Editorial

Sensationalising death

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/22/2020 12:49:30 PM IST

 While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make news with over 30 lakh cases and over 56,000 deaths as on August 22, another news that continues to hog the limelight is the case pertaining to the death by suspected suicide, of Bollywood film star Sushant Singh Rajput (SSR), whose body was found hanging in his Bandra residence at Mumbai on June 14. His death put an end to a promising career but has opened up a can of worms. Mumbai police recorded it as an accidental death. Soon after, the late actor’s family alleged that Rhea Chakraborty, the late Sushant’s girlfriend, had abetted his alleged suicide. Mumbai Police still had not registered any case since The Mumbai Police also said that the evidence, statements and the crime scene, all pointed towards a suicide, which is why no FIR was registered and there was no accused in the case. What the Mumbai police had to do but did not, post the Autopsy report was to file an FIR with the charge of abetment, if it felt that there was more to the case. On the other hand, Bihar Police has filed FIR under Rajeev Nagar Police Station (Patna) based on a written complaint filed by Sushant Singh Rajput’s father K.K. Singh. The family of SSR strongly denied death as due to suicide and have expressed no confidence in the Mumbai police and so have demanded a CBI probe. The media, especially the electronic media is ploughing the tragedy with so much speculations that it has taken the form of a continuing public cacophony around the tragedy of an untimely death. The untimely and tragic death of SSR has not only sent shockwaves among celebrities and his fans but also led to raging debates revolving around nepotism in the Hindi film industry. Bollywood starlet Kangana Ranaut in a video, talked on subjects ranging from Sushant’s death by suicide by making allegations against journalists and blaming Bollywood’s ‘movie mafia’ in particular, for pushing SSR into committing suicide. The case had already been engulfed by politics when the ruling Maharastra coalition (SS-NCP-INC) headed by Uddhav Thackeray and the NDA government in Bihar under Nitish Kumar- took on opposite sides. Also the case has led to a tussle for turf between the Mumbai Police and Bihar Police. The Supreme Court has tipped the scales for CBI probe and in a way, given the Nitish Kumar government a shot in the arm. The Maharashtra government has been resisting CBI probe despite having filed no FIR till date. Transfer of the SSR case to CBI may have ended the unnecessary tug-of-war between the police of Bihar and Maharashtra but the moot point is but the moot point is whether it will serve the purpose or will it end as another unsolved case like other CBI probes?. The common demand for CBI probe also indicates lack of confidence in the ability of state police probes. Regardless of the outcome of the CBI probe, the relentless media cycle accompanying the case is just the latest example of the sensationalism that underpins Indian media and public life, where perspective and balance are wilfully forgotten and mental health grossly misunderstood.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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