Flashback 2015: How Sheena Bora murder case exposed media’s voyeuristic, sexist nature

By: Maitreyee Boruah
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New Delhi, Dec 28: Now, Sherlock Holmes can rest in peace in his grave. We have TV channels to solve murder mysteries. Who needs pipe smoking and cap wearing shrewd detectives to solve toughest crime riddles?

The sensational murder of 24-year-old Sheena Bora in 2012 allegedly by her mother Indrani, the wife of former media baron Peter Mukherjea, was the most talked about soap opera of Indian prime time television.

Sheena murder: More gossip, less news

Astonishing nuggets of information revolving around the case were fed to us by multiple news channels.

Surprisingly each of them had an exclusive angle to dish out for us during our dinner time. As the audience sat in front of TV screens, the gory details of Sheena's murder were flashed, dissected and solved by shrillest of anchor men.

Murder of logic
The absurd interest to focus all attention on a single murder case continuously for almost a month, beginning from August 2015, by media left viewers wondering if all our miseries have been attended by our netas.

So, why to talk about poverty, inflation, the massive Patel agitation in Gujarat, intolerance and award wapsi episodes?

TV channels made viewers believe that the only issue plaguing the nation was the murder of a young woman by her own mother.

A murderous mother
A mother, from small town Guwahati, who become the perfect antithesis of filmi Nirupama Roy, who sheds copious amount of tears praying for her children's lives. Indrani is a vicious and murderous mother to her children and an equally ruthless wife to her husbands.

She used her sexuality to climb the social ladder and in the process committed a heinous crime never recorded in the annals of modern history.

A popular newspaper called her The Great Gatsby of Mumbai. Any proof served in this regard by reporters? Who cares about investigative reporting? Wild imagination by newswallahs works wonder to garner eyeballs.

A pretty daughter's dark life
It is not that dark details of a traumatised childhood and a life cut short by her own mother helped dead Sheena to amass sympathy. Even she was subjected to character assassination.

Few media reports suggested that Sheena went through multiple abortions before her murder. She was allegedly murdered for having an intimate relationship with a person close to Indrani, but not Rahul, son of Peter.

All these theories were not based on any evidence. Again, most of these details were mere figment of imagination of journalists who desperately wanted to win the best gossipmonger award of 2015.

Rich men are always naïve
Immediately after Indrani's arrest in the wake of the revelation of Sheena's murder, her third husband Peter got busy giving interviews to TV channels. He feigned innocence when confronted with the awful truth.

He claimed he had got nothing to do with the murder. Like everyone else in the high society of Mumbai, Indrani's husband for more than a decade also thought Sheena and her brother Mikhail were his wife's siblings and not children.

However, "poor Peter" was proved not so sinless when he was arrested by the CBI in November in connection with the probe into the murder of his stepdaughter.

Grandfather who was thought to be father

The theories presented by media in regard to Indrani and Sheena's family went bizarre. News anchors confidently told audiences that grandfather of Sheena, Upendra Kumar Bora, was actually her father. The 80-year-old man, who was mobbed by reporters (one of whom had jumped the window of the Bora's house to interview Indrani's parents), clarified that he was the grandfather of Sheena and Mikhail.

Before public memory fades quickly, we are sure a book or a film based on the scandalous murder mystery would hit our nearest bookstore or theatre soon.

OneIndia News

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