Thursday, April 29, 2010

Anand Jon vs Joseph Jeyapaul

Both Anand Jon and Joseph Jeyapaul are christians who used their respective professions to gain access to minors and sexually abuse them. Anand Jon is a fashion designer and Joseph Jeyapaul a catholic priest. Charges, trial, conviction of Anand Jon and travails of Anand Jon's family regularly made it to front page, national and international sections. Below are a few links:

Joseph Jeyapaul's crime came to light in a different context - catholic priests have been involved in child abuse scandal at a global scale and the catholic church was in deep crisis. Joseph Jeyapaul's crime would have brought the same kind of attention on the church in India. It would have seriously affected church's agenda in India. So, it found a mention in Tamilnadu section where few would bother to check for it. Thanks to an alert reader for pointing it out or the news item could have so easily been missed.

There is another Tamilian catholic blighter (David?) who was caught in the paedophilia ring. I dont know if chindu reported it but my guess is, if it did, it will take some effort to find it without some google skills. What about Vijay Godugunuru? Similar crimes to Anand Jon's but a very different treatment from chindu.

Even before the present catholic child abuse scandal, we have had our fair share of scandals with the church. We heard of Sister Abhaya's case. And the case of mysterious missing girls from the catholic Divine Retreat Center in Kerala. The book "Amen" by Sister Jesme gives a clear indication of the extent of corruption and sexual abuse. The Indian angle to the catholic child abuse should have made news headlines and called for investigative journalism.  But chindu has shown a good deal of devotion in protecting church's interests in India.

To get a real sense of the contrast, look at the way the media hounded Swami Nityananda. Strictly speaking, it was a private affair between two consenting adults with no crime involved. By entering into his private space, the media was at fault for invading his privacy. But then he is a hindu and a fit candidate to be pronounced guilty by media trial. On the other hand, the catholic priests are super secular and so they are beyond media scrutiny. So, even when the foreign journalists expose them, our media people quietly ignore it.


Rohith said...

is it incompetence? or really a conspiracy? it is hard to believe that such a massive conspiracy is going on.

My father has another category. He calls it "blame the heavy vehicle syndrome". Whenever there is an accident on the road, we Indians always start blaming the driver of heavy vehicle without bothering much to check whose fault is it.

so which category does this "pseudo secularism" comes under?

Name said...

Anand Jon made it to the front page for the same reason this news made it to the front page
Is it because she is a Christian too?
Your mistake is in assuming that every single column story that appears packs a hidden agenda.

Raj said...

nice one ! hindus will be forever on the backfoot because our religion is de-linked with the politics and power which the abrahamic religions possess and thus able to dictate.

Anonymous said...

Whether it is every single column-full or not, Chindu does carry an agenda, overt and covert and it is very glaringly visible.

Sunil Thomas said...

I offer this letter regarding an issue I find most troubling.

This evening, I received a telephone call inviting me to a fundraiser for Anand Jon Alexander by a group of Malayalees, to be held in Edison, N.J.

For those that don’t know about Mr. Alexander, he is a 36 year old clothing designer, whose designs have been praised by numerous Hollywood celebrities, featured on America’s Next Top Model, and featured by such retailers as Bergdorf Goodman. Jeans that were designed by Mr. Alexander sold for upwards of $700.00. Clearly, he is a talented Malayalee American, who had a bright future in the fashion world.

However, he was arrested in 2007 in Beverly Hills, California on allegations of molesting and raping young women. According to records, he allegedly drugged, molested, and raped these young girls with the promise of stardom and careers as models.

On November 13, 2008, Alexander was convicted of 16 counts of sexual abuse, including forcible rape of seven women and girls that were aged 14 to 21. The conviction also included production and possession of child pornography. He has also been convicted for lewd conduct upon a minor.

In August 2009, Mr. Alexander was sentenced, to 59 years to life, in prison. He also faces charges in New York, Texas, and Massachusetts on similar charges.

I don’t know this individual personally, and nothing would make me happier than to see a fellow Malayalee reaching fame and success. We are all looking for heroes and personalities within our own community. However, I remain troubled that Malayalees are quick to offer aid to such a heinous individual and tout him as a native hero.

The person that offered me an invitation to this fundraiser dinner for Mr. Alexander’s legal fund, to appeal his conviction, had no knowledge about the magnitude of his conviction and pending charges in three other states. She assured me that Mr. Alexander is innocent of these charges and that his conviction was based solely on racism and eager young women seeking fame and fortune.

I have lived in the United States for 40 years; I know that racism does exist in certain pockets of American society. However, I have read numerous articles and news reports from American, as well as Indian, journalists that covered this trial. I find no racism in this case.

Mr. Alexander is an intelligent, attractive, and successful business man and there was no need to resort to drugs and rape for the companionship of women, if he so desired.

Reports indicate that Mr. Alexander has spent all of his resources on his trial defense. Even if money was a motive, the victims now have no civil cause of action to recover from Mr. Alexander. Further, being the victim of rape is no ladder to fame.

This event raises similarities between Afro-American support for fallen black leaders, such as O.J. Simpson, Marion Barry, and Kwame Kilpatrick. This form of hero-worship has brought forth disdain and ridicule.

I urge and dissuade my fellow Malayalees from raising funds for this pseudo-hero. At the end of the day, we have to respect the rule of law. He was convicted and sentenced after a full jury trial. Yes, the facts are unpleasant to stomach for many in our community.

I offer my prayers to Mr. Alexander’s family and the families of the victims. There are so many worthwhile ventures and charities that would benefit from a fundraiser, but this surely is not one.