It’s often assumed that what the media shows the people, is what the people consume. On August 26th, a homeless woman in Hassan, Karnataka was raped and murdered on the side of the road. The events were shockingly recorded on the CCTV camera.
While an investigation was launched into the case, the culprit hasn’t yet been found. Moreover, the conversation in the public or the media has been less, almost non-existent.
The case of Hassan’s homeless woman raped and subject to necrophilia
Usually, incidents reach the world, and consequently the media once they attain virality. The public conversation and conversations in the public sphere are driven by the virality of news and how many people know about a particular case or a victim.
On August 26th (Wednesday) morning, at 12:03 AM, a man in a white t-shirt and jeans in the CCTV footage approached homeless people sleeping on a sidewalk. Holding a cement rock he drops it onto the woman’s head. Following the incident, he runs away. The woman in the next 35 minutes is seen struggling with a head injury. The other homeless person leaves the place, and at 12:58 the same man returns and kills the woman with the cement rock. Following which he proceeds to rape her dead body.
The incident occurred on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru road, and the CCTV belonged to the co-operative bank. The gory CCTV footage has been carried by a few local media channels in Karnataka. While the accused has not been identified an investigation is underway and teams have been formed to locate him, The News Minute reported.
How the public sphere has reacted to the case
National media have only now begun to cover the event. Many netizens have been appealing to citizens in Karnataka, as to why this piece of news has missed the public this time. Despite carrying so many stories of injustice, the media still misses out on many that count, that matter.
On one hand, the news of a homeless woman, a person essentially nobody knows or will hear about when something like this happens, is a victim that we’ll never see. In such cases, it’s a victim who barely existed on the records for anybody to take notice, much less the media. Perhaps, if the incident wasn’t captured on CCTV it would have gone unreported entirely. Victims on the periphery, are only counted, not well-remembered.
With limited public conversation and only some local media carrying the story, even for national media to pick it up eventually is a challenge. Where cases of violence, brutality, and rape are regular media fodder, perhaps the story being a ‘local’ one, plays as a factor here.
Are we too occupied with trends like Binod, is what some are asking right now on Twitter. Something we’re all guilty of indulging in. So how do we decide, which story is worth our time? Even if late, the story has begun getting some attention now, as we speak.