Usually hearing about Indians or Indian origin people doing well in western countries makes me feel a bit envious for so & so being able to live and enjoy their lives in say the UK, Canada or the US. When they do well, you are happy for them. Most of the stories are positive ones and it does give you an ethnically charged sense of pride. And for the ones in showzbiz as well – you know like finding about Frieda Pinto or that Indian guy in The Big Bang Theory or Kal Penn’s latest film or Russell Peters latest comedy special.
Dharun Ravi’s case is not one of the above. Dharun, a former Rutgers University student and resident of New Jersey, was convicted on Friday on all 15 charges he had faced for using a webcam to spy on his roommate having sex with another man, a verdict poised to broaden the definition of hate crimes in an era when laws have not kept up with evolving technology. In September 2010, a then 18 year old Dharun had used his webcam to stream a video of his roommate Tyler Clementi & an older man kiss briefly in the room, along with another student. He then sent out Twitter and text messages about them. Clementi posted online that he had asked the resident assistant for a new room after having learned about the first incident and then discovering that Ravi invited his Twitter followers to watch a second sexual encounter. Clementi wrote to a friend online that he was not really bothered by what Ravi had seen in the first, brief viewing – primarily due to its extreme brevity and accidental nature – but found Ravi’s intent to view the second rendezvous as “wildly inappropriate”.
On September 22 2010 Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson river. His body was found the next day by police. On April 20, 2011, a Middlesex County grand jury indicted Ravi on 15 counts, including bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, witness tampering, and evidence tampering. he witness tampering charges are based upon text messages Ravi sent to Wei, trying to get her not to contradict what he had told police. In December 2011, Ravi rejected a plea agreement in which he would not spend any time in jail and through which the Prosecutor’s office would assist him in fighting any potential deportation orders. Ravi is a citizen of India legally living in the United States. In rejecting the plea arrangement, Ravi’s lawyer stated: “Simple answer, simple principle…He’s innocent. He’s not guilty. That’s why he rejected the plea.”
A tentative sentencing date has been set for May 21 and as a result of his convictions he could be deported back to India. He plans to appeal the convictions.
What do you think about this, termed as cyber bullying and a hate crime? And think of Tyler and his family and what they had to go through.