Thursday, September 13, 2007

Entrapment!

According to a legendary story, a part of which was even implied by Mani Ratnam in Guru, a famous business tycoon once said that 'Every man has his price'. Entrapment, according to me, when used in a 'sting' operation is just that. The reason I never did agree with Tehelka's or CobraPost's method's was because it was entrapment, it was not 'hidden camera' operations trying to help a family recover their dead son's body from the clutches of a corrupt Delhi cop, nor was it an exposure of a illegal racket in organ trading.
The problem with entrapment is just this, some Members of Parliament caught in the 'Cash for Questions' scandal were exposed taking small sums of money, and were thus easy to expose, but how are they any less guilty than the MP who goes on a foreign junket sponsored by a company, or for that matter the bureaucrat who gets a bottle of Johnny Black for Diwali. They were not, those guys were just naive, and yes, while selling Parliament time for small sums of money might seem incredulous, special interests spend much, much more wining, dining and entertaining people with access to power.
See, people can do desperate things for money or lust. And while all of us would like to believe that 'we' are above that, I am not so sure how I would react if I was in a sitation like that. Fair enough, we don't (usually) accept gifts (though I am a sucker for model planes and cars) but if a situation arose where I believed where no-one would be the wiser I could get away with something, would I do it? In the sense, while I might not sell-out for petty change, but if big money and/or beautiful women were involved would I sell my ethics out? I don't know the answer to that question very honestly, because it is bloody easy to say, "Not Me! I am not like that", but I have seen very few people in my life who are as straight as an arrow and most of them were members of a Christian Fraternity.
At the end of the day, we're all human and entrapment, while it can expose several ills of society is essentially taking advantage of human frailties, and that isn't a story or a fair way of getting to a story. I still contend that certain types of 'Sting' operations can help society at large, but the type that is most prevalent in India are not paragons of journalistic excellence. And on another note, the more I read about this LiveIndia TV episode I find it incredulous that the channels Editor is trying to distance himself from the story, Sudhir Choudhary is more responsible than the reporter for the broadcast of the story and as Editor should be culpable as well.
Anyway, these were just my two cents...

3 comments:

simran said...

:)

saurabh said...

Both civil and criminal culpability should lie against Choudhary.

Sarin said...

who're you trying to kid when you claim you "might" not give up ethics for a pretty girl? :-)