The Indian media is behaving very irresponsibly in the suicide case of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The extensive debates on news channels have often sensationalised the case and invited public discourse into a highly sensitive investigation.
From global hashtags to daily debates with all kinds of experts, the news media has exploited the death of Sushant Singh Rajput for TRP ratings, inadvertently creating a court of justice grounded in public opinion.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with demanding justice and truth as journalists, it is not ethical to be sensationalising the tragic death of a public figure for increased engagement.
Playing at the sentiments of the aggrieved in the wake of the loss of a beloved figure is not only exploitative, but also downright dystopian.
Also in Rhea Chakraborty, the girlfriend of late Rajput, the media and India has found the perfect villain to focus all its energies on, so that real issues of mental health, toxic workplaces and unfair systems can, once again, be ignored until the next incident.
From accessing WhatsApp chats, tracking her every move, and having national debates over her ‘character’, the Indian media revealed the nature of its sexism when it quickly broadcasted Instagram screenshots of the actress in bathing suits alongside ‘expert’ men analysing the nature of her relationship with her boyfriend.
Some of the journalists have accused ‘women like her’ of being toxic figures, of controlling the lives of their boyfriends, of using them for social and industry clout. With each passing the standard of Indian media is going low.
The case has now been taken over by the CBI and they should be allowed to freely investigate without being disturbed by the media.