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Monday, April 12, 2021

Richa Chadha receives an apology from Payal Ghosh; It is time we treat defamation as the offense that it is

Richa Chada receives an apology from Payal Ghosh has been creating headlines. However, no one is talking about how slander counts for just as big of an offence as many others. By definition, slander is a spoken statement about somebody that is not true and that is intended to damage the good opinion that other people have of him/her; the legal offence of making this kind of statement.

It all started when Payal went on to allegedly call out Anurag Kashyap of sexual harassment in the wake of #MeToo. While the movement has been at the backfoot for a while, this happened to be one of the instances when it resurfaced. However, while the case was filed and a diligent investigation is underway, Ghosh seems to have struck the wrong chord.

Richa Chadha receives an apology as a part of the case finalisations:

It was during one of her statements that Ghosh also dragged Richa’s name. She went on to make a statement which said that Richa, Mahie Gill and other actresses did Kashyap sexual favours. For the woman that Richa is, it did not go down very well, as is now known. In fact, she did not seek compensation for it, claiming that her respect cannot be given a price tag.

And now, as Richa Chadha receives an apology from Ghosh, it must be looked at with a wider picture. Given the recent turn of events in Bollywood by and large, a lot has been said, but not a lot has been heard. In fact, with the case against Republic and Times Now in the court, this judgement is the way ahead.

None the less, this is just a small step in the right direction and the path ahead is long. The apology to Richa Chadha is not a win-win, as claimed by Ghosh, but a definite win. If anything, it is a win for those who do right. For a country that enjoys the freedom of speech, we do go around throwing a lot of words in the air. However, would we do it if they were to have consequences?

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