DC Edit | Celebs must pay for their crimes

Popular Kannada actor Darshan Thoogudeepa’s alleged involvement in the murder of his fan Renukaswamy is most unfortunate, especially because of his sway over hundreds of thousands of youth in Karnataka. The modus operandi appears to have been lifted directly from a movie script and enacted in real life.

The 33-year-old pharmacist Renukaswamy, a fan of Darshan, had allegedly sent abusive messages to Pavithra on Instagram after she revealed her decade-old relationship with the actor. Though married to Vijayalakshmi in 2003, Darshan has been in a relationship with Pavithra. Angry with Renukaswamy’s messages to his partner, Darshan allegedly hired goons to abduct him to a shed, where the actor and his aides thrashed his fan, who died in the process.

Murder is a heinous crime, which is a punishable offence entailing death sentence or life imprisonment for the perpetrator. However, if the accused is a celebrity, the court must award exemplary punishment as his behaviour inspires his fans to follow a bad precedent.

Darshan had been mired in allegations of improper behaviour for more than a decade. In September 2011, his wife accused him of domestic violence and murder attempt. In 2011, he was accused of assaulting a waiter at a Mysuru hotel. In November 2023, Darshan was accused of setting up his dogs to attack his woman neighbour over a small dispute. In January 2023, the forest department seized four bar-headed geese, which is a protected wild animal under the Wildlife Protection Act.

If the enforcement agencies in the state had acted against him for his violation of law at the first instance, an innocent life would not have been lost. However, celebrities in India always get special treatment.

They could violate wildlife laws, run their vehicles over people, or shoot someone from point blank range and get away with minimum to no punishment — giving a wrong definition to heroism. It is high time that the society, cops and judiciary collectively redefine heroism to be something that does good to society and is not mere machismo.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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