“Rhea! Rhea! Rhea! Mujhe drugs do! Mujhe drugs do!”
This is what the media is chanting these days. This one bit of juicy Bollywood drama has made mainstream media wild these days. But where did Rhea surface from? What is the real cause of her popularity over the media? Actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death brought her to the limelight. However, instead of focusing on the main cause, i.e. mental health and suicide prevention, we are on a witch hunt.
The media failed to cover how Sushant was pressurised, pushed to suicide. They didn’t cover the other dark side of Bollywood — mental health disorders. There are rising cases of suicides among various sections of society, including students and farmers. Farmers’ struggles are overlooked by mainstream media and society. There is not much awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence our society (particularly during the lockdown). The media comes to their own verdict on cases, based on false facts that it extracts using coercion and clout.
Being loud and argumentative doesn’t mean you are speaking the truth or providing justice. Conversely, the truth gets lost this way and one’s social image gets ruined. Often, channels are party-biased and either cover up political blunders or rarely report them. Yet, a Page 3 gossip session or Bollywood news, such as that of a celebrity’s pregnancy, becomes a headline.
Why is it that people take years to realise that something wrong happened? Why are today’s issues never given the same amount of importance? The media can certainly make time for mental health, suicide prevention, body positivity and sustainability; even a small 20-minute booster is enough to influence the young and old.