Mumbai: Actor Rhea Chakraborty’s arrest Tuesday in a drugs case linked to the death of Sushant Singh Rajput found its echo on Twitter. There were several people in the Hindi film industry decrying the ‘witch hunt’ and ‘trial by media’, However then there were some who supported Rhea Chakraborty’s arrest. They spoke of karma and the consequences of wrongdoing.
Rhea has been accused of abetting Rajput’s suicide by his family. She has also been subjected to intense media scrutiny. Rhea was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) after three days of questioning.
Rhea was wearing a black T-shirt with a quote proclaiming ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, Let’s smash patriarchy, me and you’. When she came out of the NCB office after she was arrested, the 28-year-old waved at media personnel.
Mainstream Bollywood was mostly silent about her arrest. However, directors Hansal Mehta, Anubhav Sinha, Alankrita Shrivastava and writer Atika Chohan reacted sharply to her arrest.
Sinha, the director of films such as Mulk and Article 15, simply asked mediapersons to ‘resign’ and seek different employment avenues. “If you still feel like a journalist, RESIGN. You won’t die of hunger. You will discover new friends, opportunities and avenues,” Sinha said in a scathing tweet.
Aligarh director Hansal Mehta was equally distressed. “Not abetment of suicide, not money laundering, not murder? Now I know why marijuana is not legalised in India yet,” he said.
Chohan, co-writer of Chhapaak, said Rhea was being ‘incriminated’ for the life choices of Rajput, her boyfriend. “He (Rajput) engaged in drugs and suffered from mental illness. Why is this so difficult to accept? Why is a woman incriminated and called names for an adult man’s life choice,” Chohan tweeted.
In an acerbic tweet, Shrivastava said, “Excellent job, India! Enjoy the burning of the witch. And while we are at it we may as well get Sati back. And no, let’s not lift a finger to stem any crimes against women. Let’s dance wildly and applaud the fire.”
Sacred Games star Kubbra Sait said Rhea may have been arrested but she is ‘still not a murderer’.
“May the universe give the parents of Rhea the strength through this devastating time. Arrested by NCB. Still not a murderer. #MediaCircus I wonder your conversations over your shaam ki chai (evening tea)” Sait wrote in a tweet.
Hours before Rhea’s arrest, producer Pritish Nandy pointed out how all other charges against her had failed.
“All charges against Rhea have failed. Murder? No evidence. Abetment to murder? She wasn’t there. Stealing Rs 15 crore? Sushant never got the money. What remains is drugs. None found on her. She’s ready for a test. Who was it for? Obvious, na?#justiceforSushant #Justice ForRhea,” Nandy tweeted.
Nandy said if one wanted to find out ‘what killed’ Rajput, they need to go back to the original charges.
“Harassment, humiliation in public, bullying. There are people in Bollywood who constantly ridiculed him. In this @kangna_official is right. You cannot survive Bollywood with a fragile mind,” Nandy added.
Actor-comic Vir Das tweeted, “Reminder. Abuse legal drugs…like power.”
Bidita Bag, an actor and model, wrote, “Rhea arrested…now please can we concentrate on real issues that our country is facing?… #JaiHind.”
TV actor Kritika Kamra called out the media for peddling ‘bloodlust’.
“The media has successfully pushed us into a bottomless pit of bloodlust and hate. We’re so far down in it that we see nothing, hear nothing, feel nothing,” she wrote on Twitter.
Not all reactions were critical of Rhea’s arrest that followed days of her being literally mobbed by camera crews and others.
Actor Ankita Lokhande, Rajput’s former girlfriend and Pavitra Rishta co-star, said ‘justice’ has been served. “Nothing happens by chance, by fate. You create your own fate by your actions. That’s karma,” Lokhande shared a post on Twitter.
Rajput’s sister Shweta Singh Kirti tweeted, ‘#GodIsWithUs’ after Rhea’s arrest. Actor Shekhar Suman also hailed Rhea’s arrest, saying, ‘You sow so you shall reap’.