For those who have any doubt on the tragedy of Dharun Ravi case, this full length 20/20 ABC program is a must see. It covers it exhaustively and makes a compelling case on the whole issue.
You Tube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dsg0jpmU_kM
Some of the articles
I recently attended a program on Dharun Ravi, aftermath of sentencing of Dharun Ravi for 10 years and possible deportation, after trying to convince my high school daughter for one hour why the punishment was overkill and unfair. Like everyone I also thought Ravi broadcast a video of his gay roommate and that drove his roommate to suicide. I was up for surprise. Ravi never showed the video on internet, Clementi has other issues and his suicide note was not revealed even today because the prosecution did not charge with him for murder. But then Jury already knew about the media continuous beating for 18 months that Ravi showed a video driving his dorm-mate to suicide. After sentencing and the court deliberations, truth is found to be otherwise. Please see the star ledger articles given below reflecting the turn around of the media on this issue. I understand Ravi has given interviews in CNN, 20/20 and his issue was covered in Maher program basically condemning the sentence.
This is a tragedy. Tragedy of a bright young Indian American with perfect SAT scores brought up since 5 years old in USA put through for doing what passes as a prank and haze issue in and around the campuses all the time. It is a tragedy of our legal system and a tragedy of how reckless media and politicians including Obama did not even bother to study the case before making comments. But damage is done and imagine what he and his family gone through for 18 months and now faces deportation. To where, where does this kid belong, to US or somewhere else, even India?
It is tragedy of our media and legal system. Dharun was offered under plea bargain with few hundred hours of service and no jail time but it required him to say under oath that he hates gays. He refused to do it specifically because he just did not want to say under oath what he is not. The media brainwashed jury convicted him of just that, a hate crime for which he is supposed to spend 10 years jail time and possible deportation. Something gone wrong, wildly.
But it is also a tragedy of other sorts. It showed how we Indian Americans who sit in the comfort of our lives and do not participate in larger causes, never realize that things can happen to us. For large part Indian Americans were silent, they did not bother about it. The family did not know what it is to seek timely support of the community because they are typical family who lived their own life with little participation in larger causes for community. As some in the program pointed out, we live a selfish life by flocking by thousands to the stupid shows of Indian movie stars, we shower money into expensive garbas and festivals for our children, we continuous party in our little circle, busy pursuing our own career goals and academic and other goals of our children, never participate or contribute to any larger cause, hardly participate and volunteer in our children schools programs, hoping nothing will come to pass and the system will take care of it if necessary.
But things do not work that way, not in a true and complex democracy as ours.
From the dotbusters in 70s who targeted Indian American women, to the kid in Marlboro who was bullied after 9/11 to the point he has to leave school with no action by the township, to the brutal beating deaths (smashing heads) with baseball bats, all this happened and it can happen. Subtle and overt discrimination is prevalent all over the place. More importantly, when economy is depressing, it is the immigrants that are targeted, many times brutally. Even today, hundreds of students from India are killed around campuses in US. When the problem hits, then we think of community. In a democracy, numbers matter. Only when we stand together, the politicians listen, when we fight together, prosecutors and administrators pay attention. Only when we stand for others, we will know where to seek, how to seek when tragedy befall ourselves. Even as we hold fund raisers raising millions for politicians from the community, we do not know how to ask for the community and the ‘community leaders’ in general work with narrow agendas than for greater good of the community.
Please think what happened to Dharun can happen to your own child and support the kid and the family. Think of him as your own child. The family has only few weeks before going to appeal and are proposing various actions which will become clear as days go by. But one thing is critical, time is short and it requires for community to stand together before things go wrong, badly.
Please participate in them and start first by signing the petitions to white house below.
Their website: http://supportdharunravi.com/ is expected to have additional plan of actions.
Some recommended actions that came out of the public program yesterday are
1) Call you state assembly person and senators. Calls matter.
2) Calling the Appeals judge and Prosecutors Office. Their website has details to write letters. Prosecutor is Bruce Kaplan 732-745-3332 Press 1 + Ext 3333, Prosecutor@co.middlesex.nj.us, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fax: 732-745-2791 (fax)
3) Rally to Trenton and to Prosecutors office. Please join by taking time off if necessary.
4) Requesting those raising funds to democratic party candidates (e.,g Obama fund raisers by Sudhir Parikh ji) to make a cause for this.
5) Full page Ads in the media.
6) Seeking out various legal organizations such as SAALT (?) who fight for such social causes.
7) Reaching out to mainstream media, both statewide and local media to stand up.
8) Reach out to not just Indian Americans, but also other groups and mainstream.
Other media articles reversing their stand on Dharun Ravi case:
Some of the articles