Political drama and media circus over a tragedy

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)

14 Replies to “Political drama and media circus over a tragedy”

  1. This is so well-written Ma’am and I am so happy to see that finally someone is talking about this issue. How a star’s tragic demise is being used by everyone as an opportunity to gain some kind of mileage. It’s sad and the more heartbreaking thing is to realise this is the media of our country, this is the kind of content they share and spread across millions. It’s sad to see how everyone has just turned blind and how toxic the whole environment has been made due to the media trials and judgements.

    1. Thanks Aditi. Your anguish is genuine. It is indeed sad and unfortunate the way media, both electronic and social media, has behaved maligning and tarnishing image of many.

  2. Rama you’re every word is truthful. Media circus is really shameful. Dirty politics on death of a young boy ??? Ahhh !!!!

  3. Rama you have rightly put ‘ With so much of grilling by the media whose goose is being grilled on SSR murder mystery .
    The real hot issues of the day have taken a back seat. So disgusting is the utter failure of media to play some positive role in uplifting the morale of the shattered Indians
    Nation really wants to know when this Media Circus will end

    1. Thanks Mrs Chopra for not just reading but posting your comments .
      Absolutely, media glare on the issue has pushed many critical issues into the background. And the politics behind the media frenzy cannot be denied .

  4. Very well written. It shows the ugly side of media. All the channels r after one news SSR & his girl friend to increase their TRPs . There many relevant topics such as GDP , Covid , indo China conflict , farmers bill are worth discussion . But who is to blame Media or ppl who cater to such news . Anyways have stopped watching tv I will rather watch some movie or peace of mind channel.

    1. Thanks Romilla. I agree it is better to watch a movie or Peace of Mind channel rather than the news channels that get on your nerves. We can’t allow our sanity to be robbed by noisy news anchors .

  5. well concluded, ma’am…!!
    In my opinion , It’s not completely the fault of media , it is showing what billions of us wants to see. TRP is increasing because we are showing “over-interest ” in these issues and avoiding the real happenings . People will blindly believe on whatever the Prime Minister has to say in his Man ki baat rather than analysing the discussions of the experts on national news channels ( RSTV ,LSTV).

    1. Simran, I am really impressed by your mature take on the subject. It is one feeding on the other – in economic parlance you could describe it as vicious circle . And then the politics behind the drama cannot be dismissed which makes sure that the issue remains in public domain.

  6. Sharp observation Ma’am!!!…It is indeed very sad that how the death of a young talented actor has become a media circus.

    1. Tanushree, the way the events have unfolded there is no scope of doubt now- vested interest to keep the issue in limelight.

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