Women Who Faced a Media Trial and Came Out Stronger

By Team Feministaa in


Tag:- Entrepreneur,

Media is the fourth pillar of democracy. It holds the power to mold opinions, disrobe scams and bring truth to light. But what happens when the same press becomes a game of numbers and TRPs? Ethics go down the drain, journalism becomes a service to self and propaganda becomes the new prerogative.
I welcome you to the death of ethical journalism where scapegoats are framed to serve political agenda and journalists become the judge, jury and God.
A trial by media is the unlawful practice where the news adorns the robe of the judge and jury to pass judgement over a case before a verdict is given by the court. The obstruction of justice in the name of breaking news is not just unethical but inhumane as well.
Time immemorial women are tested by society with trials for their mere existence. From Sita to the Queen of England, no one is spared dignity or any rights to privacy whether they committed a crime or not.
Here are women who faced the wrath of a trial by media, yet came out unscathed and strong

Tanushree Dutta

Actor and Miss India Universe 2004, Tanushree Dutta became the talk of the town with a media story that portrayed her as an unprofessional Bollywood diva who blamed a highly reputed Actor for publicity. The said highly reputed actor is Nana Patekar who allegedly sexually harassed Tanushree on the movie set of “Horn Ok Pleassss” in 2008. Tanushree was mentally and emotionally badgered by the media and her own film fraternity, people refused to believe her story and she faced all the consequences of calling out a big Actor of Bollywood. Soon this news became one of many until 2018 when this case surfaced again which spearheaded the #MeToo movement in India.
Throughout the procedure Tanushree’s career took a massive hit but now the world finally accepted that she didn’t cry wolf and the media trial against her was a Bollywood lobby ploy to discredit her. The #MeToo movement started by Tanushree after this incident gave voice to sexism and harassment women face in the film industry at the hands of powerful stars.

Bina Ramani

Socialite Bina Ramani was the key witness in the Jessica Lal murder case. She was hounded and haunted by political leaders and media propaganda to safeguard Manu Sharma, the now convicted murderer of Jessica Lal. Bina went through an intense media trial where her background, personal life, character and businesses were thrashed and paraded. She was even put behind bars yet she didn’t back down.
Bina told Times of India that “It was a very traumatic period for my family and me. There came a time when close friends told me to give in to their threats and take whatever was being offered and leave the country for my own safety and well-being! But I had to be true to myself and respect my integrity. I stuck to the truth, paid a heavy price.”
Recuperating from the trauma, Bina is stronger than ever and is an inspiration to women who stood by truth in the face of injustice. Her contribution to Jessica Lal’s murder case was instrumental.

Monica Lewinsky

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms Lewinsky.” These words by former U.S. President Bill Gates are foundation of the infamous political sex scandal of the United States that blew away Monica Lewinsky’s and Hilary Clinton’s reputation to smithereens.
Monica Lewinsky was painted by the media as the social ladder climber, White House Intern, who seduced the President for power. She was the homewrecker and the adulteress who bore the scarlet letter. Hilary Clinton, wife of Bill Gates, wasn’t spared of the ridicule either. She was the woman who tried to salvage her husband’s reputation. Bill Gates might have slept with his intern but Hilary Clinton was still somehow to be blamed for his infidelity because men will be men, right?
Monica Lewinsky is now a vocal anti-bullying advocate after decades of being ridiculed as a political joke. She was ostracized by the society and bullied by the media, but she stands strong today as an ally and support to people who face abuse and injustice.
Media trials have cost people unfair judicial trials, ruined reputation and harassment, but they have also been influential in probing cases where women wouldn’t have received justice due to corrupt political pressure. The rape and murder case of Priyadarshani Matoo was brought to justice by incessant media trial that rallied against influential political leaders involved in the case. However, we cannot look the other way when the same media is responsible for contempt of court and obstructing justice in Aarushi Talwar murder case as well as the ongoing Sushant Singh Rajput murder mystery.
When the government and people in power commit a felony, the media holds them responsible and ensures that the truth is uncovered with their mindful coverage. However, when the media commits this unjust crime of media trial, who will hold them accountable? The mute society, the breaking news seeking people or the judiciary.

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