New Delhi: With footage of Rhea Chakraborty being hounded by media personnel doing the rounds on social media all Sunday, many prime time debates revolved around her alleged drug links and their connection to the Sushant Singh Rajput case, while others focused on Kangana Ranaut and her recent comments against the Mumbai Police. Meanwhile, NewsX opted to discuss the death of a female journalist in Balochistan while Republic TV debated the alleged Facebook-BJP nexus.
Aaj Tak‘s Anjana Om Kashyap continued ‘investigating’ Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, this time with a “super exclusive” interview of Sandeep Ssingh, who claims to have been close to the late actor.
“I met Meetu Didi (Rajput’s sister) for the first time the day Sushant died. On why I showed the thumbs up — I was wearing a mask and there was a lot of media around us. When some police constable asked who Sandip is, that is when I raised my hand,” Ssingh said.
Kashyap countered, “You could have spoken out, your mask does not hinder your voice. It was such a sensitive time, Sushant had just died.”
“If you were only helping the family out, then why does the family suspect your role in Rajput’s death,” Kashyap continued. To which Ssingh deftly said, “You are crossing the line, they said no such thing. All they claimed was that they don’t know me.”
India Today‘s Akshita Nandagopal discussed Kannada movie actor Ragini Dwivedi’s arrest in a drug case and asked if there’s a “witch hunt” after her.
Actor Prakash Belawadi pointed out, “If there was a man involved, there would be less shaming.”
Nandagopal concurred that people often brand such women as “someone with a loose character” and “think they have the liberty to judge her for every decision she takes”. However, she pressed on whether it is up to Hindi film industry “to set the right example”.
And in keeping with the focus on Bollywood, on News18 India, Amish Devgan highlighted how actor Kangana Ranaut is “being targeted by everyone for her views”.
“The only reason she is being targeted is because she puts her point forward and does so without any fear. Mumbai is her home. She doesn’t need anyone’s permission to come to the state, certainly not Baby Penguin’s,” said social worker Anuja Kapur.
At this description of Shiv Sena’s Aditya Thackeray, an argument broke out between Kapur and the Sena spokesperson Vikram Singh who continued to ask, “Who are you calling a baby penguin?”
BJP spokesperson Prem Shukla jumped to Kapur’s support and asked, “Why are you feeling so bad? You tell me who, in your eyes, is a baby penguin? If you know, then please do share with us.”
Over on Republic TV, anchor Arnab Goswami, in his debate on the alleged link between the BJP and social media platform Facebook, asked “Who is bullying whom on social media?” The debate started with some awkward silence, prompting political analyst Vivek Srivastava to quip, “They’re all too scared to start.”
Srivastava then began by arguing, “The BJP has the best-funded IT cell in the country. They spent the most on the elections.”
“India has laws to deal with violent and hate speech. Platforms like Facebook and Google have to adhere to these laws,” said ANI editor-in-chief Smita Prakash.
Goswami then launched into a lecture about journalism against the “Lutyens media”. “They have burnt any ethics of journalism… When a three-year-old child was rescued by the CRPF from the gunfire of terrorists, this child was hounded by the Lutyens’ media to build a narrative against security forces”.
On a different note, NewsX‘s Uday Pratap Singh spoke about Pakistani journalist Shaheena Shaheen, who was shot dead, allegedly by her husband, in Pakistan’s Balochistan.
Singh connected this “case of honour killing” to Qandeel Baloch, a Pakistani social media star who was drugged and then asphyxiated by her brother in 2016.
Former diplomat Bhaswati Mukherjee said Shaheena’s death proves Pakistan is “virtually a failed state and falling apart due to its own contradictions”. She added: “It can’t protect its own women.” Sounds familiar?
Meanwhile, veteran Major General SB Asthana focused on the Balochistan angle. “Balochistan’s population is reducing and people are missing. All kinds of atrocities have happened there and to women. I don’t want to talk about it on TV because of obvious reasons,” he said.