• A patriachal twist in the tale: The Jiah Khan murder story

    Sooraj Pancholi was 23 when Jiah Khan committed suicide. After Jiah’s mother Rabia Khan made a plea against the foul power-play that was ‘apparently’ taking place in her daughter’s case, the case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). It’s been reported that in course of their relationship, Sooraj was physically and verbally abusive to Jiah (text messages exchanged between the two have confirmed the same in previous investigation), which could have led her to having the low self-esteem that she did and eventually taking a step as drastic as suicide.“The Board of Forensic Medicine Experts has opined that the death was suicidal in nature which corroborated the observation and opinion of the post mortem doctor. The Forensic statement analysis of the note written by the deceased has opined that the said note allegedly represents her mental status genuinely and the circumstances and reasons behind her suicide,” quoted the Hindu.

    In a recent turn of events, when Mumbai Mirror got its hands on the CBI Chargesheet of the case, it was revealed that Jiah Khan was pregnant with Sooraj, her then boyfriend, who pulled the foetus out of Jiah’s body in order to abort the pregnancy and flushed it down the toilet. This was after a failed Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) attempt. Jiah was 4 weeks pregnant and he did not even bother to take her to the hospital, leaving her in her dismal condition, where she had haemorrhage attacks. It is also being speculated that he did so in order to protect his career (before it had even started) from bad light. He is now being charged with abetment to suicide. The case hearing has been adjourned till January 17, 2016.

    Now who is to blame here, really? The media, the fear of which led Sooraj to undertake the medical procedure himself, or Jiah herself, who, according to media reports, was suicidal and depressed? Or maybe Sooraj himself, who could not handle the situation like a reasonable, mature adult. Or perhaps the society, that creates these structures where a select few guide and control (rather than organize, which was the original objective of setting up CIVILization) the behavior and actions of other through guided morality. Isn’t morality a matter of personal reason?

    However, Jiah Khan is dead and justice still hasn’t been delivered. We live in times where justice, especially for women, is of posthumous nature. See the Park Street Rape Case, for example. Especially where the victim was a pregnant, depressed actress who committed suicide, how much justice can we really expect? Some say that it was stupid of her to commit suicide, but we need to understand the amount of pressure that we, as a ‘society’, put on women to align their individual personality with the society-led definition of the ‘ideal woman’. And as far as depression is concerned, we must know that an addict or a depressed person is a result of her/ his external circumstances, and not just the individual self.

    While the court might decide who really the perpetrator in the case is, we must ensure that these arguments of individual life-choices made by Jiah Khan don’t stand in the way of justice that she deserves.

    Pic Credit: Deccan Chronicle