Case of Bajaj and his friends at the Times of India

The arrest of Avnish Bajaj, CEO of US-based auction portal eBay’s Indian subsidiary has caused concerns among high level government officials on India and the US including from US state department spokesman Richard Boucher. I am sure he should be sure of how to treat offenders who could be accused of child pornography in the US. But what I hear is that quite the contrary, he is ‘concerned’ too!
What however, surprises is that it has also caused concern among the largest media operation in India, Times of India network.
In an article –, Rohit Wadhwaney says how “Bajaj gets just about enough space in his cell to curl up and sleep, if at all he manages to get some xxxxx He has to wake up every morning as early as 5.30 am and walk out of the cell, which is more like a dormitory (though extremely unclean and stinky), for head-count of prisoners. xxxxx For lunch, he gets four rotis , one subzi and a little bit of dal. Even if he is still hungry, he can’t get another helping xxxxx At 6.30 pm he is served dinner, as mercilessly as the previous meal. And at 8 pm the lights are switched off. But whether Bajaj manages to get some sleep or not only he knows. xxxxx”
Such use of language clearly denotes an irresponsible form of journalistic tradition that Times of India may now on be identified with. But I am sure that will not be the case. Since, had it been someone else than Bajaj, a US citizen and high profile Harvard graduate with power and influence in high circles, Times’ stance would have been very different.
And whose battle is TOI fighting? Someone who was making money out of auctioning MMS clips of 17 yr old kids having oral sex? I would not even venture into the legal age controversy which anyway needs to be challenged. It really does not make sense at least to me how being 18 makes one qualified to do something which being 17 does not. And no saying why child pornography question can be brought up here, because it is clearly not one of that kind. The same issue persists among teens in campus all over in US who wants relaxation on legal age. Not 18, but 17, they say. Now instead of drinking and pornography being the questions, its a matter of numbers now. 17 or 18. Very stupid indulgences..
But what matters here is the blatant absence of any attempts to dig background investigation before auctioning an item. As an online marketplace Bazee dot com has the responsibility to verify the claims of ownership and background of such ownership indeed before flashing anything for auction. In the present case, clearly the sale of the clip was against the wishes of the girl in video.
This may herald a new beginning of the need to investigate the products being auctioned, especially with rise in fraudulence within eBay.com recently.
As for Bajaj, he needs to be treated with equal dignity as being conferred to any other inmates. I do not see why the Press has to suddenly wake up to see the prison conditions just because bajaj is served dinner “mercilessly”.

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Author: Saswat Pattanayak

Journalist, Generalist, Atheist, Poet, Lover, Photographer, Communist, Third wave Feminist, LGBT ally, Black power comrade, Peacenik, Anti-capitalist, Critical media theorist, Radical film critic, Academic non-elite…

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