Case of Perception vs Talwars

The innocent politician, an honest cop,  sensitive journalist, the accurate media, a smooth judicial process, wait, you are reading these lines, but what perception is it triggering? Just the opposite.Isn’t it? Welcome to the case of perception vs reality.

Its Saturday, a day after the Talwar judgment. The Talwars are not trending anymore.It’s yesterday’s news, panelists are not spitting legalities and moralities, the redness of breaking news is now for someone else. Its all gone quiet. Good, don’t you think? Yet the screams of havoc will trend in their lives forever.Whether they are guilty or not, the horror of being prosecuted on the basis of perception is not just a tragedy but is a horror story.

The TRPGs, Truly Radical Perception Generators, created by the media, destroyed a family’s dignity and spawned a generation of homegrown forensic experts, armchair lawyers, gossiping analysts who shaped the fate of a family. Ironically, all media folks are also blaming other media folks. So technically, if we go the full circle, they are blaming themselves!

Who is this other media? Where are they now? Who is holding them accountable? Where are they? Can you prosecute them on the basis of a perception and destroy their family’s peace and dignity?  I guess not. And so it shouldn’t be the case for anyone else either.

The stereotypical perception of a situation has become a reality in our society.So if you go against the grain of popular belief then you will be prosecuted by perception. Take one  example with three narratives and check your perception :

  • Speeding Mercedes rams into the pedestrian: Driver always guilty. 10/10
  • Speeding car mows down pedestrian: Driver could be guilty 9/10 times.
  • Speeding car hits the inebriated pedestrian: this is no news. Who cares.

There is no question that most pedestrian deaths are due to negligent driving, it is sad and unfortunate, that in a country where you can barely speed over 30kmph, there are so many people who die because of the driver’s fault.

But what if that is not the case? Does the public take a minute to think, what if, it was not the driver’s fault? You see how your perception changes over the three narratives? Yet, in a court of law, even if 99% of the people are found guilty, it cannot rule the remaining 1% guilty without going through facts of the case and proving beyond a reasonable doubt on either innocence or guilt.

It cannot be influenced by historical data. It cannot be influenced by societal perception. It has to be a neutral body.And if there is even there is a 1% chance of proving innocence, then the alleged, have the right to fight their case and share their side of the story without preconceived notions of those judging the case. They need to leave their biases behind.

Look around you and you will find stereotypical reality in every walk of life. Whether it is the corrupt politician, the immoral call center employee, the perverted boss, the evil mother in law, the bitchy daughter in law, the dominating mother, the characterless artist, the hypocritical socialite, the patriarchal father, the dirty janitor, the ruthless competitor, they are everywhere. You are everywhere.

Its time India wakes up to a new reality which rises above perception and hearsay, which leaves behind personal experiences and impressions and be neutral before concluding decisively for or against. Maybe this neutrality is the god we want to believe in.Maybe this balance is what makes us a better human being and a better society.

So the next time you are in a situation, take a  pause before your pass a judgment of perception, and when the same patience and neutrality comes back to you, you will perhaps appreciate the benefit of the doubt a little more.


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