File photo | Sushant Singh Rajput | Facebook/SushantSinghRajput
File photo | Sushant Singh Rajput | Facebook
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A person with actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s name as his/her Twitter handle left a nasty comment on social media wishing death on Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma’s unborn child. This one tweet is a broad reflection of what the campaign seeking ‘justice’ for Sushant has become — evil, hateful, and round-the-clock harassment of anyone on social media who is not doing what these mostly anonymous trolls do: abuse people endlessly using a hashtag.

The #JusticeForSSR campaign has unleashed an internet army worse than the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s IT cell. The campaigners have nothing to do with justice, and there is no headquarter setting the daily agenda for them. They have decided that Sushant Singh Rajput, who is believed to have died by suicide on 14 June, was murdered and his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty is guilty. It doesn’t matter to them what the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) finds. It’s a free-for-all abuse circus.

And even though it might seem that those who are part of the campaign have nothing to do with the BJP, they do enjoy the political shield now, with the Bihar assembly election round the corner.


Also read: First Sushma Swaraj, now Subramanian Swamy. BJP IT cell is cannibalising its own


The transformation 

While the hashtag has become an excuse to vent frustration and abuse people, that is not how the Justice for Sushant army had started out.

When the news of Sushant’s suicide broke in mid-June, everyone was devastated. You, me, everyone. It was a strange loss, especially for middle-class India. All of a sudden, underdogs from small towns began to identify themselves with Sushant’s journey. Everyone wanted to end the toxicity and power structure that they believed had a role to play in Sushant’s death.

Soon, a potent army began to take shape. It rallied behind the actor’s death, trying to find reasons for his alleged suicide. Karan Johar to Alia Bhatt, everyone was blamed for enabling nepotism in Bollywood that didn’t let outsiders thrive. But nepotism is a forgotten word now. And the much-needed conversation about mental health taken a back seat.

Just look at any of the comments on actor Deepika Padukone’s posts, for instance. Someone who was among the first to speak up about depression after Sushant’s death faces a barrage of attack on anything she posts now — from comments like ‘depression ki aunty’, ‘depression ki karta dharta’ to ‘Depression Padukone’. The more hateful and nasty one can get, the more likes the commenter will receive.

But Deepika is not alone. Anyone not speaking the language of Kangana Ranaut, the actor that the frenzied mob is rallying behind with utmost loyalty, is being attacked, even when their posts have nothing to do with Sushant or the case. 


Also read: Indians are fighting against coronavirus and BJP IT cell is fighting against Indians


An enemy of the people

American author Robert Jordan once wrote, “But men often mistake killing and revenge for justice. They seldom have the stomach for justice.” The Justice for Sushant army has become like that. It refuses to wait for the CBI to complete its investigation. Only now, with the upcoming Bihar assembly election, the BJP IT cell has joined the party — making full use of it to attack the opposition, and distract people from China, Covid and the sinking economy.

The evolution of the Justice for Sushant army points towards an insidious problem. It suggests that any tragic incident that sees ordinary people coming together to grieve can, and perhaps will, turn into a weapon to be used against the people, to whip up national frenzy. This crowd is dangerous for every Indian — those who are part of it and those who become its victim.

It also suggests that such an army doesn’t need any Amit Malviya to give it the green signal. Members of IT cells of political parties engage in everyday attack and abuse because they are mostly being paid to do so. But this Justice for Sushant campaign has turned against people, sometimes without any cause.

It is a sign of what lies ahead — a self-developed campaign born out of collective response to a tragic case can mutate into a hate crusade, with the IT cell taking over the ‘cause’. The ‘justice seekers’ will then get swept away by any ‘narrative’ injected into their ‘campaign’ by unknown entities. Anyone being a cheerleader of this hate campaign today must remember that they will become its victim tomorrow. All it will take is one comment or post.

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18 Comments Share Your Views

18 COMMENTS

  1. Drugs , high alcohol , night parties and dance , yes you are inviting trouble and in that group one person will face the end , now justice campaign is running I to hundreds of theories and still no evidence of murder or witness to murder or poisoning, this will be a media trial and all institutions and agencies with the govt target the scapegoat and arrest ,

  2. Miss Jyoti Yadav, I find your journalism totally biased and negative. You have quoted a few fans of SSR who have given negative comments and your write ups are always about how bad the fans are. There are a lot of fans are praying, planting saplings and fighting for him. If it were not for the fans the investigation would’t have reached this stage and would have been buried like many other cases. But realize this new India – “the common man has a voice and we will raise voice again and again against crime till the truth is revealed.”. Be honest and take pride in bringing out truth lest you a get caught in your own trap. I am a woman , but I understand as a woman I have the responsibility of being righteous and socially responsible. We do not have to side with a woman who is wrong. It is evident that in Sushant’s case the lady who is in jail deserves it and much more. Henceforth be sure to get a retaliation from me every time I get such a falsified narrative like this one.

  3. I completely agree with the first com-mentor Siva. The Print, I don’t know which IT cell is funding you, but if you want to be preachy, why not start at home. Why are you guilty of the same cry as the hateful trollers. You language might not be abusive, but are you printing NEWS or YOUR OPINION??? Fingers can be pointed at both sides, for starters India doesn’t have independent journalism. You should instead and try to work towards that, you can follow NPR in USA model, which are funded only by listeners. Armchair activism is one of the perils of social media and you are not immune to that. In fact the left liberals are more of an hypocrites than the rowdy and rouge on the other side.

  4. On every single occasion that I post a comment, I have to send a reminder after 7-8 hours to the moderation team to wake up. Ironically, most of my comments have a positive content, partially at the least. This is sad.

  5. Disgusting misuse of the media to sway public opinion ,can depend on The Print is a reliable source of news in the midst of this charade being carried out by the Political parties , shame

  6. dear author and print kindly come out of your dirty mindset. You think Leftist mindset is the perfect one? See what your type of mindsets are doing in the countries having leftist rules? Brazen state terrorism on people… no freedom of speech and no free life… authors like you will be kicked out or imprisioned for life there… thank BJP type of mindsets for it that you still exist on the earth even today..
    Few days back The Print wrote article on Indian parents not allowing their children to not allow everything they feel like doing.. See what has happend with SSR once he wanted to be out of his family… the vultures and wolves out there and even the police machinery failed to stop the unfateful happend to him.. Grow up!

  7. Is Print funded by china or Saudi Arabia. Always try to go against Rashtrawadi govt and culture. 1st you need to read and understand some ancient indian system and logic behind that.
    Prathivraj Chauhan, Samrat Ashok, Vikramaditya, Alaha & Udal ko padiye. Ramayana, Mahabharat, Hanuman chalisa, sunderkand padiye.
    Uske baad maidaan main utro. Chand salary ke liye desh ke ancient system ko destroy mat karo jaise Mohmmad Gauri, Taimur, Mugal and Angrezo ne kiya tha.

  8. Covid, China and the economy are non-issues. The common person recognises that the Govt is sincere & is doing its best in a very tough situation with no obvious easy answers. But seeing the Bollywood Drug Mafia living it up, brazenly trying to get away with murder (literally) and being Woke about it – nah… the people’s anger will spill over.

  9. Have you (The Print) asked yourself why this transformation has taken place? Do some introspection and you may realise the drivers for this anger.

  10. What is happening is both tragic and scary; the person who wished ill for the yet-to-be-born child deserves the severest condemnation. Ms. Jyoti Yadav has impressively traced the origin of the current mayhem. As a BJP voter, two points I wish to add: 1) The head of BJP’s IT cell, Mr. Amit Malviya must answer the charge that “the BJP IT cell has joined the party — making full use of it to attack the opposition, and distract people from China, Covid and the sinking economy”. He owes to his detractors, and to his social media followers. 2). I wish Ms. Yadav had apportioned some blame on the social media platforms viz. fb, Twitter, etc. With such advanced technology at their command, have they no power to filter out hate messages? Or is it something they thrive on?

  11. From the start of “print” I have watched this Joyti Yadav spew typical Left propaganda….Create stories around the so-called BJP IT cell for everything and anything. Creating stories about Victimhood about women,(only of Hindu majority though. Because if you talk about the women situation on the minority side it will be counter-productive for their own propaganda whose main consumers are Minority.) Religious minority(conveniently forgets there communal tendencies).
    Blaming Men(And some times women who don’t agree with their narrative) and the majority(as if we are the only one who should shoulder secularism).
    My Advice to Shekar Ji is you should first cut-the-rot from your organization by segregating Opinions from the news. News Media is losing credibility because you started mixing opinions(whether they are wrong or right ones) into News.

    You are most welcome to reply to my criticism to my email. And I am not bhakt/BJP IT troll

    • Fair enough. But what is interesting is that you have said nothing about Times Now, Republic, Aaj Tak and quasi- government channels which are worse than what you have stated. Assuming what you have stated is true because you are still seeing this through the lens of Hindutva, victimhood, justice etc.

      Frankly, this topic needs not even be discussed if not for the shouting from the roof tops of the BJP led unofficial spokespersons.

    • Jyoti has 20x the nuance, depth and maturity that what appears of you from your comment. I can only imagine how unfortunate are the women in your family to have to be living around you, they should be given presidential awards of courage.

      12 yr olds brain in a 50 yr old body. Shame.

      • Abhinav, if you only mattered enough to be taken seriously! You would agree that you don’t matter enough for your taunts to be taken seriously. If your known for anything, it is that your active in commenting against those who write unfavorably of the author. Nobody want to emulate or envy such things. You’re so contemptible! As for your absurd presidential award suggestion, you are either delusional or you’re projecting your family traditions onto others. I sincerely hope for your own family members, it’s the former.
        In short, you’re too contemptible that your attempts at taunting others only ends reminding them of your own absurdity and obscurity. Good day, even though nobody here would care even if you didn’t exist another day

  12. Their dominance of the mindspace of middle class Indians is awesome and scary. Reminds you of some other countries and some other times and what happened afterwards.

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