Media coverage of Sushant Singh Rajput's death and controversies around it | YouTube
Media coverage of Sushant Singh Rajput's death and controversies around it | YouTube
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We don’t know whether or not Sushant Singh Rajput died by suicide; we don’t know if the actor was depressed or not, but one thing we do know for certain: India’s news channels suffer from an acute case of a new viral strain called Sushantitis. 

Even as we watched the live coverage of the Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan at Ayodhya — which included anchor Navika Kumar singing a bhajan duet with the BJP’s Sambit Patra (Times Now) — and Prime Minister Narendra Modi planting a parijaat sapling at the site, ‘Breaking News’ flashed across the screen: ‘CBI probe for Sushant’ (India Today) ‘Centre Accepts Bihar CM’s recommendation’ (Mirror Now), and ‘SC: Sushant died in unusual circumstances’ (Republic TV, Times Now). News channels could barely contain their excitement. The moment the ceremony was over and PM Modi had concluded his speech, some such as Republic TV and Mirror Now scuttled back as fast as they could to their magnificent obsession: the death of Sushant Singh Rajput.


Also read: Republic TV asks who killed Sushant, Aaj Tak grills Uma Bharti on her bhoomi pujan no-show


An itch 

News channels are sick – suffering from an obsessive compulsive disorder.

That alone can explain why after more than 50 days’ coverage — non-stop for the last fortnight — of ‘SSR’, as many have dubbed the star of Dil Bechara, the news channels are still unable to focus on any other news.

And news there has been aplenty: apart from the “historic” bhoomi pujan, Jammu and Kashmir completed one year since the revocation of Article 370; the coronavirus has now infected over 1,900,000 people, and left approximately 40,000 dead; more than a 100 people have died of illicit liquor consumption in Punjab, destructive floods have swamped parts of Assam and Bihar; Mumbai experienced the heaviest rains since 2005, to say nothing of the economy or China in Ladakh.

But the ‘Explosive Exclusive’ on Times Now Tuesday was ‘Jaadu Tona Pujas’ and the black magic practised by Rhea Chakraborty — according to Rajput’s former personal assistant. He also regaled us with her love for expensive food, liquor, etc.

On Republic TV, there was an ‘explosive’ ‘truth tape’ interview with an unnamed and unseen friend of Sushant who claimed the actor told him he had “no space”, that he knew Disha Salian, his manager, was murdered. Republic boasted that its ‘SIT’ yanked open the case.

A still from Republic TV | YouTube

Also read: Aaj Tak ‘reveals’ black magic on Sushant Singh Rajput, ‘rahu kaal’ appears on News 18 India


Sleuth republic

And that illustrates the problem: news channels are delusional – they’re suffering from a case of mistaken identity as they labour under the misconception that they are the investigating agency. Move over Mumbai and Bihar Police, ED, CBI – TV’s super sleuths are here.

Between them, they tracked down friends of Rajput such as Ganesh or Siddharth Pithani (Zee News) who described discovering Rajput on that fateful day, a former assistant (Times Now) who claimed Rhea ran the show as well as Sushant, a former girlfriend (Ankita Lokhande) who told every single news channel that Rajput wasn’t depressed, his Bollywood co-stars and stars who never met him (such as Kangana Ranaut, Republic TV),  a former cook (CNN News18, ABP News), a former bodyguard (Republic TV), a guard at Rhea’s house (Times Now), his cousins, his father — and believe it or not, Aaj Tak even managed to consult him, through paranormal agencies—“What does Sushant’s aatma say?”

In each instance, reporters and anchors badgered the people with the same questions — do you think he suicided? Was he depressed? What role did Rhea play in his life?

They also went after hard evidence: ABP News conducted a mock post-mortem with ‘doctors’ without masks and reenacted his life before he joined films; CNN News18 vetted his bank accounts and investments, others tapped into WhatsApp messages, Republic TV produced an alleged video of the police talking when they discovered his body, News24 described his daily routine – read books, play the guitar, watch movies on a home theatre, work out in the gym…just like any ordinary guy.

A still from ABP News| YouTube

You see where their investigations are heading? To face-reading, of course. Anchor Navika Kumar (Times Now) played two video clips from January 2020 in which Rajput is seen and heard fooling around with a huge grin on his face — “4-5 45!” he shouts out with a giggle. Kumar then asked colleague Rahul Shivshankar: “Does this look like a guy who is suffering from depression?”

Shivshankar: “No, in fact, on the face of it, this is an individual who has all his faculties about him….”  So, now you know how to diagnose mental distress.

Oh, the news channels have been having so much fun — at Rajput and Chakraborty’s expense. And they have many happy hunting days ahead of them still. Consider: they can analyse his expressions in each and every photograph/video and his TV interviews for evidence of ‘normality’. Then there are production teams on his films to be interviewed, say the make-up artists who know a thing or two about faces….

Then they could try talking to the inanimate objects in his home: his dumbbells, his bed. News24 told us he made his bed each morning. Is that normal behaviour for a film star? Best of all, they could turn to the mirror in the bathroom: “Mirror mirror on the wall/Tell all, tell all.”

A still from Times Now | YouTube

Also read: If your Bengali girlfriend knew ‘black magic’, she would erase misogyny, not waste it on you


News? Where?

Most news channels have concluded Rajput was murdered: ‘Who Killed Sushant?’ asked CNN News18. They also suggest there is a conspiracy and a cover-up by the Mumbai Police on behalf of….. well, they’re not telling, not yet at least. (Times Now, Republic TV).

Meanwhile, #JusticeforSushant is an excuse to spend entire days on anything that will give a juicy headline. Mirror Now called the death of Rajput and that of his manger Disha, a ‘Double Murder Mystery’—and that’s what it is for these TV detectives.

All they need to do now is follow the example of Zee News, which gave up all pretence of being a news channel, this week — its studio became a temple setting where bhajans and kirtans rang out all day. News anchors may like to climb into khaki clothes and convert their sets into mock police stations too?

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31 Comments Share Your Views

31 COMMENTS

  1. I think this article is written by rhea herself or her admirer.. The whole country is fighting for justice…. And only the media is there to support us.. None of the hypocritical bollywood stars came forward for justice… All we are asking for is proper satisfactory answers to the questions n doubts we have… And if Mumbai police cant answer it.. Wtf were they doing!

    And stop writing articles like these… We have a huge respect for republic tv.. They are doing it for us….
    They are our voice!

  2. There is strong public sentiment and Media is supporting the cause to unearth the circumstances, help in investigation and garner the attention the case needs. The public is glad that news channels are working hard to ensure justice happens. Imagine how much the CBI can benefit from the evidences gathered already, which can save a lot of time. It’s a movement worth applauding where media, lawyers and public are working in tandem to ensure justice takes place. Whether Rhea is culpable or not only time will tell, but circumstances and testimonies point to her hand in it. That should not be ignored. If Rhea is innocent then she should cooperate and help in the conduct of the investigation in a fair manner. If tomorrow because of aid from media investigation, the truth does come out, will you be honest enough and appreciate them?

  3. There is strong public sentiment and Media is supporting the cause to unearth the circumstances, help in investigation and garner the attention the case needs. The public is glad that news channels are working hard to ensure justice happens. Imagine how much the CBI can benefit from the evidences gathered already, which can save a lot of time. It’s a movement worth applauding where media, lawyers and public are working in tandem to ensure justice takes place. Whether Rhea is culpable or not only time will tell, but circumstances and testimonies point to her hand in it. That should not be ignored. If Rhea is innocent then she should cooperate and help in the conduct of the investigation in a fair manner. If tomorrow because of aid from media investigation, the truth does come out, will you appreciate them?

  4. Yes, people and media have become self proclaimed judge and investigation.

    What if judges start to make decision similar way in their life, without proper investigation.

    In villages, usually people accuse women of black magic. Isn’t this similar?

  5. Yes, people and media have become self proclaimed judge and investigation.

    What if judges start to make decision similar way in their life, without proper investigation.

  6. With all due respect, please let me know, why have you not been questioning the following:

    the nude body of Disha Salian, why they don’t question the manner of investigation conducted by Police?

    Why Sushant’s CCTV goes off a day before ?

    Why Rhea left on the day Disha Died.? If not the same day at least around Dishas Death.

    Why IPS of Bihar police is Quarantined as against the guidelines ??and why the junior officer were not Quarantined? Why don’t BMC Quarantines all official coming from out of Mumbai? What is this called ??

    Instead the Print had the article – “Sushant Singh Rajput and the burden of being a ‘Shravan Kumar’ in toxic Bihari families”

  7. I want to know who is the stupid writer and does the person needs serious psychological counseling.

    The media my be obsessed but the suspicious nature of the death of Disha Salian and Sushant Singh Rajput can not be overlooked, the way mumbai police has handled and misbehaved with Bihar police can not be overlooked. Despite their obsession they are fighting for a cause to bring the culprits out and get justice for the families.

    Only some chaman can write an insensitive piece like this, how much did you get paid to write this cover up.

  8. I want to know who is the stupid writer and does the person needs serious psychological counseling.

    The media my be obsessed but the suspicious nature of the death of Disha Salian and Sushant Singh Rajput can not be overlooked, the way mumbai police has handled and misbehaved with Bihar police can not be overlooked. Despite their obsession they are fighting for a cause to bring the culprits out and get justice for the families.

    Only some psychotic can write an insensitive piece like this, how much did you get paid to write this cover up. Although I am sure no one gives a flying f*@k to you and your shit.

  9. Sick article…I wish people block you and you remain a beggar begging for money to print rubbish…

    You would know the pain if you lose a family member to an unknown girl who did all this…

    Remove this article…mahn…u people should close your office and take a look at your mental health

  10. Who baught you to divert our attention from Sushant singh case? Don’t worry we are not going to stop until we get justice.#warriors4SSR#Justice4SSR

  11. So… What’s your problem? Do you envy that others are able to rake in trps? And all that you can put together is your critique of news channels, and other articles on “the toxic Bihari family”.
    You will always highlight one side of the coin.
    Can’t you simply digest the fact that there could be lapses in the investigation? And if they are getting pointed out, can’t you at least appreciate that such lapses should be pointed out?? Of course not. You will never comment on the positives.
    In fact, you are the toxic that needs to be blocked.

  12. I do not disagree to the commotion but let’s not forget the movie @spotlight. That said, the incidences in this case are not summing up. What everyone wants is truth to surface, the lapses to be duly acknowledged. Unfortunate incidents that occur due to prejudices must be accounted for, else it would be a merry go round.
    Let us be not opinionated and judgemental and let’s look at it as “truth search” minus the commotion

  13. Wow TV anchors are becoming cops and know everything before all investigation and decided the case
    RIP Sushant………….
    Media is encashing on your name

  14. Only one sensible article worth reading by any educated civilian. Times Now and republic have repeatedly telecasting the same stories for the past 30 days. They have already announced Rhea as a culprit without any court trial. India is loaded with Rastachaap illiterates. Now they are playing politics with this news. All this simply because people are unable to digest the fact that Sushant was DEPRESSED and he Killed Himself. And NO depression does not need any reason, it is a biological brain disorder that needs strong medicines. Rhea was already getting money from him she had no reason to kill him. All cheap nonsense is going on different channels.

    • ‘Sushant was depressed and killed himself’. What kind of hypocrisy is this? Accusing the media for claiming something that is based on some evidence and witnesses, and at the same time declaring your own fallacious verdict without any court trial. Please read your irresponsible comment again and reflect upon who is acting like an ‘illiterate rastachaap’ here. Please try to comprehend your own thoughts before you vomit all over social media. Also, please stop playing the fucking woman card because it’s a legit insult to all those women in India who are ‘genuinely’ deprived of their basic human rights. Playing the woman card every damn time doesn’t make you an elite and neither does your low-grade opinion hold the tiniest of significance in this case.

  15. Even this brilliant script will be forgotten after some time unless help is received. Writer should go for film, serial script ideas which may get appreciated and endure.

  16. You are also the same, just that you have a different agenda. What if there is some injustice that need to be uncovered. Have you done anything about it, and now u come running to negate the strong public sentiment

  17. You are also the same, just that you have a different agenda. What if there is some injustice that need to be uncovered. Have you done anything about it, and now u come running to negate the strong public sentiment.

    • I agree the media goes a little far with things that are watched more by citizens and garner more for them . And often the questions they ask are insensitive or foolish , but we must not totally negate their efforts of trying to fight the wrong . Agreed they sensationalise a bit too much but this is the way they have always managed people to watch their channels. As far as this particular incident, it’s just not any other incident. People are invested in this because they want to really really find out the truth and find some hope that there is some law and order beyond powerful influences. Everyone needs answers for the questions they have and I don’t find anything wrong with the channels expressing public anguish . This loss was personal. Considering this just another news and moving on would not be fair to human kind . These self proclaimed clinicians everywhere on social media should stop diagnosing or ruling out mental illnesses because neither of it is that easy . Mental health awareness is must . And people should refrain from commenting without being sure . I also mean people should never use mental health as an excuse to cover up crimes. Hence the truth behind this must come out. Even if the commotion is unnecessary. Otherwise every other criminal could get a freeway to commit a crime and let it be covered up by naming a certain mental illness. That should not be happening around right.

      • Cheapest article ever..
        Sold journalism here which no one will support..
        I agree to some extent that news channels exaggerate a bit but that’s the nature of the 24 hours news channel. They need to put on something throughout the day but atleast they tried to help in the investigation of SSR.
        If these channels or people have took money like the ones of oppose them in their paid articles CBI enquiry wasn’t possible.
        So stop crying foul and stop maligning others.
        One advice, when you are in deep shit, don’t open your mouth..

  18. Let’s talk straight.. This case is not as simple as some people trying to paint it as. Now, during the course of investigation of when the process of questioning is on if the home minister comes out and say that it is a suicide, my Dear friends,plz understanding that the home minister is indirectly telling the Mumbai police to declare it as a suicide case and close the case.. This is as simple as that. It is known fact that police officials, even if they want also, even if they know also cannot go against the order of their Aka( CM and ) and in this case it seems some big cat are involved therefore police is not investigating the murder of Disha salyan properly coz both the death are related to each other.. Better ll be to hand over the case to CBI, Manoj Narayann,Nagaland

  19. This is Something which have happened to all these circus channels n joker tv anchors since long , only we can fix it, that’s true but we need to plan n fix it n execute it.

    Pls share your views on HOW TO FIX?

    Article was worth reading…..👍

  20. This article is biased and in poor taste even worse than what we are seeing on media right now. At least Arnab is getting somewhere even if it’s just for TRPs. And now the case is with CBI because of public pressure. All I can say is may the truth win! The end here-justice-is more important than the means.

    • Cheapest article ever..
      Sold journalism here which no one will support..
      I agree to some extent that news channels exaggerate a bit but that’s the nature of the 24 hours news channel. They need to put on something throughout the day but atleast they tried to help in the investigation of SSR.
      If these channels or people have took money like the ones of oppose them in their paid articles CBI enquiry wasn’t possible.
      So stop crying foul and stop maligning others.
      One advice, when you are in deep shit, don’t open your mouth..

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