Every language has a set of common words, phrases and popular sayings that are well-liked because they denote common instances and explain life in a simple and concise manner. Last week two sayings, “hunter becomes the hunted and the protector becomes the predator”, were relevant in two different incidents. This once again proved that language provides meaning, lends sense and implications to various life experiences.
The word sting operation was popularised in India by the Tehelka group. Typically a sting operation is an act of deception in order to catch somebody doing crime red-handed. Many journalists regard the manner in which Tehelka carried out its research that lead to shocking disclosure, as new age journalism. Many readers regarded Tehelka as a mirror to unveiling society’s dirt so as to create a wave of change by creating public opinion and awareness.
Last week saw Tarun Tejpal — the key force behind Tehelka, making headlines for all the wrong reasons. A female colleague of Tejpal filed a harassment case against him. This whole controversy snowballed into negative public opinion and created large scale national uproar. Now the hunter, Tehelka that for over a decade hunted down people became the hunted.
Tarun Tejpal tried an honest approach by admitting to the error of judgement, cajoling the victim, self-inflicting punishment by resigning from his position for six months. But there seems a sadistic pleasure that people are deriving in watching him being hunted. The hunter indeed is being hunted.
Another news story that rocked the front page media is the court judgement where parents of Aarushi Talwar have been convicted as her murderers. Five years later the dentist couple — Rajesh and Nupur Talwar — parents of the deceased have been given a lifer for murder of their teenaged daughter and their household servant Hemraj. What happened on those fateful days, May 16 and 17 2008, may never be known as there is no direct evidence of the murder. Many segments are disappointed and feel that the verdict maybe wrong.
Either way, the fact that the parents have been tried for murder of their daughter itself is unfortunate. Parents are creators and protectors. And when they are suspected of being predators and for murder, the whole idea seems bizarre and gruesome. What can be more unfortunate than the protector becoming the predator?
Languages explain emotions, language denote feelings, happiness and sorrow. If the above two unfortunate incidents are any barometer, language reigns supreme in its accuracy of expression.
Manjula pooja shroff
The writer is an entrepreneur and educationist