Over the last few weeks, one has read time and over again by various know-it-all’s how Sushant Singh Rajput was fragile, insecure, weak, bipolar, depressed and finally that mental instability pushed him into hanging himself. A charge that quite clearly is false. This is murder. Subsequently, Mumbai Police decided to join the bandwagon by blaming the family that had presumably not said anything at the time of Sushant ’s death. That they are derailing the case by levelling black magic charges against accused Rhea Chakraborty and her family, which by the way has been vindicated by financial papers that mention thousands of rupees spent by her on ‘pujas’ and fees for tantriks/Bengali babas. Is it not understandable that the family kept quiet because it was impossible for them to come to terms with such a sudden, violent, irreparable loss at the time to collect their thoughts cohesively? That they chose to trust Mumbai Police to bring them justice, a trust that was broken so heartlessly by a force that chose to side with their masters rather than the aggrieved and the truth staring them so blatantly in the face?
And finally, we have the accused herself — Rhea Chakraborty. A woman who now claims that the family is persecuting her as they are desperate to lay claim to the insurance money in the event of death. That she has nothing of Sushant ’s that could be termed as material gain. That their purported love is all she is left with.
I mean, seriously? Who are the fools here?
Thankfully, the people of India have proved themselves not. The clamour only grows louder nationally and internationally that this murder needs to be solved. The culprits booked, whoever they are — political bigwigs who are running the state where the crime took place, or the jihadi Bollywood mafia where the victim was a rising star. And closure brought to the family and his fans.
But suddenly, yet again, there seems to be a concerted effort on social media to now turn the public mind towards this very trend once more. I see videos, articles pushing the agenda of suicide all over. And one of the most offensive was one that I read in ThePrint, by one Jyoti Yadav.
The piece goes on at length about how families in the “cow belt” are feudally parochial to a fault. How a son born in a family such as this is reared only as a money-mine for them. That, basically, he needs to only be a Shravan Kumar. He should have no mind or say in his own life. Simply follow family diktats.
While I do not negate these personal opinions, it is extremely insensitive to generalise them. Such families are all over the country, not just the so-called cow belt. And one does not paint everyone with the same brush. All canvasses are unique and have their own picture.
And in my opinion, devotion to one’s parents, like in the case of Shravan Kumar in our culture, is a trait to be proud of. It amazes me that one can so easily use it in ridicule, clearly showing a mindset foreign to Indianness.
This family was certainly different. From what one gathers, four daughters and a young son left motherless. A simple, salaried father who went on to educate his children in the best institutions, arrange marriages and continued to put his grief aside and be the bread-winner and pillar of strength for his family.
Could not have been easy.
The son gets into a prestigious engineering institute on merit. The ideal dream of a traditional father! And then suddenly, he decides to up and quit the course to pursue acting. A seemingly disastrous move to a farcical world that did not ensure a steady income. And yet, the sisters and father went on to encourage him to follow his dream.
Could not have been easy.
He goes on to follow his chosen path and fulfil every wish. Be it going to NASA, Disney World, his expensive cars, buying a telescope to follow the stars where he probably envisioned his beloved mother amongst them. Lives in without marriage with his girlfriend of seven years and eventually splits up with her defying all traditional cow belt norms and rules. The same girl, Ankita Lokhande, continues to have a cordial relationship with the family while having none with the ex. And the family acknowledges that with love and respect. This from a “toxic” family who presumably wanted a Shravan Kumar?
Could not have been easy.
This family stepped back in a dignified manner when the new relationship of their Sushant with Rhea Chakraborty changed the son and brother’s attitude for reasons yet in the process of being proved. Not for them the hunger of his money or luxury. While Rhea started using his credit card within a week of meeting him for parties and personal needs, there is no news yet of an entry that shows money diverted to his family. The father continues to live in a self-built home in Patna, in a simple and retired way. The sisters all happy in their own lives. No one had ever seen them in public together. No one clamouring for his time or riches, yet trying to help the brother discreetly whenever they felt it was needed. For fear of rejection and abuse by Rhea.
Could not have been easy.
While talking of social justice, one should not get carried away overboard with faux feminism. This demand for justice involves one woman for the moment, it is not anti-women in general. Archetype mothers-in-law, demanding families, politics within homes are a picture of the world all over. Not just India. We should know better — an ambitious Italian mother with blind love for her unsuccessful Shravan Kumar dimwit son is still ruling over a political party in our country today.
Having said that, I wonder whose brief it is that Ms Yadav is carrying? That of a woman who suddenly left her partner all alone taking with her his medical reports, jewellery, cash, his laptop when he was allegedly ill and on heavy medication? A woman who blocked his calls for almost a week before his death? A woman who fleeced him for all he was worth and played mind games enough to turn him against his own family? A woman whose financial dealings involving Sushant ’s money is a matter of investigation by the Enforcement Directorate? Whose family has been known to party in the man’s house into the wee hours while the sponsor slept, doped by psychotropic drugs administered by her and her cronies? A woman so suspect that a select SIT team of the CBI has been called in to unravel the web of deceit that she has woven for so long, so well?
As Sonal Mansingh so succinctly put it in a TV debate some days ago in the context of Sushant, that to abandon, manipulate and destroy a man you purportedly loved is “unimaginably cruel.”
Or is Ms Yadav part of the PR team that the cabal in Bollywood frequently favours and hires at exorbitant rates to further their agenda in the media? That seeks to protect themselves, their political hangers-on and their lackeys from any harm at any cost? What they forget though, is that Rhea who reminds one so much of Indrani Mukherjee — a woman who killed her own child in the greed for money and power — is destined to go the same way as her. And so will her handlers — whoever they are.
As a woman, it is reprehensible that she chose to attack the grief-stricken father and sisters of Sushant in the garb of social justice. As a woman, she should have been balanced enough to not promote another who is accused of such major wrongdoing. A talented, brilliant, sensitive young man has been violently murdered; his family bereaved. Even if one felt a certain way, journalistic commentary is not above compassionate humanity. Let the truth emerge and then let one hold forth on what finally is right or wrong.
As a woman, as a sister, as a mother, I cannot even begin to imagine what the Singhs are going through. And I fear God enough to not accuse where I know nothing. You have your life ahead of you, Ms Yadav, be careful of the fingers you point at the helpless hearts that are hurting. Because in the law of the Universe, what goes around, comes around.