Rhea Chakraborty’s Interviews Have Invited Hate From Trolls… But Also Won Her a Few Supporters

Social Commentary

Rhea Chakraborty’s Interviews Have Invited Hate From Trolls… But Also Won Her a Few Supporters

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

The investigation into the death of Sushant Singh Rajput is underway by multiple agencies, and in the middle of the storm is Rhea Chakraborty, the deceased actor’s ex-girlfriend. She has been called a witch on TV, Bihar’s highest ranking cop has reminded her of her “aukaat”, her private chats on WhatsApp are flashing on national news channels, and journalists are stationed outside her house 24X7, even zooming into her apartment without consent and infringing on her personal life.

For over two months now, there has been a slanderous campaign against Rhea Chakraborty, orchestrated by sections of the media. Some have already declared her a murderer, hashtags like #ArrestRheaChakraborty are flashed on prime time every night, and she is hounded by trolls on social media, with the choicest misogynistic abuse directed towards her.

However, Rhea Chakraborty finally broke her silence through a series of interviews, and she did it with grace and dignity. Unlike all the people who have attacked her over the past two months.

As expected, the interviews kicked off a storm on social media as people got to hear from the “prime accused” for the first time, a person that has been hounded for months in a one-sided slander campaign. Her grace and resilience was lauded by social media.

Journalist Rana Ayyub stated that she was “amazed” at the lack of empathy for this girl who was emotionally fragile, and yet fighting a brave fight against our misogynistic media and society.

Ram Gopal Verma stated that this interview is the best thing Rhea has done, and that there’s nothing more dangerous than silence in today’s times. He also asked the media to focus on the pandemic and well as the economy instead of tracking Swiggy delivery boys outside Rhea’s building in the name of journalism.

Gurmehar Kaur recounted her own troubled times with the media, when she had been reduced to prime time entertainment at the age of 19. “My heart goes out to Rhea Chakraborty and her family,” she tweeted.

“India hates its women, especially younger ones who dare to speak their truth,” said writer Sucharita Tyagi.

After the interviews, #JusticeForRhea started trending on Twitter. The difficulty that she and her family had faced, both physically and emotionally, appealed to the humanity of many on social media.

“How many of you would like that to happen to you? Being subjected to such media scrutiny and public prejudice, if she turns out to be innocent, how should that be taken? What would the media and this society be called?” asked another user.

One aspect that stood out in each of the interviews was her love for Sushant, which she alluded to multiple times through various examples. It is quite evident she is hurting, having lost a loved one. She wants the truth out more than anyone else, for Sushant meant more to her during his life than he did to this overnight army that has assembled after his death. It is appalling that she should be bullied and judged upon screenshots of a chat by online trolls or sensationalist news anchors who don’t know either her or Sushant personally. What is entertainment and gossip for some, is an actual person’s life, and the insensitivity is criminal.

The media has done its job by shouting and getting the CBI involved. It is now time for them to patiently let the fishing be done by the experts, who know very well how to interrogate, collect evidence, and probe crimes. The country also has a pandemic and a recession to report about.