Rhea Chakraborty interrogated by the ED
Rhea Chakraborty interrogated by the ED Image Credit: AFP

You keep wondering how low will they go?

And, each day the media in India disgraces itself in a more disgusting fashion. The public molestation of Rhea Chakraborty, currently target number one in the fevered imagination of the public embarrassment that is India’s “news channels,” hit a new putrid low even for them.

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Rhea is 28, currently convicted of no crime and is being hounded by a lynch mob which fancies itself as the “media”. It would be an insult to vultures if I were to compare my “colleagues” to them. Vultures carry out an impossible function in nature, the Indian media has turned into a parasite on body politics.

When a young girl is not being hounded in an infectious pandemic with zero norms of social distancing maintained, you have an “anchor” with a God complex, roll up his sleeves and pound his pulpit, screaming with spit flying on his contorted face demanding fantasy accountability.

Rhea has not even been accused of murder by the pliable Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and yet our “anchor” has convicted her. Clearly he is extremely imaginative as he had once passed of a colleague’s experience in the 2002 Gujarat riots as his own.

The “warrior,” who does resemble a chunky overweight wrestler, is a creature of the studio having never done any reporting in the field.

All his fake bravado melts when confronted with the Modi government. He worships at the altar of Narendra Modi and looks for vulnerable targets like Rhea to attack. Why wouldn’t he worship Modi and the BJP? They gave him a channel to play “editor-editor” on. Most of his on air tantrums would shame a self-respecting two-year-old.

Yet this chunky editor and his ilk are systematically destroying a young girl who just lost her partner and is now being investigated by multiple agencies.

An actor is given unhindered access to the air waves to publicly rant about delusional conspiracy theories. The Modi government helpfully provides her “Y” category security at tax payer expense to continue to target the BJP’s rivals.

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This is the crucial bit: the wrestler-anchor, the editor of an apology of a news agency and the flop actor - all those who demand justice for Rajput have -mercenary ties with the government and are furthering the Modi and Amit Shah agenda.

Imagine for a moment what Rhea’s family endures as they watch their kids crucified. A close friend of the Chakraborty family told me that the family barely eats. All of them, a tiny family of four, are on anti-anxiety medication and Rhea has terrible insomnia. Despite taking sleeping aides, she wakes up every half an hour and rushes to check on her parents, worried if they have been arrested.

This is the hell that the media have created for a young girl and her retired parents. After the Bihar elections are over, the media would have moved on working slavishly for Modi’s agenda. What will happen to Rhea? The media have destroyed her life at the age of 28.

The media mob lynching of Rhea makes me feel ashamed of being a journalist in India. I have always been passionate about my profession - proud that I belong to the fraternity of the free press. Yet, today I hang my head in shame at this macabre joke that calls itself the media.

Swati Chaturvedi, Special to Gulf News-1592296808900