Shayan Munshi is a model-turned-failed-actor who thinks that the most pressing issue in front of India is the condition of roads.
The one main problem plaguing India, according to me, is poor roads. There should be a law to level all roads. Due to overpopulation, the traffic seems to increase even more. This is an immediate concern as we use these roads daily. It would make living better.
He is also a murderer—or at the very least an accessory. Unless you have been living under a rock, you know the story— Jessica Lal, a model, was murdered in a restaurant called Tamarind Court where she was the celebrity bartender for refusing to serve drinks to an inebriated son-of-a-minister, Manu Sharma. Despite being shot dead in front of so many people and then fleeing the scene of the crime, Manu Sharma and his associates were set free—-thanks to collusion on the part of the police (who intentionally botched evidence) and because Shayan Munshi, who was present when the murder took place, retracted his evidence—thereby letting a murderer walk away: laughing.
Of course Shayan Munshi had some cock-and-bull story for why he retracted his evidence —because he gave his deposition in English and the cops took it down in Hindi (a language Shayan cannot read), totally changing everything he said and then Shayan signed the statement without reading it. Now even a model cannot be that air-headed. Or maybe the cops conned him by asking for his “autograph” and in his obscene hurry to give the first autograph of his life—he did not even see where he was signing.
I don’t know what exactly happened but one thing for sure: Shayan Munshi is a murderer, at least in my eyes.
But at least he tried. At least, he stuck his neck out initially to depose against Manu Sharma. What about the entire party—comprising of socialites, cops and strapless blouses, powerful and influential people most of them, who stayed silent throughout? Do they want us to believe that the bartender got shot and that they did not even look up from their plate? Are they not as bad if not worse than Shayan Munshi?
But here’s the bigger question: How many of you, shocked and indignant Indians, would put your own life on hold, risk police harassment (we know which side they are on) and go out on a limb to seek justice for a total stranger? Not many—looking at how on the urban streets of India, accident victims lie dying while the city moves by them, not stopping.
Nobody wants to get involved—Shayan Munshi is merely a symptom of that.
My mother-in-law tells of her office colleague who tried to help an accident victim (he subsequently died) and the good Samaritan landed behind bars. In Calcutta, an off-duty policeman died trying to save a lady from being molested by three other cops—the lady in question refused to identify her molesters. Yes that’s right. She prevented justice from being served to the person who died saving her. A few months ago, the Telegraph reported that a man took an accident victim to the hospital in his car—a few days later the cops arrived at his doorstep: it seems that the “victim” had told the police that the doctor was the man who ran him over in the first place.
In this context, can you blame people for turning their backs ?
Lest it be misunderstood, this is not an attempt to absolve Shayan Munshi of his guilt. It is instead to make the point that rather than using Shayan Munshi as a receptacle of our hatred, it is better to ask ourselves: “What would we have done in his place?”
I know there are a lot of you who would have faced the damnation of hell in order to see justice being served—-its a pity that such people are almost never present when a person gets shot in a room full of people or lies bleeding — run over by a bus or when a woman is being assaulted on the street.
In conclusion, I wonder how Shayan Munshii can sleep at night knowing that his evidence exonerated a murderer. And the scary thing is I think I know his answer.
Just like the rest of us.