Sushant Singh, SC vs Bhushan, LAC, COVID: Truth Is the Casualty

From Sushant’s death to COVID-19, to SC vs Prashant Bhushan – in each case, we have failed to embrace the truth.

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Video Producer: Shohini Bose

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

Cameraperson: Athar Rather

Like you, I’ve been watching the drama, the media circus around the death of Sushant Singh Rajput… Like you, I’ve watched the story of Supreme Court versus senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan unfold... Like you, I’ve watched India’s COVID death toll climb and climb… watched China grab Indian territory at the LAC… watched India’s economy crashing...

And like you, the feeling I’m left with is that, Yeh Jo India Hai Na… we are not very good at dealing with the truth. We run away from the truth, we deny it, we attack it, we convert into a joke, we ignore it, we ignore glaring realities, we even punish those who hold up the mirror to us.

Click on the player below for the podcast.


With Sushant's Death We Have Also Lost the Truth

Look at the Sushant Singh Rajput case – apart from all of us having lost an excellent actor, the other casualty in this story has been – THE TRUTH.

  • Mumbai police
  • Patna police
  • Politicians in Maharashtra
  • Politicians in Bihar
  • Politicians in Delhi
  • Media bosses
  • Journalists in Mumbai, Delhi, Bihar
  • Bollywood personalities big, medium, small and has-been,
  • Lawyers
  • Ex-cops
  • Forensic experts
  • Doctors
  • Psychiatrists
  • Influencers
  • Cooks
  • Neighbours
  • Drivers
  • Friends
  • Associates

The list of those who’ve been a willing part of this circus is long – each grabbing their slice of attention, each gutting the truth in their own way, every day for over two months now. It has been distasteful to watch.

And the audience, too, has been glued to the drama, gripped by every spun out hashtag.

  • #SushantTruthNow
  • #1stStepToSSRJustice
  • #SushantWasKilled
  • #SushantRheaTwist
  • #ArrestRheaNow
  • #SSRWarriors
  • #DishaSushantMurderLink
  • #GlobalProtest4SSR
  • #CBITakesOver
  • #CBIForSSR

And there are many many more. The unfortunate fact is that none of this, none of it, has got us any closer to the truth. Should we all introspect? Yes. Will we? No.


We Still Have Chinese Troops on Our Soil, but No Questions Asked?

And do you recall what happened a day after Sushant’s death, on 14 June? On 15 June, 20 of our soldiers were killed on Indian soil, on India’s side of the LAC. Some sabre-rattling by the ‘godi media’ followed, we went wow when some Chinese Apps were banned.

20 Indian Soldiers Martyred at Galwan Valley
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

But we still have Chinese troops on Indian soil at Pangong lake and Depsang – but these are facts we’re not ready to face, not ready to question our government about.

Chinese Incursion at Pangong Tso
(Graphics: The Quint)
Chinese Incursion at Depsang
(Graphics: The Quint)
The government has not even told us how many casualties our 20 martyrs inflicted on the Chinese army. Doesn’t our government know? Why is that fact not being shared? Why don’t shrill TV anchors ask this question? Why no #HowManyChineseTroopsKilledAtGalwan?

COVID Cases in India Rising and Rising, But No Answers From the Govt

Also, just for the record – on 14th June, India had 3.3 lakh COVID cases. As of Thursday, we have 33 lakh cases. On 14 June, we had 9,500 deaths, today we are at 60,000.

Over 800 Indians are dying everyday, more than any other country in the world. Do we know why?

Is our government telling us why? Are we asking our government why? When did our health minister last address us all to answer any of these questions? Do most of us even know who India’s health minister is? Why don’t these questions bother us? Don’t we want to know? Why have we been put on a slow intravenous drip of Sushant hashtags instead?


Worst Year for Indian Economy – Is Our Govt Doing Enough?

Likewise, the economy. It will be the worst year for the Indian economy ever!

  • The International Monetary Fund or IMF says India’s economy is going to contract by minus (-) 4.5 percent in 2020.
  • Passenger vehicle sales between April and July this year were a massive 62 percent lower than last year.
  • 122 million Indians lost their jobs just between March and April this year, says CMIE – that’s double the entire population of France!
Each one of us knows someone whose business has suffered, who has lost a job, who’s salary has been cut. 

But is enough being done to revive the economy, to give direct financial help to the worst hit, to create jobs, to create demand? Is our government telling us? Is the media asking? Surely questions about our livelihoods should excite us more than the latest Kangana Ranaut rant.

Kangana's Claim and a Reality Check

Incidentally, her most recent assertion is that India’s caste system is on its way out, that caste atrocities are committed by a sadistic few.

So, here is a fact for Kangana’s 8.7 lakh twitter followers – in 2018, a total of 42,800 caste crimes were reported in India. Hard government data. Just another bitter truth about ourselves, that we ignore and deny.

Kangana Ranaut's Tweet on Indian Caste System
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Why Is India's Top Court Threatened by a Tweet?

While ordinary folk, struggling with COVID fears and livelihood concerns, may well seek an escape into the Sushant media circus, what excuse does our judiciary have?

Senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan was held guilty of contempt by the Supreme Court, for two tweets.

Several of India’s top legal minds have questioned the Supreme Court’s ruling:

  1. Why is India’s highest court threatened by a mere tweet?
  2. Is the Supreme Court above criticism?
  3. Why can’t someone holding up a mirror to the apex court be seen as a friend and not an adversary?
Bhushan was not even allowed to prove his assertions in court – going against the legal tenet that the truth is a defence. Clearly, there is something about the truth today, that even the Supreme Court seems to be uncomfortable with.

Yeh Jo India Hai Na… it must embrace the truth – even bitter, uncomfortable, painful truths… because that is what defines a mature and truly nation.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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