Just a few days back the newspaper carried a story of 3 alleged blackmailers being arrested by the police, who were trying to extort money from 3 Jharkhand MPs. But they were not like any other blackmailers. They were special as their modus operandi included sting operations. They purposely tried to get the MPs involved in some way or the other so that they can carry out their so called sting operation, and then demanded money from them in return of keeping their sting away from public. Same day there was another news item which turned an accused, whose misdeeds were recently busted with the help of another ‘sting operation’, into a victim of the so called ‘investigative journalism’ as the whole operation was a fake. You guessed it right; the person being talked about is Mrs. Uma Khurana, teacher of Sarvodaya Kendriya Kanya Vidyalya, who was shown purportedly involved in pushing a young girl into prostitution.
It was few years back when the first ever sting operation in the history of Bharat took place. Tehelka broke the story about the defense deal and whole nation went berserk. Since then many such operations followed and all the private news channels, channels which had just seen the daylight, were flooded with these sting operations. These operations were an immediate hit, became prime time masala in no time and the most bankable means of boosting the TRPs. From netas to abhinetas, from businessmen to bureaucrats, no one was spared from the wrath of these operations. But politicians remained an all time favourite stars of these operations. All these recent developments, and some which were always there, undoubtedly throws some light on this means of ‘investigative journalism’ and puts a question mark on the authenticity of such operations.
To begin with, these operations have always had a credibility issue, as one never knows what the whole story is? The very fact that the footage being shown is just a part of the whole process is enough in itself to raise the doubts on, if the conclusion being drawn based upon it is correct or not. No one knows the conditions under which such an act was done and moreover the form in which the act was done, the picture is always blurred and never clear. These operations never show us the truth, but just a part of it, which in turn is highly questionable. We all know the case of the casting couch sting in which the deploy was ready to go to any limit, moreover crossed those limits, just to pull out a successful sting. In such cases who’s to be blamed? In case of the alleged bribery, the scenario is even worst. First of all on what bases are the people on whom these stings are carried being selected? If it’s a random order to select the star, then every time they carry a sting it’s a success or sometimes there is disappointment too in store for them? If it’s the former, then I must say that each and every person alive on the face of this country is corrupt. But if it’s the latter then what happens to the videos of clean and clear people? Why they never show them, so that they can be a model for others? I guess the role of the media is just to do the harm and do no good to the people. Besides isn’t it a breach of privacy, of atleast the people who do not turns out to be culprits and this leaves them as more of a victim itself.
Even if we look at these sting operations, not with an expert’s eye, but as anyone of us will, even then they are full of loopholes and always stink. Still we never try to look for the complete truth, we never try to look at the other side of the hedge and based upon these shabby incidences we draw our conclusion and become judgmental about the person.
The case of teacher which was indicted, humiliated, arrested, criticized and expelled from the job, just because of a criminal conspiracy was executed against her with such precision that instead of a victim she appeared to be an accused, and that too because of some personal enmity of the person who staged the whole drama, is a shame for the whole country and moreover the media which claims to be the voice of common man. Who gave the right to the media to telecast this sting operation in front of the whole nation? Who authorized them to ruin the entire life of an innocent lady? Who should be blamed for the insult and abuse which she faced? Who should be punished for the trauma under which she went? The case of the Delhi school teacher and many more like these which are still under cover is a clear cut example of the menace these stings are. It is not just about one Uma Khurana, but about all those who can, and will surely fall prey to these sting operations. Let us hope that this is not the beginning of a trend in which people resort to fabricated sting operations, just to settle their personal scores. But if it is then very soon each and every person living in this Bharat will very soon be a part of such a sting because if a simple teacher of a government school can be on the hit list of these investigative journalists, then what a huge list it must be in a country of over 100 crore people.