Don’t Bully the Bully

End bullying before it ends another life.

The news of tragic demise of Sushant Singh Rajput has shaken up the entire film industry to the core and people are filled with understandable grief and outrage, but unfortunately, the whole situation has turned ugly as the people who’re rightfully filled with anger have become so blinded by it that they think that there are no consequences to abusing on the internet and they think that their actions are justified. They want to take out their frustration, so where do they go? Of course, the Internet. On social media, the initial outpouring of grief and conversations about mental health rapidly gave way to conspiracy theories, allegations of dark plots, and soon enough, some “villains” had been zeroed in upon – recognisable faces on which to pin blame, and then mercilessly, relentlessly abuse.

So far, it’s Sushant’s close associates and the “star kids”, in the recent turn of events, have been bearing the brunt of all the outpouring rage. Of late, people have been invading Ankita Lokhande’s fiancé Vicky Jain’s Instagram handle with hate comments for him. While some asked Vicky to leave Ankita, some accused him of ruining Sushant and Ankita’s relationship. Vicky has even now limited the comments to his Instagram posts to avoid the negativity. Actress Sonam Kapoor Ahuja too has been receiving several hate messages where people have slammed her and wished death for her future children.

It’s high time that we realize that cyber bullying is a crime. It’s in a way ironical that Sushant Singh Rajput lost his life due to bullying, lookism and nepotism, but now we are doing the same thing. Bullying the bully won’t cut it. Tragic as it is, Rajput’s suicide only highlights the stress faced by those in Bollywood. But issues such as nepotism, insider-outsider biases, sexism, discrimination are also part of other industry. By blaming and shaming Karan Johar or other so- called “nepotists” like Bhatt, Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan among others, many on so social media seemed to lose the real focus of the discourse which should be on improving mental health awareness, preparedness and infrastructure to help people cope with stress in all environments.

Toxicity cannot be reduced with further toxicity and cyberbullying is not the best practice when the end-goal is improving mental health.

Sending death threats and calling people ugly is definitely not the way to pay tribute to his legacy. If you want to pay a tribute to SSR, then the best thing is to be kind and never fear from struggle. We should remember him for his acting and his talent. Sushant Singh Rajput was struggling with mental health. The worst way to disgrace his memory is to subject others to bullying and mental harassment. Nepotism in Bollywood is real and rampant. The industry is largely run by a few clans, promoting their kin at the cost of talented outsiders, who are robbed audience, which is robbed of quality content. All these problems need to be acknowledged and discussed. None of these problems can be solved by heaping abuses on individual actors and subjecting them to vile trolling. This incident has also caused a much-needed debate regarding India’s mental health awareness and preparedness.

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle that you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

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