September 18 : Bollywood has always been divided ever since the media started covering the Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case and focused on Rhea Chakraborty as she was being interrogated by the Narcotics Bureau of India (NCB) and was later arrested by the agency. While one part of the film industry chose to remain silent, a group of Bollywood celebrities signed an open letter condemning the media over the treatment given to Rhea, the main accused in the case.
Over 2000 people from different walks of life have signed an open letter condemning the media’s ‘witch-hunt’ of Rhea while covering Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case. Actor Sonam Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar, Dia Mirza and filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Mira Nair, Zoya Akhtar along with film personalities like Frieda Pinto, Alankrita Shrivastava, Gauri Shinde, Reema Kagti, Ruchi Narain, Rasika Dugal, Nitya Mehra, Amruta Subhash, Mini Mathur, Kubbra Sait and others have signed the letter.
The letter published on a blog called Feminist Voices asked the media to hunt news, not women. It also compared coverage of cases of Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt, and urged the media to respect Rhea as much as they did these actors.
Calling out the media for being obsessed with creating narratives of Rhea as a morally dubious character, the letter read, “Dear news media of India. We are worried about you. Are you feeling ok?...,Because, as we watch your witch-hunt of Rhea Chakraborty, we cannot understand why you have abandoned every professional ethic of journalism, every tenet of human decency and dignity and chosen instead to physically assault a young woman with your camera crews, endlessly violate her privacy and work overtime on false accusations and moralistic innuendo for a drama of ‘Rhea ko phasao’,” the letter reads.
The letter further added, “We write to ask you, the news media, to stop this unfair witch-hunt of Rhea Chakraborty and to stop fuelling moral polarities of good women to be deified and bad women to be crucified which endangers all women. We write to ask you to do the right and responsible thing. Your jobs. Hunt news, not women.”
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