In conversation with Karan Oberoi

Truth and justice should be gender agnostic: Karan Oberoi

Actor-musician-author Karan Oberoi who was wrongly jailed for sexual harassment speaks for the first time on why Rhea Chakraborty’s media trial and arrest have shaken him up.

Your first thoughts on Rhea Chakraborty’s vilification and arrest?

It’s horrid, unfair and saddens me to no end. It breaks my heart to see her almost being lynched and being burnt at the stake like a witch. How desensitized have we become ?! We don’t even want the truth to unfold.

What do you have to say about the media’s role in Rhea’s witch hunt?

Our collective anger at whatever our pathetic plot is, needs a direction, and the media is providing arsenal to go on a shooting spree! Has our collective consciousness as a nation been numbed to that an extent?

What does this demonizing of Rhea say about us as a society?

What does it tell us about us as a nation when the character of an individual is assassinated without waiting for adequate proof, just to scores the highest TRPs. Who are we to blame ? OURSELVES! Time to introspect before it’s too late. We need to be rational and allow justice to take its course.

What if she’s proven innocent of all the charges?

Trust me, Sir , if she is proven innocent in all this, and it’s doesn’t break our heart , then we are dead and just waiting to be buried. A jail cell breaks a human being into pieces , ESPECIALLY if they come out innocent after this horrible ordeal. Believe I’ve been there and I know what it does to the human spirit.

Do you empathize with Rhea more because of what you’ve been through?

Sir, I empathize with any human being who is being persecuted without any closure of the matter, irrespective of the gender. Truth and justice should be gender agnostic.I had tremendous support from Day 1 , so my circumstances were a bit different, but yes I know what the hell-hole (prison) can do to the mind of a human being and I also know what it would do to her aged parents with both children behind bars.

Do you think this whole case is a warning to all of us?

A wild mad animal kept in our backyard wouldn’t be selective about attacking! You could be next! That’s what we need to be cognizant of. It’s akin to giving a loaded gun to someone and ask him or her to shoot with impunity without accountability! Absolute power WILL corrupt ABSOLUTELY! And you do realize that my taking a stand about the truth could have the lynch mob coming to destroy me, especially with my case still in process?

I feel we are all vulnerable targets?

But I am in a slightly more vulnerable spot than most right now.I would have been crusading on the streets for Rhea Chakraborty, but for that vulnerability. And I will once my court case is settled.

How is your book on your prison experience progressing?

The book Holy Cow is ready for release in December.I’ve written three more books, all romantic fiction, during the lockdown. In my imagination, I still have the freedom to see the world with rose-tinted glasses. In real life I’ve become cautious about getting into a relationship after what I’ve gone through.

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