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Six months after Mumbai-based model Leena Kapoor accused international cricketing empire Asad Rauf of exploiting her with false promises of marriage, she has withdrawn her complaint, stating she has moved on in life. Kapoor's accusation hogged headlines at the time, insinuating that Rauf was a crafty and manipulative predator, using her for his own benefit. What transpired between the two, what was promised and reneged on, can only be speculated, but Kapoor is no longer pursuing the matter legally. I'm afraid it'll take a lot longer for Rauf to move on, recover and rebuild his reputation after such a serious charge like sexual exploitation against him. Even if the allegation is completely vindicated, the accusation alone has already caused irreparable damage. It's been a turbulent six months since then: citizens' outrage after the heinous gang rape in Delhi in December has forced the courts to amend existing rape laws, mete out harsher punishments and promise the public zero tolerance towards alleged sex offenders.
Not that there can ever be a good time for this, but there has never been a worse time in Indian history for any man to be falsely accused of sexual misconduct, when in reality, it could have been a relationship between two consenting adults that didn't work out. It's like Indian citizens have been in hibernation for decades and have suddenly woken up, transformed into sputtering angry beings, intolerant of just about everything, ready to fly into a rage at India Gate at the slightest provocation. The country is bubbling over with fury and in this atmosphere, there is no room for a nuanced debate on anything. Even though in another similar case, the Bombay High Court has ruled that sexual relationship with a woman on a false promise of marriage does not amount to rape. But perception is everything, and even a loose allegation like this is enough to shatter somebody's personal and professional life forever.
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