• Virender Singh

Something rotten: On Sushant Singh Rajput death and the media mob{PDF}

SEPTEMBER 11, 2020

The death of Sushant appears to have LAID BARE deeply ENTRENCHED social prejudices

A young talented Bollywood actor TRAGICALLY ended his life on June 14. But the events that followed Sushant Singh Rajput’s death by suicide have been even more shocking. On full display in the SUBSEQUENT weeks were some of the worst REGRESSIVE TRAITS of Indian society, from MISOGYNY, INVASION of privacy, VOYEURISTIC GLEE to a collective loss of clarity. ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE soon after his family accused the 34-year-old actor’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, 28, of FOUL play; the GRIEF-STRICKEN father said she had poisoned his son and filed an FIR charging Rhea with ‘ABETMENT to suicide’, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. A section of the media pounced on Rhea, terming her a GOLD DIGGER, and handed out instant verdicts in the newsroom. Anchors appeared to have little time to discuss India’s crossing four million COVID-19 cases, the 23.9% GDP contraction or the heightened border tensions. That Sushant HAILED from poll-bound Bihar added a political dimension impossible to ignore. The actor, reported to have been suffering from depression, lived in Mumbai, which is now ruled by ESTRANGED Bharatiya Janata Party partner, the Shiv Sena, together with the Nationalist Congress Party and Congress, and his DEMISE has become political fodder crossing limits of decency, drawing in other Bollywood celebrities.

Ground Zero | Sushant Singh Rajput: Life and death in the spotlight

Three top government agencies, the ENFORCEMENT Directorate, the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Narcotics Control Bureau grilled Rhea for days. The NCB finally arrested her on September 8 linking her to a drugs case in Sushant’s death PROBE. Rhea has denied any wrong doing, telling the media that she didn’t speak after Sushant’s passing away out of grief and respect for him. Whether Rhea has COMMITTED a crime the law will decide, but as she and her family fight this battle, the spotlight is firmly on Indian society and its deeply entrenched PREJUDICES. Women’s rights activists have spoken up against the DEMONISATION of Rhea, and how gender, the clothes she wore, the undefined relationship she had with the actor, all played a role. What is perhaps more disturbing is that many women, far from EMPATHISING with a girl who lost her boyfriend in such circumstances, have been quick to pronounce Rhea guilty of any number of wrongdoings. That people could ERUPT with joy at her arrest on charges not directly related to the death is an indication that vague demands of justice for Sushant have played out as a blood sport. A mob that seems to find its voice through TV anchors and social media appears to have OVERRULED ideas of justice, fairness and even the law. It is important that India’s criminal justice system delivers justice in this case.

Meanings of Words/Phrases in bold

1. LAID BARE(p)-to reveal or uncover private information or feelings

2. ENTRENCHED(adj)-(of an attitude, habit, or belief) firmly established and difficult or unlikely to change; ingrained.

3. TRAGICALLY(adv)-event or situation is extremely sad, usually because it involves death or suffering

4. SUBSEQUENT(adj)-coming after or laterबाद का या बाद में होने या आने वाला

5. REGRESSIVE(adj)-becoming or making something less advanceपीछे की ओर जाने या ले जाने वाली; पश्‍चगामी, प्रतिगामी

6. TRAITS(n)-a quality that forms part of your character or personalityकिसी व्‍यक्ति के चरित्र या व्‍यक्तित्‍व की विशेषता

7. MISOGYNY(n)-hatred of, aversion to, or prejudice against women

8. INVASION(n)-the action of entering a place where you are not wanted and disturbing somebodyअवांछित रूप से किसी स्‍थान पर प्रवेश

9. VOYEURISTIC(n)-enjoy watching other people's suffering or problems

10. GLEE(n)-a feeling of happiness, usually because something good has happened to you or something bad has happened to somebody else

11. ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE (idiom)- there was suddenly a lot of noise and confusionएकाएक बहुत शोर-शराबा हो गया

12. FOUL(adj)-very bad or unpleasantबहुत ख़राब या अप्रिय

13. GRIEF-STRICKEN(adj)- overcome with deep or intense sorrow

14. ABETMENT(n)-the act of helping or encouraging someone to do something wrong or illegal

15. GOLD DIGGEr(n)-a woman who forms relationships with men purely to obtain money or gifts from them

16. HAILED(v)-to proclaim that somebody/something is very good or very special

17. ESTRANGED(adj)-no longer friendly or in contact with somebody who was close to youकिसी समय में रहे घनिष्‍ठ संबंध से अब विमुख

18. DEMISE(n)-the end or failure of something(किसी की) समाप्ति या विफलता

19. ENFORCEMENT(n)-the process of ensuring compliance with laws, regulations, rules, standards, and social norms

20. PROBE(v)-to ask questions in order to find out secret or hidden informationरहस्‍य या गुप्‍त बातें मालूम करने के लिए सवाल पूछना

21. COMMITTED(adj)-prepared to give a lot of your time and attention to something because you believe it is right or important संलग्‍न, प्रतिबद्घ

22. PREJUDICES(v)-to have a harmful effect on somebody/somethingकिसी व्‍यक्ति या वस्‍तु पर हानिकर प्रभाव होना

23. DEMONISATION(n)-the portrayal of something as wicked and threatening

24. EMPATHISING(v)-to engage in or feel empathy

25. ERUPT(v)-(used about violence, shouting, etc.) to start suddenly(हिंसा आदि का) एकाएक आरंभ हो जाना, भड़क उठना

26. OVERRULED(v)-to use your authority to change what somebody else has already decided or doneअपने अधिकार से किए जा चुके निर्णय या काम को बदल देना

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