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The misdirected backlash against Rhea Chakrobarty says a lot about us as a nation. It reveals the deep rooted misogyny in the collective conscience of our people. The internet drama, blatant trolling following SSR’s suicide shows people passing verdict without a fair trial on an online forum, where the “accused” in question gets no say. This prejudice against a single woman, reinforcing baseless stereotypes against her ethnicity takes the spotlight from the real issue of the hour- Mental Health.

The way the public is dealing with the suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput says a lot about us as a society. We, it seems, still don’t seem to understand what depression or suicide mean. When the conversation should’ve been about mental health and the stress of the spotlight, it first turned to nepotism and then it turned to the wicked witch of the East. 

He died nearly three months ago, and we’re still talking (this article itself being a case in point). Or rather, speculating. The internet is rife with accusations, speculations, comments and personal digs. His death has become an internet drama. The Indian population is practically buzzing with excitement and everyone wants justice with a capital J. 

It’s sad to see how his life and death have become a cheap circus ripe to be consumed by the Indian masses. There has been nothing private about his death, with pictures of his corpse making rounds on social media, to the colour of his noose being reported upon. Everyone in his life has made public statements about his personal life, from his parents to his drivers. And even people who knew nothing about him or his personal life thought it appropriate to comment and speculate about his death on social media and even on national television. 

This article, however, is not about him, but her. The Bengali witch, the criminal mastermind behind Sushant’s suicide: Rhea Chakrobarty, Indian media’s favourite gold digger, who also happens to be adept at psychological warfare. However, she is not completely blame free either, as in trying to defend herself, she has played an equal part in making a mockery of Sushant’s life. 

 Mainstream media has enthusiastically covered all the ways Sushant Singh Rajput could’ve been murdered, despite several police reports and autopsy reports clearly declaring it to be a suicide, from kaala jaadu, to a joint conspiracy by the entire Bollywood industry to get rid of one man threatening their status quo. 

But when suicide could not be refuted on any grounds, we turned to abetment of suicide, a favourite among “investigations” of Indian celebrity suicides. Because celebrities can’t possibly be depressed enough to take their own lives. Because what needs to be talked about is not the immense psychological pressure of being a celebrity, but all the gold diggers who are out there to kill the said celebrity. 

Kangana Ranaut in her heart-touching video claims that by saying that SSR was suffering from a mental disorder, people are trying to say that he was “mentally weak” and well, she will not stand for that, she refuses to believe that a person who’s been in so many magnificent films could’ve possibly been depressed. As if depression is an ailment that only affects people who’ve never had the good fortune of being in Bollywood blockbusters. But while she refuses to believe that he had been “mentally weak” enough to take his own life, she has no problem into buying into the narrative that he had been just weak enough to be coerced into suicide

 Shobaa De, who came out with an absolutely scathing opinion piece for NDTV, where she carefully dissects Rhea’s “polished, glitch-free prime time performance.”  The irony is not lost on anyone that if the situation had been reversed, had Rhea’s statement not been well rehearsed, well thought out, her fumbling would’ve become an admission of guilt; her tears- a ploy for sympathy; and god forbid if she misspoke, it would’ve been a signed confession. 

Source: NDTV

Even Sushant’s IPS Brother-in-law had some interesting, to say the least, observations to make. In his lengthy blog post he talks about Barkha Dutt’s interview with Sushant Singh Rajput’s therapist. And claims, quite knowledgeably, that Bipolar Disorder cannot be diagnosed in a couple of months, while diagnosing Rhea with Antisocial Personality Disorder in the same breath. But of course, an IPS officer is a higher authority on mental health than an actual certified psychiatrist. 

This narrative, however, is not new. The narrative of the conniving, manipulative vixen who entraps rich men with her charms, blinds them, and steals them away from their friends, families, and fans, is a tale as old as time. This witch hunt is not unique to Rhea Chakrobarty but instances like these have been peppered throughout history. Rhea Chakrobarty killed Sushant Singh Rajput the same way Yoko Ono broke up the Beatles, the same way Courtney Love pushed Kurt Cobain to take drugs and eventually commit suicide.  

Source: the free press journal

False narratives make grieving people feel better about their loss, pointing fingers and blaming is a coping mechanism. And while this behaviour is understandable for families that are suffering from a very personal loss, and maybe they even deserve to have all their doubts put to rest, it is grossly unfair for an entire nation to turn on a single person and rob them of their own chance to grieve in peace. It is unfair that she has to stand trial not only in court, but also face trial by the media. 

Nidhi is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Rutba Iqbal

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.

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Written by Nidhi

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