Rape threats. Abuses. And now Bhojpuri songs. Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput's "loyal" fans have gone out of their way to "punish" Rhea Chakraborty for his death.
A quick glance at social media in the days following Rajput's suicide in June will show how his fans have already declared that Rhea Chakraborty is responsible for his untimely demise.
On July 25, the late actor's family lodged an FIR against her for abetting his suicide; an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation is currently ongoing. However, social media has already declared a verdict and the concept of "Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat" (innocent until proven guilty) has ceased to hold meaning. According to Sushant's apparent fans, Rhea is guilty. In the last few days, the case has turned into a media circus and every action of Rhea has been scrutinised-- What clothes she wore, who she is friends with, what words came out of her mouth and probably even what she eats. Apparently, all of these could indicate that she is indeed the reason for the Bollywood actor's death.
Rhea Chakraborty has also been receiving rape threats.
The actress, through an Instagram post, said that she has been at the receiving end of a lot of hatred and was called a gold digger and a murderer and was slut-shamed too but she remained silent. She further alleged that she is being threatened with rape and death. "I was called a gold digger ..I kept quiet. I was called a murderer ....I kept quiet. I was slut shamed ....I kept quiet. But how does my silence give you the right to tell me that you will get me RAPED and MURDERED if I don’t commit suicide @mannu_raaut (sic)," she wrote in an Instagram post along with a screenshot of a threatening message she received yesterday from an account named mannu_raaut. "Do you realize the seriousness of what you have said? These are crimes, and by law no one, I repeat NO ONE should be subjected to this kind of toxicity and harassment (sic)," she added.
Concluding her post by writing, "enough is enough" she requested cyber cell to look into the matter.
Meanwhile, several Bhojpuri songs abusing Rhea have gone viral on social media. The songs, sung by local singers, are just that - full of filthy language and abuses. It was difficult for us to listen to the end.
A singer named Vikash Gop on YouTube, who runs a channel Vikas Gop Entertainment, posted a song on Rhea called "Jo Sushant (Singh Rajput) bhaiya ke fan ha, woh is gaane ko sune."
Another singer named Ramjanam Yadav posted a similar song on YouTube and at the time of writing this, the song has 64,609 views and around 2.9k likes. Another song was posted by a YouTube channel named Bandamru.
You do not really need to understand the language to make sense of the songs. They all revolve around the same theme-- Rhea Chakraborty killed Sushant Singh Rajput and that she does not deserve to exist.
Soon after Sushant Singh Rajput's family filed a case against Rhea Chakraborty, Bengali girls around the world were termed as witches and practitioners of "Black Magic"'. A targeted hate campaign said that Bengali women use black magic to trap "big fish" like Sushant Singh Rajput. It's not the first time though that women have been accused of witchcraft when they didn't fit into the idea of what is perceived as a 'good girl'.
While most comments on YouTube are jokes about Rhea Chakraborty, some did condemn the songs. Some even pointed out that the late actor himself would be "ashamed".
"Sushant himself wud be ashamed of this nonsense."
"Abusing her doesn't make any difference between us and rhea....."
Following Sushant's suicide, everybody on social media turned into a mental health expert. Messages and tweets were galore on what the actor, who was reportedly suffering from depression, should or should not have done. Emotional messages from his fans, asking friends and family to reach out if they're suffering too, flooded social media.
But the circus doesn't seem to end.
National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma on Tuesday lashed out against the Bhojpuri songs that are all over social media. In a tweet, Sharma demanded that an investigation be launched into the matter and the singer, Vikash, be arrested.
This man Vikash must be arrested. Why can't we let law enforcement agencies work when they are already investigating the case. Even if someone is guilty, no one has the right to use such filthy language against the person. Let law takes its course. @DGPBihar @bihar_police https://t.co/RwlPmM1hZC — Rekha Sharma (@sharmarekha) August 11, 2020
Several Twitter users have also come out in support, calling out the Bhojpuri music industry for being "toxic."
The vulgar language on display aside, for Bihari/Bhojpuri singers, Rhea Chakraborty has become a pretext for abusing Bengalis. Their coarse behavior carefully adjusts itself to environmental cues https://t.co/zzH0pthMoB — (@SujoyNMitra) August 11, 2020
Bhojpuri singers who made violent and hateful videos on Muslims are now doing the same with Rhea Chakraborty. People who loathe religious minorities hate women no less. — Ignotus Peverell (@Maq_one) August 10, 2020
Why only Vikash must be arrested. I want all singers who abuses a Women in form of song and lay down bhojpuri language. Need to take immediate action against these people. As matter is subjudiciary, if Rhea will found guilty court will punish but why before that they abusing her. — akash yadav (@akashya90366864) August 11, 2020
The public trial of Rhea Chakraborty needs to stop. Guilty or not, filthy songs about Rhea Chakraborty cannot be pardoned, nor can the rape threats or the abuses that are hurled at her.