Parents fight ‘drunk’ tag on dead kids
Aniruddh Rawat, 21, had a passion for studies and his parents had the money to fund it. Yet, he couldn’t complete his graduation at Delhi University’s Delhi College of Arts and Commerce. Four months ago, he died in a car crash. The car he was in had ploughed onto the pavement and crashed against a tree near India Gate.
His close friend, Sneha Kapoor, 20, a graduation student of Amity International, Noida, who was sitting next to him, was also killed. The driver and a fourth person in the car, sitting in the passenger seat in the front, survived the crash.
The parents of Anirudhh and Sneha now say they will fight till the end the ‘spoilt brat’ image portrayed by the media of the two children.
“Journalists from both print and TV maligned them in death. They said Aniruddh and Sneha were drunk, and projected them as spoilt brats who deserved this fate. The fact is that they were not drunk,” said Anita Rawat, Aniruddh’s mother, tears welling up in her eyes.
Over four months after the accident, the families have received reports of the autopsies conducted on the bodies. The reports, they say, prove what they always knew. Neither Aniruddh nor Sneha were drunk.
The press, who had gone to town on the story of four “drunk” friends, high on a cocktail of speed and booze, had got it completely wrong.
“It was the driver of the car who was inebriated, not our children,” said Anita. “In any case, Aniruddh and Sneha were sitting on the back seat of the car begging the driver to slow down.”
Anuradha Bhattacharya, Sneha’s mother, said: “I have lost my child, and my only aim now is to set the record straight. Hindustan Times quoted Deputy Commissioner of Police Anand Mohan as saying all four were drunk. On what basis was this comment made?” Aniruddh and Sneha were modern kids but they were not spoilt, said Anuradha. “My daughter was just like any other girl. She was neither extravagant nor rash. Did she deserve to die this way? And did she deserve the lies that have been written or broadcast about her?”
Anuradha and Anita are now women on a mission. For them, getting back the lost dignity of their children is their priority. They believe the media has been unfair, and they are determined to take the issue of responsible behaviour to its logical end.