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Opinion: Sushant Is Not Going To Get Justice

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It’s not an ordinary day for the whole country, especially for the Bollywood fans when the news of Sushant Singh Rajput’s sudden demise came out. As if 2020 was not bad enough, Sushant’s death was necessary to increase our pain. Like the death of veteran actors Rishi Kapoor and Irfan Khan, his demise was normal, at least we thought initially. But what the entire nation can’t digest is that a 34-year-old promising actors national olympiad winner in mathematics, a former All India Engineering Entrance Examination topper who secured the seventh rank died of suicide.

To make matters worse, people started assuming financial difficulties, which is typical for Bollywood actors. Then again, Bollywood celebrities started showing their fake sympathies on the social media about how they care for him, how shocked they were, etc. Someone used Google images to show empathy by saying he was close to him. Another started the Depression theory like it is real, we should not ignore it, and after that, all the self-proclaimed psychiatrists from Bollywood started following her steps.

Everyone showed their crocodile tears in front of cameras/social media and talked about how Sushant was a depressed guy, and they are in a state of shock. But nobody was at his funeral apart from a few actors, and we were not surprised. That’s a different topic of discussion, and we all know how fake these celebrities are. 

But what surprised me is the Mumbai Police investigation, which was beyond imagination. Yeah, I am talking about nepotism, bullying, and groupism, which has become a collective term for Bollywood audiences nowadays. And Mumbai Police started an investigation about nepotism (seriously?). Without an FIR, they began investigation from casting directors. We are yet to find anything even after months of their so-called investigation. 

The case could be another Bollywood mystery had Mr K K Singh (Sushant’s father) continued his faith in Mumbai Police. The whole incident has been changed after his FIR in Bihar against Rhea Chakraborty, Sushant’s girlfriend. Every day the case is becoming murkier, but one thing is for sure, the big fishes involved in this murder won’t get any punishment. 

His death caused a severe loss for his family and loyal fans, including me, but not for those who want to take advantage of this tragic incident. Not just the ruling Bihar Government, but every political party in the state find it an opportunity for the upcoming election. We all see how they tried to take credit for the CBI investigation after the Supreme Court order. The only person who should take credit for the CBI investigation is Mr Vikash Singh, lawyer of Mr K K Singh. 

CBI Investigation Doesn’t Guarantee Punishment:

It is not about the Bihar election; it is about breaking the Maha Vikas Aghadi. It depends on the kind of backdoor deal the Maharashtra government is going to do with the BJP. Because the way the Maharashtra Government is opposing the CBI investigation shows that not all is well, and it encourages the BJP to force the Aghadi to surrender in front of the NDA. Maybe the deal has been done already and we are listening about the Dubai involvement. 

No matter what, nobody will get punishment in this case. Forget about punishment; I doubt if their names will come in the CBI investigation at the beginning. In the best possible way, some small fishes who did field jobs in this murder will be prosecuted. Or the possibility of the Dubai angle is the best option, in my opinion. 

A Media Trial and Political Circus:

We all know how the Indian media does its job seriously when it comes to reporting, especially sensitive issues. From the Arushi Talwar murder to 26/11 attack, and now Sushant Singh Rajput, we all see how the media is doing its job. Thanks to Times Now and Republic who are giving tough competition to their competitors. And other media are forcefully reporting this even though their reporting shows they have a lack of interest in this topic or their high commands order to do so.

The “seriousness” of the media. Source: Arun Bothra/ Twitter

It’s like a competition between Republic and Times Now, and other media houses are not up to their standards when it comes to sensationalising it. Times Now is coming with new evidence every other day, whereas Arnab doesn’t have the resources compared to his former colleagues. So his only power is his way of anchoring, and of course, no can beat him when it comes to entertainment.

I am not saying that Arnab is a B-grade journalist, and I am his fan due to his past journalism and the Sushant Singh case, where he continues to report when other media haven’t shown interest. But at the end of the day, he runs a media house that depends on the TRP and he decided to add some masala in his latest reporting. In their latest failed attempt, they invited a person who claimed to be the so-called eyewitness in Cooper Hospital and gave a clean chit to Rhea.

And Times Now is not behind in this case; they also started interviewing the so-called eyewitness. But people are not dumb and they quickly identified that person has a good relationship with the people whose names are coming in the Sushant murder case. We don’t know the truth and I am sure we won’t see the real culprits.

The matter is about form governments in two states, and the BJP won’t miss the opportunity at any cost considering the past humiliation they have faced in Maharashtra from both Shiv Sena and NCP. CBI, being the finest investigation agency of the country, will bear the insult of not closing the case. It is because their political masters will close the case after getting a good deal.

In case you have faith in Subramanian Swamy, I am sorry to say nothing will happen. We have seen the many past u-turns, and if you are expecting any miracle, I am sorry. Nobody is a saint, neither the accused nor those big names who pretend to care about Sushant from both sides. It happened in the past and will continue in the future.

We will continue to see the circus until there is a significant change in Maharashtra politics. Everyone considers this case to be an opportunity, and only Sushant’s family and loyal fans, Disha’s family, and we Indians are going to be cheated again. Just like Jiah Khan, no one is going to get justice and that is the bitter truth that we have to digest. I wish he gets justice.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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