Anand Jon case: Social verdict or Racial Verdict!
The Anand Jon case seems to possess a touch of bias against the brown skinned fashion designer. Even though the case involved accusations of rape and minor abuse, the resultant sentence of 59 years in jail seems to be a bit harsh.
THE CASE of the Indian born US designer Anand Jon, who was sentenced to spend 59 years of his life in jail by a California Court, has raised many eyebrows over the manner in which the verdict was delivered in that country.
The 35 year-old fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander, gained popularity early in this decade when his designs were reportedly worn by celebrities like Paris Hilton and Mary J. Blige. In November 2007, he was accused of fourteen sex crimes, including forcible rape and sexual battery, in the trial against him.
The Los Angeles court had accused him of preying on a string of girls and women aged between 14 and 21 over a six-year period between 2002 and 2007. Most of the designer's victims were found to be the aspiring models lured into meetings with him and forced into sex as per the allegations.
But, the question that crops up in many minds is that the US and the western countries have been known for its liberal culture as far as gender and sex is concerned and it hasn't been a matter of controversy as huge as Anand Jon's case.
Pre-marital sex or relationships are treated as a casual component of the society unlike India where people still find these as a source of hidden gossip or even a taboo. People can lock their lips publicly in these countries and be respected and well acknowledged celebrities can announce their pre-marriage pregnancy officially.
Jon's case received all negative attention because it was coined as sexual abuse of minors and also a rape case. Also, without ignoring the fact of heinous nature of a rape or a forced sex, it is quite apparent that the long period of punishment imposed on Anand Jon for guilt on some 14 sexual offences which were brought to notice much later after they reportedly occurred, has some tinge of racial bias.
Despite a successful lie detector examination, according to a weekly magazine, his brown origin and his fame despite being a non-American stood as a barrier to fetch him right justice. The level of discrimination increased to a height where he was compelled to fire his lawyers and fight his own case but all in vain.
Anand Jon became a victim of one of the largest acts of the interference by a prosecutor in the history of the country. His last words after the verdict to the judge said "If you are going to put me away, do it for the right reasons. Judge, this is my life here."
This clearly indicates that the judiciary could have played a fairer role for an Indian too.