Beloved Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput breathed his last on June 14 this year, and ever since then, the media has made a mockery out of his death. What started out as an investigation into his alleged suicide, has become a matter of national priority, with three top agencies--the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate as well as the Narcotics Control Bureau--involved.
On Tuesday, actor Rhea Chakraborty, who was the late actor's partner, was arrested--not in connection to Sushant's murder, but for the alleged procurement of drugs. She has been arrested under sections 27 A, 21,22, 29 and 28 of the NDPS Act. Sushant's family has accused Rhea for his alleged 'murder'.
Soon after the actor's death, fans began harassing Bollywood celebrities, alleging that the nepotism in the industry drove the actor to take the drastic step. Soon, the focus of the allegations were shifted to Rhea, who has been called a gold digger who "purposely alienated and forcefully drugged" Sushant in order to take advantage of him.
While the industry has been silent on this case, last week the Producers Guild of India spoke up slamming the media trials and slander. Some celebrities like Tapsee Pannu and Swara Bhasker also started publically denouncing the 'witch-hunt' that the investigation has turned into.
After Rhea's arrest yesterday, the industry finally broke its silence on the Sushant Singh Rajput case, and several actors, directors and producers took to social media to support Rhea. They all posted a quote that read "Roses are red, violets are blue, let's smash the patriarchy, me and you". Rhea was spotted wearing a T-shirt with the same slogan when she arrived at the NCB headquarters for questioning on Tuesday.
From actors like Sonam Kapoor and Vidya Balan to directors like Anurag Kashyap and Zoya Akhtar, the industry has finally spoken up about the unfair media trial Rhea is being subjected to.
Soman Kapoor has never been one to stay silent on issues she feels strongly about. She posted the picture with the quote from Rhea's T-shirt with a caption on witch-hunts. It read, "Everyone loves a witch hunt as long as it's someone else's witch being hunted. Walter Kirn".
The actor is not new to being unabashedly vocal about sexism, whether it is calling out trolls who have body-shamed her, to her on-screen portrayal of strong female characters like Shakuntala Devi and Silk Smitha. She posted the quote for Rhea with the caption "#JusticeForRhea ☀️"
When it comes to the nepotism debate, Kareena Kapoor Khan had no qualms about stating the facts--yes, nepotism might give people an entry into the industry, but ultimately it is the fans who make an actor famous by watching their movies. She even went on to say that if the audiences don't want to support nepotism, they should stop watching her films. Kareen posted the same quote on patriarchy to her Instagram stories as her way of extending support to Rhea.
Unlike a lot of celebrities who play it safe when it comes to talking about politics, director Anurag Kashyap has never shied away from blatantly criticising the government's politics and social injustices. This time, he extended support for Rhea by posting the picture of the quote on his feed with the caption "#justiceforrhea"
Being the son of writers and activists Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi (who is his step mother), Farhan had openly commented in support of the anti-CAA protests. More recently, he tweeted in support of a journalist who quit a popular news broadcast channel over their unfair reporting on the Sushant Singh Rajput case. He wrote, "This is the time for all media people who still have a conscience to call out those who have silenced or sold theirs. One must applaud this woman for her courage and integrity. Hope she inspires others to speak out."
Farhan also posted the same quote on patriarchy on his Instagram feed in support of Rhea, with simply the emoji " ✊🏽" as the caption.
Farhan's girlfriend Shibani is a close friend of Rhea, and has been openly voicing her support for her since the beginning of the investigation. She had said that just because Rhea didn't get along with Sushant's family, it doesn't mean she murdered him. "Sometimes these things happen, sometimes the girlfriend doesn’t get along with the family. What does that mean? Does that equal murder? Does that equal abetment to suicide? Does that equal her being a witch? Does it equal her being a villain? Does it allow for her to be vilified? Is this just lockdown entertainment for everybody? Let the investigating officers do their job and leave her and her family alone. It is not anybody’s business. If you truly want justice for Sushant then leave it alone,” she said.
Shibani also took to Instagram to share the quote on patriarchy, captioning it "#justiceforrhea"
Like her father and brother, Zoya Akhtar has always voiced her opinions on social issues, whether it is through her movies like Gully Boy, or directly talking about them on Twitter. Two days ago, she posted a quote on Instagram, which was seemingly about the media's treatment of Rhea, which said, "No matter what the situation is. No matter which direction you lean towards. If you are a woman, you will face abuse. I long for a sisterhood that won't stand for it--no matter what the world thinks you did." She captioned this post, "stop the abuse". She also posted the quote on patriarchy today in support of Rhea.
Radhika Apte is the queen of unconventional. Since the very beginning of her acting career, she has been known for taking on powerful roles that smash stereotypes and confronts important social issues. From Padman to Ghoul, Radhika's choice of films is clearly sending a message. And not just her roles, she has also been openly vocal about the blatant sexism in Bollywood when producers only wanted to cast her in 'sex comedies', as well as her admission of facing the casting couch. She supported Rhea simply by posting the same quote on patriarchy, with the caption "#justiceforrhea".
Rhea has been sent to 14-day judicial custody after being arrested. Her bail plea was rejected on Tuesday, and her team will now be moving to the sessions court to seek bail.
Let's hope this public witch-hunt ends soon and Rhea get a fair trial.
Featured Image: Instagram