New Delhi: Despite spending the entire day ‘reporting’ on actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death — and then getting roundly criticised for its insensitivity – Hindi TV news spent all of Monday too on the tragic event – and continued to make the same mistakes.
Not to be left out, English news channels, too, discussed Rajput’s death using it as an occasion for some Bollywood bashing or discussions on mental health struggles.
NDTV 24×7 spoke to Congress leader Milind Deora, who went public with his depression. However, the interview was rife with audio mishaps and at one point anchor Sonia Singh could be heard whispering something to the effect of “What is he saying?”
Deora spoke about being suicidal and depressed: “I didn’t really do it in a planned way…There’s nothing brave or courageous about what I did. Many people face different mental health issues, from self doubt to suicidal thoughts and acute depression. Mental health transcends age, gender, economic strata and success and fame,” he said.
Zee News’ Sudhir Chaudhary made the oddest comparison possible. He compared mental health struggles with the Big Bang theory — the theory of how the universe came into being.
“Big bang ki tarah insaan ke dimaag mein vichar aate jaate rahte hai, unhe control karna mushkil hai,” (The mind is consumed by many thoughts, it is hard to control).
He then explained the comparison with Rajput’s interest in astronomy — the latter owned many telescopes and had also allegedly bought land on the moon, he said.
“Antraksh ki gehraayion mein jhankne wale ke mann mein kya tha. Kisi ko nahi pata.” (For someone who was so interested in space and its complexities, no one knew what was happening in his brain). Ever heard of false equivalences, Mr Chaudhary?
After actor Kangana Ranaut blamed nepotism and cliques in Bollywood for Rajput’s suicide, India Today’s Rajdeep Sardesai asked, “Did Sushant Singh Rajput lose out to Bollywood cliques?”
Actor Vivek Oberoi didn’t answer the question; instead, he objected to the way Rajput’s death had been treated in the media, “He [Rajput] is not just a news story but also a person”.
Oberoi later conceded that there have been “camps” in the industry since “time immemorial”, and that he too has faced severe depression as a result.
Despite being called out and reviled for its reportage Sunday, Aaj Tak learnt absolutely nothing. Anchor Chitra Tripathi revealed that Rajput had been troubled for the past six months, “Unke dimaag par kya chal raha tha, Dhoni pe bani biopic mein jaise unke dimaag mein uthal puthal ho rahi, real life mein bhi aisa ho raha tha,” (What was going on in his head? His thoughts were in turmoil in the same way they were. while playing the part of Dhoni).
Anchor Anjana Om Kashyap was consumed by other things, “Post mortem report kehti hai ki unki maut dam ghutne se hui hai lekin parivaar vale yeh maane ko tayaar nahi hai,” (Post mortem reports says that he died because of asphyxiation but the family can’t believe it).
“Parivaar mein aise log hai jo keh rahe hai ki woh aisa kadam nahi utha sakhta,” she added. (Some family members maintain that he couldn’t have taken this step.) Leave them alone, Ms Kashyap.
On India TV, anchor Rajat Sharma also devoted his monologue to Rajput’s death and mental health concerns in general. He went through Rajput’s journey and success before counselling viewers to remember their parents when doubts and negativity overwhelmed them.
He asked them to think how parents would feel if they tried to take their own lives. He then played a clip from the film 3 Idiots in which actor Madhavan expresses exactly the same sentiments in a conversation with his father.
Meanwhile, Times Now expressed ‘disguiet’ over Rajput’s death. The channel’s Entertainment Editor Simi Chandok praised anchor Navika Kumar and her own channel for its sensitive coverage of the death and then suggested that a ‘clique’ in Bollywood denied Rajput big roles.
Director and film producer Sajid Khan disagreed with this saying it was “not fair” to say there was nepotism in the film industry.