n the greed of earning TRP and fame, Indian media looked most profane on Sushant Singh Rajput’s death saga. They all created their imaginary scripts by hurling non-stop rants. They tried to project, Mumbai police most incompetent, they attacked Maharashtra CM and his Son who is also a minister in his father’s cabinet for his alleged presence is some imaginary party hosted by Sushant Singh Rajput. And above all Rhea Chakraborty, a girlfriend of Sushant Singh was exhibited as a blood-sucking witch. These are the media houses that pretended to be Sherlock homes, top cops, judges, judiciary, and authority. There is no control over their maniac broadcasting.
Media first started its attacks with the topic of nepotism in Bollywood, and their flag bearer was an actress called Kangana Ranaut. In her 13 years in the industry, she has done various films, and the first break was given to her by director Mahesh Bhatt whom she later on accused as abuser and pervert. Despite being a success story in Bollywood, she has gone random on attacking every successful person in the industry. A few years back in an interview with Rahul Kanwal on AajTak News Channel, she confessed that she loves men who are obese, abusive, and groping. Rahul expressed his shock about her choices, to which she smiled and ignored answering. Such women are called sadists; this provokes a new public reaction. People were questioning her sanity, virtuousness, and motives; why would someone like an abusive man? What was wrong with Kangana that she would say this? Maybe it’s something to do with her hidden fantasies? Perhaps that is the reason the men in her life, be it, producer, director, or co-actor were abusive to her? If, she likes abusive men, then why foul cry?
Well, let me come back to my main topic, from nepotism to Bollywood mafias, then the insiders and outsiders of the film industry the debates went non-stop. All of a sudden one fine morning, Sushant Singh Rajput’s father wakes up and files an FIR against actor Rhea Chakraborty for the abetment of suicide. Lawyer of Sushant’s father explains why the FIR was lodged after a month; the news of FIR goes widespread. Immediately, the media and social media change its narrative on Sushant’s death. Interestingly, nepotism, Bollywood mafia, opportunities in films, the insider-outsider debate takes a pause, and entire focus grasps to CBI probe. The accusations and questions prompted great pushback – Police, state government, girlfriend, her lawyer, and chartered accountant everyone’s integrity came under a question mark because these media houses assume, they have right to attack all those who don’t suit their agenda.
Much of the coverage, especially on TV, was speculative, sensationalized, and irresponsible. Whoever has peddled his pictures of dead body and conspiracy theories have done significant damage to not only Sushant Singh Rajput but also all his loved ones. It seems Social Media hasn’t learned its lessons from the death of Rishi Kapoor where even his last moments in a hospital were spread without any hesitation. In the absence of common sense and sensitivity, social media will end up becoming the parallel image of mainstream media.
Now, for Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, the coverage went overboard, but there was no decent discussion as if there were no news or serious issues in India or around the world to highlight. Some media outlets reacted to the actor’s psychiatrist, giving private details of his personal life and treatment to the viewers. Many of those who seek help from mental health councillors worry justifiably about confidentiality and the sanctity of the conversations they have with their psychiatrists. But the damage was already done. This coverage sowed the seeds of doubt in the minds of many people, about the confidential nature of doctor-patient communication. This repeated coverage gave a sense of uncertainty about the Mumbai police. To a greater extent, they were trying to project the Mumbai police as the most worthless entity. This is very cruel of the media houses, celebrities, and actors those who follow certain political ideologies and the political party they divided people by creating fear and fear is the most saleable factor in today’s time. They went on giving too many details on the suicide methods. They brazenly violated all the rules and code of conduct. There is evidence to show that going into a lot of gratuitous detail about how a person ended their life can induce imitational behaviour in viewers who may be at risk. This is called initiating or toxicity effect. Trust me all those who were already mentally disturbed got imbalanced after the repeat telecast of his suicide. Suicide is a complex event and is often the outcome of different causes, including mental illness. What explanation can there be for these catastrophic intensifications? The answers are that the media has a significant impact on our lives. How suicide is reported has a definite influence in promoting or reducing suicide rates and attempts. Unfortunately, in recent days journalistic ethics have taken quite a hit, as reportage of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death becomes increasingly frenzied.
— QueenBee (@VaidehiTaman) August 2, 2020
We’ve seen sting operations conducted, and allegations and counter-allegations being hurled, even as the police make headlines over their efforts to conduct an investigation. All this and more has been devoured by curious viewers — creating a feedback loop of sorts. Increasingly unrealistic coverages, the tipping point for many was an on-air ‘post mortem’ being conducted on a dummy. Footage of the mannequin with a white cloth wrapped around its neck that has gone viral. Over the years even social media has emerged as a corrective to the pathetic journalism of the mainstream media; however, the fact that the photos of Sushant’s body were gleefully circulated across social media proves that social media is fast becoming another mainstream media. Through their coverage of Sushant’s untimely demise, the mainstream media yet again discovered new lows of journalism. The unfortunate passing away of Sushant Singh Rajput has brought out the worst of Indian mainstream media. Their coverage was on expected lines – insensitive and crass. What if tomorrow their propaganda journalism gets a befitting reply? Will they be able to hide their faces? Will, they ever are trusted again?
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