Over two thousand people including film personalities have signed an open letter condemning the media’s witch hunt of Rhea Chakraborty while covering the Sushant Singh Rajput’s death investigation. Film personalities like Sonam Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Freida Pinto, Gauri Shinde, Farhan Akhtar, Alankrita Shrivastava, Reema Kagti, Rasika Dugal, Amruta Subhash, Dia Mirza, Kubbra Sait and others have also signed the latter that asks media to hunt news and not women.
Rhea Chakraborty was arrested a week ago by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in a drug probe in connection with the death case of Sushant Singh Rajput. Up until now, 18 people including Rhea, her brother Showik, Rajput’s manager Samuel Miranda, domestic help Dipesh Sawant and others have been arrested.
The open letter signed by over 2,500 personalities from differnet walks of life has been addressed to the news media of India and is published on a blog called Feminist Voices.
“Dear news media of India. We are worried about you. Are you feeling ok? Because, as we watch your witch-hunt of Rhea Chakraborty, we cannot understand why you have abandoned every professional ethic of journalism, every tenet of human decency and dignity and chosen instead to physically assault a young woman with your camera crews, endlessly violate her privacy and work overtime on false accusations and moralistic innuendo for a drama of ‘Rhea ko phasao’,” the letter reads.
The letter also drew parallels to the cases of actors Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan and urged the media to show the same kindness and respect to Chakraborty. The letter also questioned why the media assassinated Chakraborty’s character and encouraged an online mob against her and her family. The letter also condemned the media for promoting stereotypes of vishkanyas and dayans while trivialising mental health.
“It is easy to victimise a young woman because there are so many people who already disbelieve, slut-shame and abuse women, for their smallest freedoms. It is certainly cheaper than doing actual stories about a host of issues from GDP to health, currently confronting us,” the letter further said.
“We write to ask you, the news media, to stop this unfair witch-hunt of Rhea Chakraborty and to stop fuelling moral polarities of good women to be deified and bad women to be crucified which endangers all women. We write to ask you to do the right and responsible thing. Your jobs. Hunt news, not women,” the letter added.
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