this published in the editorial section of some newspapers? Or just get an official reaction from TOI and DC?

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