Sushant Singh Rajput has left us for good in the prime of life (he was just 34 years of age) and with a bright career ahead of him. In a short span, he had amassed an eclectic and enviable filmography, including memorable performances in ubiquitously loved films likes Kai Po Che, Detective Byomkesh Bakshi, PK, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story and Chhichhore. However, instead of respecting the gravity of such a loss to his family, friends, colleagues and fans, the media was up to their usual antics, milking his death for every last drop of mileage.
It wasn’t enough that the world of cinema was robbed of one of its brightest young talents, who made it all on his own from nowhere, with both the potential and package to be a bonafide future superstar. No, sadly, the fraternity we are a part of, the fourth estate aka the proverbial and so-called “fourth pillar of democracy” had to turn his SSR’s crippling loss into a media circus.
Let’s take a look at the highlights reel of this circus show:
a.) MO of the coverage
The moment Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide became national headlines, it was a free-for-all whether it be invading the inner sanctum of the actor’s home, ignoring the privacy of his neighbours or posting whatever you could lay your hands on, decorum, prudence and respect for the dead be damned.
b.) Despicable theories of death
The moment news of his demise broke, it was followed by theories straight out of an Abbas-Mustan thriller, only Abbas-Mustan would’ve been ashamed of such detestable twists in real life. From blaming rumoured girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty for his death, calling her manipulative and dominating and God knows what all, to conjuring weird fantasies of professional rivalry with big names as the reason for the actor’s suicide, leading to widespread, misguided vitriol being targeted against them on social media, and even certain politicians buying into these vague mysteries — the sewage spilled by the media, acting as judge and jury, hit an all-new low.
c.) Utter disregard toward the family
The moment Sushant’s family landed at Mumbai airport, they weren’t given any respite, with mics and questions ferociously being shoved their way, hounded every inch for bytes right down to the funeral location. Seems like offering people the chance to grieve in peace is a thing of the past.
d.) All lines crossed at the funeral
With renowned Bollywood celebs like Shraddha Kapoor and Varun Sharma attending the funeral, the scenes there were ever worse. At one side SSR’s grieving family and friends were saying their finaly goodbyes, and on the other, journos and photographers didn’t spare an opportunity to crowd the location in hopes of some bytes and candid shots. So much so that a legendary singer attending the funeral even had to ask them to back off and leave him in peace. Check out the pic of the same with the offensive image blurred for obvious reasons…
e.) Pics of the dead body
If all of the above wasn’t enough, some portals, dailies and channels drove the final nail of disrespect in Sushant Singh Rajput’s coffin by flashing the images of his dead body being taken from his home to the mortuary and then to the funeral. One popular regional newspaper was even ignorant enough to carry a photo of the actor’s cadaver, with the rope mark and all around his neck, lying in his bedroom.
If we though that unethical journalism insensitivity and disrespect couldn’t sink any lower, then Sushant Singh Rajput’s untimely demise proved us wrong.