Saturday, September 13, 2014

Oscar Pistorious - A verdict

In one of the most perplexing verdicts of recent times, the South African court acquitted the highly decorated, sympathized, sponsored and larger than life athlete - Oscar Pistorius, for the murder on Valentine’s Day, of his beautiful young girlfriend and promising model Reeva Steenkamp, in what must be a bizarre case of careless shooting in the annals of high profile criminal history. Common sense revolts at the travesty of justice here: A man claiming that he shot four times into a small closed cubicle of a toilet, assuming that it was an intruder in there, and not his girlfriend (who incidentally was sleeping with him that very night...), and cries out in agony and false repentance, awakening the world around him to this supposedly ghastly mistake - seems a little too far-fetched for my little intellect to digest. After eight months of sham trial, which in my opinion, wasn’t going anywhere at all, the court today overlooked justice to set free an athlete, allowing his achievements on and off the track get the better of a legal system. Oscar Pistorius, no doubt, overcame grave physical challenges to perform triumphantly at the London Olympics in 2012; and I salute the tenacity and overwhelming will power of this sportsman to rise above disabilities to bring hope and motivation to thousands suffering for such handicaps. However, it certainly does not absolve him from the rashness of his act, which smoked the life out a young girl forever in a fit of unprovoked rage. One may be tempted to ask, what was a beautiful girl like Reva doing with Oscar, if not partaking and basking in new found money, power and fame of her Romeo; but that is beside the point. The primitive , raw rage of a man to shoot , not once, but four consecutive times, without bothering to check if his Girlfriend was still in bed with him and not in the washroom ( a normal possibility, I must say…) speaks and reeks of a motive that cannot by any stretch of imagination be rationalized or mistaken as normal..

I am sure Oscar must have been dealing with deep levels of insecurity within. In the world of commercial sports, where increasingly - publicity, money and a blonde has come to define a champion; it must have been rather difficult for Oscar to believe and expect fidelity from a good looking young lady as Reva. Possessiveness would have to be an acquired trait in such people; especially so, when out of absolutely nowhere, one is catapulted to highest echelons of fame, glory and richness, and they hold on to it with tenacious obsession. It can get a bit dizzy at that rarefied level and inner balance can be lost very swiftly. We have had the OJ’s, the Tysons blaze such a path to their peril in our own lifetime. Add to it the personal feeling of vacuousness and emptiness inside; and we have a deadly volcano waiting to erupt any time.

Well, I am not sure on what terms of legality the honorable judge reached this verdict. Thokozile Masipa is a Learned, experienced Judge; risen from the ranks – and must have had firm reasons of law to declare an acquittal and to sentence Oscar for Culpable homicide (which in lay man terms mean: Murder but with no intention to Murder...!). But somehow, my heart beats with a note of moral injustice here. History may soon forget Reva as an inconsequential girl who aspired for too much; may celebrate and shower adulation on Oscar for his bravery, conduct and presumed innocence – but somewhere in this drama the truth has been buried under the full glare of lights and costumes. And that is a tragedy, whose odorous scent will linger for a long time to come…

God bless....

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