In case you have been following the Sushant Singh Rajput case – and lately, who can keep away from listening to about it? – then you’ll know that there have been a number of necessary developments in the previous couple of days.
To start with, Rhea Chakraborty has not solely got bail however the Bombay Excessive Courtroom has poured scorn on the Narcotics Bureau’s case. “There’s nothing at this stage to indicate that Rhea had dedicated any offence involving a business amount of contraband,” the decide stated.
This criticism of a case that has already been broadly criticized exterior the court docket comes because the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) has confirmed that there is no evidence that Sushant Singh Rajput was murdered. Suicide remains to be the almost definitely rationalization.
The CBI, which is investigating the case, has stated that it has discovered no suspicious circumstances and there’s no proof that Rhea Chakraborty stole cash from Sushant Singh’s account.
The Union Well being Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan who, it was reported, would disregard the decision of the AIIMS medical doctors and conduct an investigation himself, has issued a robust denial, calling the reports “fake news”.
The Mumbai police, who’ve at all times maintained that Sushant’s dying was a suicide, are treating these developments as a vindication. However they’ve additionally made a extra critical cost. They declare that their cyber cell has discovered that 80,000 pretend social media accounts had been set as much as unfold misinformation in regards to the Sushant Singh Rajput case. These accounts had been outsourced to skilled troll factories in such international locations as Romania, Poland, Turkey, Indonesia, and so forth. It was this manipulation of social media that created the uproar over Sushant’s dying and led to the dissemination of pretend information.
Little question there can be questions in regards to the Mumbai police’s declare however no one who has been following this controversy can severely dispute that it has been fuelled by pretend information, fed by social media and amplified by TV channels.
All this results in a number of questions.
To start with, who did it? Who manipulated social media and TV to fabricate this controversy? It’s onerous to make sure, however we all know that whoever did it had entry to huge sums of cash, to a home core of social media trolls and bots, and has affect over our TV channels.
Your guess as to who this could possibly be is nearly as good as mine.
Secondly, what function did the controversy serve? Why was it value it for any individual to spend a number of crores on an argument that has not solely ruined the lives of harmless individuals however could have truly besmirched Sushant’s reminiscence?
The reason most frequently supplied is that the uproar was engineered with a watch on the forthcoming Bihar meeting election. The concept was to painting Sushant because the harmless Bihari murdered by the massive metropolis, huge photographs of Bollywood after being seduced right into a drug-fuelled life-style by a Bengali vishkanya.
If this was actually the motive, then it has labored. Nitish Kumar’s social gathering has raised the problem and emotions run so excessive in Bihar that each political social gathering has refused to problem this narrative. Even in neighbouring Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, who counts on Bihari voters, has not spoken up in opposition to the slur on Bengali womanhood.
The Mumbai police say that there was one other motive: to smear them. As they don’t seem to be, in themselves, necessary sufficient to warrant such an elaborate and costly assault, what appears extra possible is that the concept was to destablise the Shiv Sena-led ruling alliance. All through the marketing campaign, it has been advised that Shiv Sena leaders prevented the police from investigating the case and lots of makes an attempt had been made by TV channels and social media trolls to try to drag Aaditya Thackeray into the case.
Each these causes appear to me to be indeniable. However I believe there was additionally a 3rd motive: to show Bollywood a lesson. By no means earlier than have politicians been so obsessive about Bollywood. The slightest crucial comment made by a film star invitations instantaneous retribution. The movie trade itself is now divided into political camps. And the ability of Bollywood has been skilfully harnessed by politicians during the last 5 years to make movies that mirror a selected viewpoint or advance a particular agenda.
Bollywood has at all times been petrified of the federal government – of all governments, no matter social gathering. There’s a lot politicians can do to hurt the movie trade that Bollywood could be loopy to not be fearful of censor issues, tax raids, allegations of underworld hyperlinks, and so forth. However by way of all of it, Bollywood has discovered consolation in a single benefit: its recognition with the individuals of India. Even Sanjay Dutt, convicted in a terrorism case, stays a well-liked determine and the topic of his personal biopic. Politicians come and go, stars consider, however Bollywood stays India’s ardour.
Effectively, sure and no. The largest lesson of this controversy has been that India itself appeared to have turned in opposition to Bollywood. Stars who had nothing to do with the case had been routinely abused on TV day after day; social media handled actors and administrators as sexual predators, drug addicts and murderers.
We all know now that a lot of the social media hysteria was fabricated. However Bollywood has by no means been so badly shaken. Within the years forward, few stars of consequence will dare increase their voices and no huge movies will deviate from the messages that politicians need conveyed.
And what of the TV channels that performed such a big position in advancing this controversy? It can’t be a coincidence that so a lot of them comply with a pro-government line. However it’s naive to say that they had been solely following orders.
The reality is that this bogus, made-up controversy received them scores. The extra outrageous the protection, the upper the viewership.
And that, lastly, is probably the most worrying factor. We now have turn into a nation that may be simply manipulated by anyone prepared to spend a couple of crores on social media. And quite than resist this onslaught of untruths and smears, we’ve fallen in love with the lies.
We could have began out being gullible. However now we need to be gulled. And that, in the long term, is probably the most worrying lesson of the made-up controversy over Sushant Singh Rajput’s dying.
We now not care what the reality is that if the lies are extra attention-grabbing.
(Vir Sanghvi is a journalist and TV anchor.)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed inside this text are the non-public opinions of the creator. The details and opinions showing within the article don’t mirror the views of NDTV and NDTV doesn’t assume any duty or legal responsibility for a similar.