Details of the gruesome murder of Neeraj Grover were everywhere just yesterday. And we have already moved on to the next episode of this gruesome new reality show called Who-Knows-What-The-Neighbour-Is-Upto: 14 year old Aarushi, and servant Hemraj's murder.
Both are extremely riveting because of the cold bloodedness involved. In the case of Neeraj Grover, the mind boggles at how someone can chop up a body into 300 odd pieces in order to dispose of it. That is, at some level, even worse than the actusl murder .
But a father killing his own child - if true - is absolutely stomach-churning.
Crime is not a new phenomenon and neither is media attention. I don't know how many of you have heard of the Nanavati case where a naval commander killed his wife's paramour on finding out about their affair. Interestingly, the media played a huge role in this case - way back in 1959.
Of course there was no tabloid television back then but its ancestor - the Blitz newspapper - was at the forefront of it all. According to wikipedia:
The incident both shocked and riveted the entire country. Such a crime of passion, as it was termed, was unusual, especially in the upper echelons of the society and that too by a highly decorated officer...
The weekly tabloid Blitz, run by R. K. Karanjia, a Parsi himself, publicised the story, ran exclusive cover stories and openly supported Nanavati, portraying him as a wronged husband and upright officer, betrayed by a close friend.
Blitz painted Nanavati's image, as that of a man representing the ideal middle class values as against Ahuja's playboy image, that symbolised the corruption and sleaze of the bourgeois. A copy of Blitz during the trial sold for Rs.2/- per copy, up from the normal rate of 25 Paise or 0.25 rupee. Peddlers on the street sold 'Ahuja Towels' and toy 'Nanavati Revolvers'.
Nanavati was sentenced to life but had enough friends in high places to secure a pardon after serving just 3 years. He emigrated to Canada, where he died in 2003.
The Blitz is no more and there are no 'middle class values' left to defend. If you commit a crime of passion you would rather cover up than give yourself in.
And for all the hype and hoopla about solving cases, what happens to the ones which fade away from the limelight? Like the infamous Maninder Singh Pandher...