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Crucial Difference

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There is a difference in what has happened with Rhea Chakraborty and Kangana Ranaut. Rhea has been hounded by the media, while Ranaut has become the victim of vendetta by an elected government, sworn to uphold the law and constitutional proprieties. If the Sushant Singh Rajput case has dragged on and taken on so many dimensions, it is largely because of shoddy investigative work by the Mumbai Police. Had it handled the case with the required professionalism, there would have been no need to involve the CBI, and for the issue to become a political hot potato.

The police could not determine, first, whether Rajput was murdered or committed suicide. In cases where there is no suicide note and somebody is likely to benefit from the death, it is natural to examine the doings of spouses, relatives, live-in partners, etc. If, as is claimed, Rajput was suffering from bipolar disorder or a drug addict, it has to be seen whether he was deliberately pushed over the edge, or his habit intentionally enabled for personal benefit. Unfortunately, it seems that the police acted under political pressure to cover up the case. This is nothing new and has happened in countless number of high profile cases all over the country. In districts and rural areas less under the spotlight, it is general practice for the police to skew the narrative in favour of the high bidder. Given the state of the courts, whatever discrepancies there are get lost in the years that cases take to reach even the first verdict. It must be noted that in most cases where such cover-ups come to light, it is because of the nosy media. This is often the reason behind murders of journalists.

In Ranaut’s case, it is clearly political vendetta at work, with the BMC officials acting at the behest of their masters to ‘demolish’ her office. She has been abused, threatened and punished for voicing her opinion, which admittedly is occasionally over the top, but shouldn’t the human rights wallahs be emphasising that she can do so freely? She has taken on the Shiv Sena, the best organised and successful gang of street hoodlums in the country. While the Mumbaiker and Maratha Manoos pride argument may hold water with some in Maharashtra, the sympathies of most in the rest of the country are with the girl from Manali. It may be noted that, in this matter, the Congress – whose top leaders pontificate on every subject – has been significantly silent. This gives the self-serving game away and there should be no complaints when the BJP exploits this to the fullest in the coming Bihar elections. It has been given to it on a platter!