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Idolizing Kangana and Vilifying Rhea: Misogyny at its Best

Posted: September 14, 2020

Sushant Singh Rajput’s case has slowly revealed the misogynistic character of social media and a face of journalism that is far from ethical. Is this what women in the media deserve? 

The public has taken law into their hands and has become a massive investigative agency ever since an FIR was filed against Rhea Chakraborty in the Sushant Singh Rajput case.

The deceased actor’s case has been handed over to the CBI and the Narcotics department has also been involved in further investigation but people are no longer considering the official verdict and have taken it upon themselves to character assassinate and morally disregard a woman.

Painting women as “witches”

I don’t think there is any other form of harassment, torture or humiliation left for the Chakravartys to suffer, particularly Rhea Chakraborty.  The media (print and otherwise), journalists, prime time and other news channels barring only a few have headlines only along the lines of ‘ Rhea Chakravarty- a witch’. The media circus has left everyone wondering what really will happen to Rhea Chakravarty and her family.

Are all opinions credible?

The case has had its own share of twists and turns and an element of the unknown has made everybody a self-proclaimed expert in this case. However, it is disheartening seeing influential Bollywood stars like Kangana Ranaut hit an all-time low with her factually incorrect statements, accusations, blame-games and insensitivity towards every issue being discussed.

It is hard to say if there is any individual left in Bollywood and otherwise that has not been directly or indirectly attacked by Kangana for having an opinion against hers. Once upon a time, the actress spoke against nepotism and issues of patriarchy in the society and the problematic culture in Bollywood.

However, recently she has been completely absorbed by the very same things she had once claimed to detest. The narrow view of feminism that Kangana carried has now shed, revealing her internalized misogyny. I fear the worst is yet to come. One of Kanganas tweet on July 29, 2020 read:

“Sure Rhea is a gold digger but Sushant was her only source of income, after his murder she rushed to meet Akhtars, why? Does she have valid reason to kill shushant? Or did the mafia use her? Is suicide gang making her the scapegoat now? #justiceforSushantSinghRajput”

There are many such tweets, interviews and posts which Kangana and her team have shared on social media platforms. These involved either name-calling, shaming, degrading or outright misogyny.

Every actor from Vidya Balan to Tapsee Pannu, who has come out in support of Rhea chakravarty has been brutally trolled online in the garb of supporting the ‘Chudail’, and not fighting to seek justice for the late actor. Vidya balan said “Let’s show some respect for the constitutional rights of a citizen and let the law take its course”.

A race to the truth or TRP?

The media lynching of Rhea Chakravarty shows the poor journalistic standards that Indian journalists have come down to. The question is not anymore about the ‘truth’ in this case but only about harassing a woman to invite publicity for a news channel.

It is gut-wrenching to see how the journalists are hounding her to get a ‘byte’ just to increase their TRPs. The question of ethical journalism raises eyebrows and one wonders if this is how every high profile case involving a woman will be investigated hereon.

It is heartbreaking to see the likes of Kangana and a few other women forming gangs, calling themselves #justicewarriorsforSSR and at the same time shaming and name calling another woman without a consideration of how grossly wrong their words and acts are. What is happening to Rhea today, can happen to us tomorrow. Many may engage in the sadistic pleasure of watching the series of events until its their own turn.

We are sorry Rhea. Shame on us!

Image credit: PD Pics

First published here.

Ph.D student at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

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