I’ll use this beautiful poem ( see further down) by Rudyard Kipling in addition to what may be probably my last take on the Nad Sivaramen’s alleged offence.
This poem is both refreshing and inspiring as we tend to forget that our whole life is made of ‘ifs’ and ‘’buts’ and yet we are so quick to pull on the trigger, to judge outright even when we have doubts or all the facts are not understood or known to us.
A clear illustration as to how, despite all our academic pedigree and display of values & integrity, we foremost act and react on the basis of our biases & hidden motives/ agendas.
At the outset, let me make it clear that :
> Am not related in whatever way to Mr Nad Sivaramen
> Am not an anointed or self proclaimed guru of the public opinion arena, in search of ‘ likes’ or fans who submit to my views. I have no monopoly of truth and intelligence. I am only expressing my personal views on the whole issue and the popular reaction. People should not feel compelled to agree with me or embarrassed to contradict me, whatever their motivation.
The above said, I would like to share the following so that we can together make better sense of the issue…ek na pa melanz ti poule ek ti kanar.
1. It is utterly grotesque, unjust and inappropriate to condemn any party in the absence and definitive ascertainment of the facts put forward in the affidavit/s and beyond.
2. Mr Nad Sivaramen ( NS) may be qualified as a public figure due to his professional stand and therefore he should face scrutiny from the ‘ tribunal populaire’ that Media and public opinion often constitute in an open democracy. Is such assimilation correct? I personally don’t think that he is a public figure but I consider he does hold a highly critical office in our democracy and as such he should be willing ( & accept) to face the same level of scrutiny from a public morality and ethical point of view. Though legally this is a totally different matter as compared to paid public officials who might commit similar alleged misdemeanours/crimes
2. Following up on point 2 above ( assuming his status from an ethical and moral standpoint), it’s granted that public opinion should have the right to speculate and take him to task. Let’s give free vent to our passion for blood and revenge for a moment though I abhor the mob lynching mentality and stripping off of dignity ( especially that faced by many ordinary/ vulnerable people in our press/ media daily without any qualm).
But should we not stop and examine what may be conditioning our mob lynching reflexes or their condoning? If NS has an arrogant character, is a tyrannical boss/ colleague etc etc , should that be admissible to ‘ hang’ him on the basis of the averments in an affidavit that seems to have nothing to do with his professional conduct & ethics ?
Are we in for sheer ‘ défoulement’ and settling scores or are we after finding justice and truth ? Especially to protect that child and other eventual innocent ‘ victim/s’ in this whole case.
3. Despite all the legal and ethical considerations being raised to make the case a private matter foremost, I would have joined those having their field day to settle scores against the protagonist of the alleged offences ….. in the name of revenge or karma etc etc …. but ONLY ONLY if they can show me one instance whereby in the exercise of his professional duty, writings etc , Nad Sivaramen has deliberately ….lied or conspired to harm or make any innocent a hapless victim or cover up any potentially guilty person? Whether a public figure or ordinary mortal. Whether in the public interest or for private gains. If someone can unequivocally show me that, I’ll be ready to mix the present case with all the subjective considerations…. charater, arrogance, law of karma etc etc , and ask for his head. CAN WE PROVE THAT TO THIS DAY? I confess , I can’t ? Then, on what basis should I take sides or deliver my judgment at this stage …..on mere disconnected facts and biases? I wish to be guided.
4. I have heard enough about the ethical ‘transgression ’ committed by TOPFM in divulging so-called very sensitive information contained in the Affidavit. I am no partisan of voyeurism and ‘pornography’ journalism. But is there so much validity in this ICT age to be shocked or outraged by publication/dissemination of an information that could have otherwise been easily available elsewhere and going viral in any case by now?
Come on! Yes… it can raise ethical issues, but are those professionals in the media or lawyers etc really so concerned and attached to ethics and values? Do a reality check. If all the institutions in our country and their préposés were so ethical, would we be here today … getting shocked, outraged for the umpteenth time? I am not trying to provide an apology or alibi to that station to justify anything. What I am suggesting is that the information would have been out anyway. However unethical that may be it’s not TOFM that should be on trial. The bigger picture should remain our focus. And, of course, what motivation underpins our action? What interest the journalistic endeavour ultimately serves?
The most hypocritical and manipulative bunch are often found amongst our most so-called noble professions. I bet other media and journalists too had the Affidavit and I also bet, based on past records, that their non- disclosure of the content of the Affidavit had more to do with the famous code of mutual non-agression ( the omerta-like rule that exists among most corporatists …..lawyers, doctors, auditors etc) than with real upholding of ethics or protection of a child. For some in the profession, ethics may matter at individual level. No doubt! But as a body, it’s often more about preservation of self or vested interests.
There is a famous guiding principle governing the law of defamation and the ethical dilemma in journalism with regards to the issue of public and private lives. It encapsulates all very clearly:
WHATEVER INTEREST THE PUBLIC IS NOT ALWAYS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST.
And from that we can even see a certain perversion whereby whatever is in the public interest may not always interest the public at large. Lepep are also self centered and selfish and can easily get distracted from what should be his concerns on issues of public interest. This is where media and other watchdog institutions step in to remind all those in power (not just politicians) that they need to be accountable. Or, they may misuse their professions to manipulate and connive so as to divert attention from what is in the public interest.
Remember the famous ( or infamous) case pertaining to Ryan Giggs back in 2011 ??) . The star footballer had an affair with his sister in law Imogene Thomas but when the scandal broke he sought a Court injunction ( Gaggjng Order) so that his name was not mentioned in the media. He got the Gaggjng Order for the Press in the UK not to disclose his identity because of his status etc. But he could not prevent his name being disclosed outside the UK or anywhere on the worldwide web. Still the print and audiovisual media in the UK could mention the scandal but without his name. Then all hell broke loose. The Lib Dem MP ( then part of government ) John Hemming named the footballer using his Parliamentary privileges. It happened live and direct during Parliament Question Time TV broadcast. Yet, the Court Order kept being valid despite the whole nation and world had known the identity of the Star. In the next edition of the Mirror ( ??), I read an interesting comment on the affair by a former UK judge. It goes a bit like this: when someone holds the status of a star/public figure, he’s followed by millions, he’s looked up as role model by society. As such, the public has the right to know what kind of person he is. Hence, his conclusion that the law of privacy should be used to PROTECT public figures’ private lives and freedom & NOT TO HIDE THEIR MISDEMEANOURS & VICES.
I made reference to this case sometime back when the Gagging Order relating to N. Soornack/ NCR Affair was making headlines.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’…………….,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, ………………………………
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!