MUMBAI: In a strongly-worded open online letter, around 60 human rights advocacy groups and more than 2,500 individuals from diverse fields have castigated “News Media of India” for allegedly conducting a misogynistic media trial of actor Rhea Chakraborty. “We write to ask you to do the right and responsible thing. Your jobs. Hunt news, not women,” it said.
Prominent among those who have signed the letter are organisations Akshara Centre, Saheli, Center for Women, Forum Against Oppression of Women. Individual signatories include actors and filmmakers such as Zoya and Farhan Akhtar, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Anurag Kashyap; academics Swagato Ray, professor at the Indian Statistical Institute and Shohini Ghosh, professor at Jamia Milia Islamia and Dalit activist Deepti Sukumar.
Published on Medium, a popular blogging platform on Monday under the blogger name Feminist Voices, the letter questioned the media’s alleged obsession with “creating only one narrative” and make “false accusations and moralistic innuendo” for what they feel was an attempt to spin a “Rhea ko phasao” drama.
The letter also alluded to the “kindness and respect” that the news media had shown in the past to “the Salman Khans and Sanjay Dutts of this world” while its misogyny was unmissable when it came to a young woman’s “concerns, ambitions, clothes choices,” all of which the letter rued was “trivialised, dismissed, persecuted.”