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The curse of being Sushant Singh Rajput

Updated: Jan 17, 2021

He was a beautiful boy. He was a brilliant boy. He was a sensitive boy. He was a talented boy. He was a loving boy. He was a unique boy. He was.....

We will make sure you live in our hearts. We will honour your memory every day. We will wish you on your birthday and light diyas on the day you died. We will write beautiful things about you on social media. We will re-watch countless times those ten precious films, a few TV shows and the ever insightful interviews. We will marvel at your brilliant mind and try to unearth the depth of your thoughts and messages.


But before we do all that, we will turn the 'fight for your justice' into a public spectacle. We will dissect every choice you made. We will be privy to your bank statements, call records, messages and emails. We will get to know your wildest dreams, plans, deepest fears, family secrets and relationships. We will start judging you for your few vices that otherwise would have been a secret and let it chip away, bit by bit, at all your virtues that far outnumber the former. We will judge your mental health and character without knowing you beyond what you portrayed to the world.

We will even get to see you in your last moments. Lying there, helpless, dead and unable to stop the circus unravelling around you. Even better, we will get to see different angles, some allegedly morphed and some which point towards the potential bitter truth.

We will even get to see you in your last moments. Lying there, helpless, dead and unable to stop the circus unravelling around you. Even better, we will get to see different angles, some allegedly morphed and some which point towards the potential bitter truth.

We will hold screaming competitions otherwise known as debates, indulge enthusiastically into mudslinging and watch influential people put forward their agendas in the name of justice for you. We will watch news channels claiming to solve the case and repeatedly reminding people how they are the numero uno in their field with the maximum viewers. We will watch a grieving family who lost their child go through something horrible, and we will see another family crucified for a crime in which they are yet to be proved guilty of. We will make assumptions, fill in the gaps and draw conclusions based on incomplete information. And we will consume all this and much more with an insatiable appetite.

Journalism is storytelling with a purpose. It should do more than gather an audience or catalogue the important. It must balance what readers know they want with what they cannot anticipate but need. The cacophony that drives the debate in the public square makes cheering for sides synonymous with our support for our favourite sports teams. It may work for our sports allegiances, but it is dreadfully inadequate for maintaining an informed citizenry and healthy public debate.

Eventually, this story will become passé. We will get caught up in the complications of our own lives or something more sensational. For justice to take its course, building the case and proving it in the court of law is essential for both the victim and the perpetrator. And that needs unquestionable evidence, patience and time. There are countless cases where journalists won justice for the common man by being the shield against the powerful. I hope that Sushant's name gets added to that list.

But none of this will change the fact that Sushant Singh Rajput was a unique and sensitive soul who was first suffocated by a harsh and shallow industry and possibly manipulated by the highly questionable people he surrounded himself with. And yet, it does not absolve him from the responsibility of putting himself in such a position. He was the creator of his destiny through sheer hard work, dedication and persistence. I do believe that his downfall was his responsibility as well. Not death, downfall.


The fact that we still do not know whether he did have a mental health issue or not saddens me further. We live in a society where enhancement surgeries to improve our physical attractiveness have more acceptability than treatment of problems which may impact anyone's mental wellbeing. As a result, not only are these issues suppressed by the patient themselves; their friends and family also prefer to pretend that it does not exist. We lost a celebrity, and it crushed us. I shudder to imagine the plight of various families who face the same pain every day, but it goes unnoticed. Even worse is the realization that most of these issues are treatable, which go untreated because of the stigma attached to the topic.


We witnessed with Sushant's life the systematic breakdown of a person, and we, as a society, had our role to play in it. From accepting mediocrity in our cinema and lives in general to watching unintelligent films and further following celebrities with the most shirtless pictures on social media. We get what we deserve, and we probably did not deserve a Sushant Singh Rajput.

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