When you’ve got been following the Sushant Singh Rajput case – and lately, who can keep away from listening to about it? – then you’ll know that there have been a number of vital developments in the previous few days.
To begin with, Rhea Chakraborty has not solely acquired bail however the Bombay Excessive Courtroom has poured scorn on the Narcotics Bureau’s case. “There may be nothing at this stage to indicate that Rhea had dedicated any offence involving a business amount of contraband,” the decide mentioned.
This criticism of a case that has already been extensively criticized exterior the courtroom comes because the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) has confirmed that there is no such thing as a proof that Sushant Singh Rajput was murdered. Suicide continues to be the probably clarification.
The CBI, which is investigating the case, has mentioned that it has discovered no suspicious circumstances and there’s no proof that Rhea Chakrabarty stole cash from Sushant Singh’s account.
The Union Well being Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan who, it was reported, would disregard the decision of the AIIMS medical doctors and conduct an investigation himself, has issued a powerful denial, calling the stories “faux information”.
The Mumbai police, who’ve at all times maintained that Sushant’s dying was a suicide, are treating these developments as a vindication. However they’ve additionally made a extra severe cost. They declare that their cyber cell has discovered that 80,000 faux social media accounts have been set as much as unfold misinformation in regards to the Sushant Singh Rajput case. These accounts have been outsourced to skilled troll factories in such nations as Romania, Poland, Turkey, Indonesia, and so forth. It was this manipulation of social media that created the uproar over Sushant’s dying and led to the dissemination of faux information.
Little question there will likely be questions in regards to the Mumbai police’s declare however no one who has been following this controversy can critically dispute that it has been fuelled by faux information, fed by social media and amplified by TV channels.
All this results in a number of questions.
To begin with, who did it? Who manipulated social media and TV to fabricate this controversy? It’s exhausting to make sure, however we all know that whoever did it had entry to huge sums of cash, to a home core of social media trolls and bots, and has affect over our TV channels.
Your guess as to who this could possibly be is pretty much as good as mine.
Secondly, what objective did the controversy serve? Why was it value it for someone to spend a number of crores on an argument that has not solely ruined the lives of harmless folks however might have really besmirched Sushant’s reminiscence?
The reason most frequently supplied is that the uproar was engineered with a watch on the forthcoming Bihar meeting election. The thought was to painting Sushant because the harmless Bihari murdered by the massive metropolis, large pictures of Bollywood after being seduced right into a drug-fuelled way of life by a Bengali vishkanya.
If this was actually the motive, then it has labored. Nitish Kumar’s get together has raised the problem and emotions run so excessive in Bihar that each political get together has refused to problem this narrative. Even in neighbouring Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, who counts on Bihari voters, has not spoken up towards the slur on Bengali womanhood.
The Mumbai police say that there was one other motive: to smear them. As they aren’t, in themselves, vital sufficient to warrant such an elaborate and costly assault, what appears extra probably is that the concept was to destablise the Shiv Sena-led ruling alliance. All through the marketing campaign, it has been prompt that Shiv Sena leaders prevented the police from investigating the case and plenty of makes an attempt have been made by TV channels and social media trolls to attempt to drag Aaditya Thackeray into the case.
Each these causes appear to me to be indeniable. However I believe there was additionally a 3rd motive: to show Bollywood a lesson. By no means earlier than have politicians been so obsessive about Bollywood. The slightest important comment made by a film star invitations on the spot retribution. The movie business itself is now divided into political camps. And the facility of Bollywood has been skilfully harnessed by politicians over the past 5 years to make movies that mirror a selected viewpoint or advance a selected agenda.
Bollywood has at all times been frightened of the federal government – of all governments, no matter get together. There may be a lot politicians can do to hurt the movie business that Bollywood could be loopy to not be terrified of censor issues, tax raids, allegations of underworld hyperlinks, and so forth. However via all of it, Bollywood has discovered consolation in a single benefit: its reputation with the folks of India. Even Sanjay Dutt, convicted in a terrorism case, stays a well-liked determine and the topic of his personal biopic. Politicians come and go, stars imagine, however Bollywood stays India’s ardour.
Nicely, sure and no. The most important lesson of this controversy has been that India itself appeared to have turned towards Bollywood. Stars who had nothing to do with the case have been routinely abused on TV day after day; social media handled actors and administrators as sexual predators, drug addicts and murderers.
We all know now that a lot of the social media hysteria was fabricated. However Bollywood has by no means been so badly shaken. Within the years forward, few stars of consequence will dare elevate their voices and no large movies will deviate from the messages that politicians need conveyed.
And what of the TV channels that performed such a big position in advancing this controversy? It can’t be a coincidence that so lots of them comply with a pro-government line. However it’s naive to say that they have been solely following orders.
The reality is that this bogus, made-up controversy acquired them rankings. The extra outrageous the protection, the upper the viewership.
And that, lastly, is probably the most worrying factor. We’ve got change into a nation that may be simply manipulated by anyone keen to spend just a few crores on social media. And somewhat than resist this onslaught of untruths and smears, now we have fallen in love with the lies.
We might have began out being gullible. However now we need to be gulled. And that, in the long term, is probably the most worrying lesson of the made-up controversy over Sushant Singh Rajput’s dying.
We now not care what the reality is that if the lies are extra attention-grabbing.
(Vir Sanghvi is a journalist and TV anchor.)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed inside this text are the non-public opinions of the writer. The information and opinions showing within the article don’t mirror the views of NDTV and NDTV doesn’t assume any duty or legal responsibility for a similar.