The Rohtak Sisters Case – An Insult to Journalism and Feminism

NEW DELHI, INDIA - DECEMBER 13: Rohtak Sisters, Aarti (R) and Pooja addressing a press conference on the controversy behind the videos showing thrashing their "molesters" on a moving bus and in a park is refusing to die down and now the entire episode has taken caste overtones with non-Jat groups asking the Haryana government to reinstate the bravery award announced for the girls, on December 13, 2014 in New Delhi, India. Both sisters had hit national headlines after a video showed them taking on three youth who they claimed had molested and assaulted them in a moving Haryana Roadways bus Nov 28, 2014. Also some passenger claimed that the youths had not indulged in harassment of the sisters and the fight was for the seat. (Photo by Mohd Zakir/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The society we live in today is certainly messed up. Our educational systems are devised to feed us information, which makes us believe most of the things we see or hear today. Apparently, some of my friends and family members send me stupid forward messages on WhatsApp believing that it is real. In November 2014, social media was jam-packed with posts and videos of the Rohtak Sisters. The sisters from Sonepat, Aarti and Pooja were seen hitting a few boys on a public bus accusing the young men of molesting them.

The top media channels in the country like NDTV and the others were busy telecasting the video of the girls hitting the boys. While some of these channels even went to the extent of blurring the face of the girls, the boys were exposed. More than anything, I cannot forget Arnab Goswami shouting at the top of his voice against the boys on Times Now. Well, of course, he’s considered to be one of the best “journalists” in India.

Failure of Journalism

The media portrayed the Rohtak Sisters as ‘heroes’. I even remember reading an article with a title that said that the girls even braved the cold at night to talk to the press. Of course, they loved to pose for the camera. Senior Journalists were busy writing eulogies for the Rohtak Sisters. They wrote of their bravery, praised their man-thrashing, and of course, highlighted everything with a hint of feminism.

Times Now calling the Rohtak Sisters as ‘Bravehearts’

The boys who were made to be involved in the incident were left with a tarnished reputation. Their lives and career remain spoiled till date. They had been dragged to police stations, to courts, etc., while the Rohtak Sisters enjoyed their freedom. However, mainstream media still accused the boys and praised the girls.

More than two years after the incident, a Rohtak court has declared on March 4, 2017, that the boys who were involved were innocent. There was no evidence of them molesting or misbehaving with the girls, except for the latter’s statements.

An Insult to Feminism

It is indeed quite sad to watch mainstream media portray man-bashing as feminism in today’s world. fueled by TRP, shares, and likes on social media, major press establishments have seemed to lost their focus. The Rohtak Sisters were commended by many so-called ‘feminists’, who argued that the boys involved should be severely punished. Man-bashing and feminism are two different things. They would never compliment each other.

The way in which this case was dealt only proves that journalists have become false judges. By shouting at the top of their voices, these journalists who think they are advocating feminism actually ended up insulting it.

Where is the justice?

While laws are definitely necessary to protect women, they are mostly misused. The Rohtak Sisters case is an epitome of this misuse. The girls happily walked away from the court even after the boys were proven innocent. The lawyer who represented the boys now wants to file a defamation case against the girls. However, there is no use of crying over spilt milk.

The Rohtak Sisters came to fame on social media when they bashed a few boys for no reason whatsoever. Today, those boys are proven innocent. However, I never saw even 1% of the people who supported the girls following the story for two years. From a legal point of view, the girls should be punished for running the lives of a few innocent boys just because they wanted instant fame on social media.

But this case will go down in history with the innocent boys being the victim. The boys would have taken a bigger blow even if the story was the other way around. In a world where women’s rights still remain diminished, women like the Rohtak Sisters make it worse. True journalism and true feminism will still remain defeated, thanks to mainstream media.