I was watching prime-time news on a premium news channel. The mystery surrounding Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide was being hotly debated. To seek respite from the sordid drama I switched to another channel to find Rhea Chakraborty, SSR’s girl friend being grilled by an anchor. In disgust, I moved to another channel to see her facing a barrage of questions from another interviewer. Two rival channels airing the interview with the same female at the same time!
Have we gone crazy? Have we lost all sense of proportion? It has been three months, but the frenzy on prime time TV continues unabated. If last week Rhea was all over the electronic media, now media glare is on Kangana Ranaut. The bottom line is the media circus over the demise of Sushant Singh is showing no signs of ebbing. Of course, SSR’s suicide was shocking; indeed tragic and unfortunate for a young talented actor to lose his life, but strange his death has become the hottest topic of discussion in India today.
Ever since the suicide by the young actor, many controversies and conspiracy theories have been going around. Sushant’s death triggered ‘inside-outside’ debate championed by our ‘bold and beautiful’ Kangana Ranaut. His death brought nepotism in Bollywood to the forefront. Bigwigs of the film industry; influential directors and producers were named and shamed for side-lining a talented actor.
Twist in the tale came when Sushant’s family in Bihar filed a complaint against his girl friend. The focus quickly turned on Rhea. All fingers began to be pointed towards her for ruining Sushant’s life and pushing him to brink. The TRP hungry news channels and emotionally charged social media on witch hunt made Rhea the villain. She became a wicked woman on the basis of conjecture, rumour and gossip. Is a person not supposed to be innocent until proven guilty? But the fact is Rhea has been found guilty, declared a convict in the court of media which has assumed the role of investing agency and jury rolled in one.
Fight for justice is fine, but playing judge, sensationalizing an unfortunate incident ad nauseam is unethical and unfair. When will sanity prevail? When will the television channels stop cashing on the tragedy? The nation wants to know when the media circus will end. With so much grilling by the media whose goose is being grilled? Is there something deeper to the drama?
Politics behind is now out in the open. With Rhea being pursued by three central agencies CBI, NCB and Enforcement directorate and finally arrested by Narcotic Control Bureau, there is definitely more to it. Now Kangana is a new victim in the political battle. The haste with which the BMC’s carried out demolition drive of unauthorized constructions at the actor’s bungalow is a clear evidence of dirty politics. In forth coming Bihar election ‘Justice for Sushant’ has been made into a poll issue. No wonder controversy surrounding Sushant’s death refuses to die.
Non-stop coverage of Susant Singh’s tragic demise and relentless mudslinging over the past three months continues sidelining many crucial issues. The way the controversy has overshadowed all other issues, it appears the only concern of the billion plus is who killed Sushant. Corona cases have crossed 4.7 million; condition of economy is precarious, but the real issues have subsumed into SSR saga.
(Published in Momspresso on 11 September, 2020)