Did Rhea Chakraborty Do it or Not : A Trial by Media in Sushant Singh Rajput’s Death Mystery

By Priyanshi Sharma in Editor's Pick 04/09/2020

Was it Rhea Chakraborty? Was it Nepotism or a mental health disorder? Was it the movie mafia or the goons of politics? A thousand questions and not enough answers. 

The sudden death of Actor Sushant Singh Rajput left the nation clutching at straws. Firstly, mental health disorder was deemed the real culprit. The social media poured over with support and awareness about mental health. “Reach out and talk to us” became the new mantra. The heartwarming aid almost became too overwhelming. Everyone and their uncles and aunts had an opinion about mental health.

Soon, just this reason was not enough. The next scapegoat became nepotism. Film stars, big and small, jumped the nepotism bandwagon to seek vengeance for SSR. The “Be kind” mantra was drowned by war cries of ruining star kids and their daddy-made careers. The irony was all too overbearing but not for too long.

Then came another wave of murder mystery. Was it his own girlfriend who plotted his murder? Was Sushant manipulated out of his money? Was there a big bad political agenda? Is Mumbai police covering up the trails of someone else’s elicit crime? Curiosities were piqued, petitions were filed, the Central Bureau of Investigation was involved and Covid-19 became the least of the nation’s worries. People were angry and they demanded heads on spikes. Who was on a mission to deliver those heads, you ask? Media, of course. The highly reputed and prestigious media of India who specializes in prime-time debates and knowing what honourable prime minister eats for breakfast. 

“Rhea Chakraborty did it! There was some black magic involved. She was after him for his money.”

The principle of presumption of innocence states that you are innocent until proven guilty but the principle of prime-time news states you are guilty if a debate panel run by a hypertensive hooligan deems you so. The law, the proceedings, investigation and CBI can all wait in the line. How dare they waste time in investigation! The gall to believe in upholding the truth and testimony. When the nation wants to know what happened, you better believe the news Anchor will deliver a conclusion faster than Domino’s will ever deliver your Margherita. 

Arguments will be thrown in pieces, evidences will be misconstrued, TRP will be the real queen and women in action will swarm across whichever news channel would give them time of the day. The nation’s heartbeat for whom everyone ferociously demanded justice would be called a drug addict on national television, privacy would become a joke, Sushant’s family would be dragged through seven hells all for a “national debate” to solve the murder mystery.

We might never know if it was Rhea Chakraboty, the big bad politician, nepotism, Bollywood mafia or the mental health disorder, but what we do know is that we have yet again failed Sushant even after his death. Forget justice, he isn’t even granted courteous respect or privacy. 

The ferocious trial by media that has had a history of disrupting justice and influencing investigation, continues to wreak havoc on every minute detail of what’s left of Sushant’s life just like the infamous Aarushi Talwar murder case. 

The unaccountable and inhumane actions of the fourth pillar of the world’s largest democracy, the Indian media, stands guilty of obstructing justice. It is time we hold this unceremonious trial by media liable for this atrocity or else we’d fail humanity once again. 


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