From #Justice for SSR to #Justice for Rhea , a whole new ball game !


BY KARNIKA BEHL

14th june , 2020. It was a Sunday afternoon and I was cozying up in my blanket when my father called me on my phone. Irritated and groggy , I answered the call. He told me , “ Sushant Singh , that actor from Chhichore has committed suicide , switch on the TV and watch the news” . I said okay and kept the phone and went back to sleep. I thought it was probably another rumor. Media has the tendency to spread hoax news. An hour later when I woke up from my afternoon nap and checked my phone , I realized it wasn’t a rumor afterall . It was true , SSR was no more. I switched on the news and was shocked beyond words. A young actor with a huge fan following and a bright future , was no more ? 

As fans took to social media , everyone from Karan Johar to Salman Khan , the entire Bollywood industry was accused of mentally harassing the talented actor because he was an outsider and had made it on his own. As celebrities maintained their distance from the controversy surrounding his death , one name that was suddenly grabbing headlines was Rhea Chakraborty. 

I remembered Rhea as the 14 year old girl who had participated in the Mtv Reality show Teen Diva. She went on to VJ for Mtv eventually joining the film industry. Her movies garnered a lukewarm response at the box office and she couldn’t make it big. A year ago , rumor mills were abuzz with the news that Sushant and Rhea were a couple and had been spotted together many times. But with Rhea’s name being dragged in the case , it kept getting murkier every single day. 

Many stories came up, many names were taken and the next thing we know is that Rhea is accused of being involved in his murder. She had reportedly duped him of 15 crores and had owned several businesses with him. SSR’s family stated that Rhea would do ‘black magic’ on him and she made him cut all ties with his family. While the Mumbai police kept lazing around with the investigation and didn’t come up with anything concrete , SSR’s family and fans demanded a CBI inquiry. 

Once the CBI investigations started , stories of Drugs surfaced and after digging up more details , evidence in the form of Whatsapp messages indicated that Rhea and her brother were in touch with drug peddlers. Initially Rhea denied all the allegations against her but after hours and days of constant grilling and questioning by the NCB , Rhea finally accepted that she was involved in procuring drugs , but it was for SSR. She went on to call him a drug addict and that she ‘may have smoked a joint’. It’s really hard to see a dead person’s image being tarnished in such a brutal way. Suddenly the case was no more about Sushant’s suicide/murder. It took a different turn and the CBI along with the NCB was on a lookout for various names that were associated with Rhea and her brother Showik. 

Eventually Rhea’s brother was arrested after he confessed to having bought drugs on the instructions of his sister. After his revelation, Rhea was finally arrested on September 8th. With Rhea’s arrest , (#)justiceforrhea started trending. But what about Sushant ? What about his family ? Suddenly everything has become about his ex girlfriend. Narrowing down the case into selectively criminalising an ex-partner is unethical. The SSR case needs to be investigated from all angles but the media is just focusing on the alleged role of Rhea Chakraborty.

The actual agenda is out of the picture and news channels are just cashing in on all the masala that this case has to offer. Soon people will move on to Virushka’s (moniker for Anushka and Virat Kohli) baby or Kareena and Saif’s baby or some other masala news that the news channels will be offering. 

But the real question lies , Will SSR get justice ? We have to wait and watch. 

Categories: Culture and Society

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