#JusticeForSSR to #JusticeForKangana: The art of riding coattails – hashtags to hashtags

WION Web Team NEW DELHI Sep 28, 2020, 07.08 AM(IST) Written By: Nikhil Pandey

File image of Sushant Singh Rajput and Kangana Ranaut Photograph:( WION Web Team )

Story highlights

Our attention spans are so short now, we don’t notice how the trending trends morph into something else. #IamAnna became #MainHoonAamAadmi and #JusticeforSushant became #JusticeForKangana.

Riding the coattails of success has been a time-tested strategy for opportunists. Being an opportunist is not a bad thing, after all, it's all about timing and seeing an opening that furthers your cause. Recent history is filled with such instances.

Think about ‘India Against Corruption’ movement that followed Nirbhaya protests. This movement captured the imagination of the nation like nothing else in the near past of our polity.

Main bhi Anna, everyone was Anna. Do you know Anna Hazare had gone onto another fast in February 2019? He ended it after 5 days. No media coverage. No news. Nothing. This fast was not a TV event. Why?

The coattails of ‘India Against Corruption’ in 2019 were ridden by Arvind Kejriwal, leading to birth of AAP. He is on TV every day, on media everywhere if you are in Delhi. He is now a full time politician and Anna doesn’t make news anymore.

Cut to the cluster-mess that is the Sushant Singh Rajput suicide/murder/drugs media event. It started with questioning his suicide and now we have Bollywood starlets fighting and accusing Maharashtra CM.

We have TV anchors frothing at the sides challenging Salman Khan, Sonia Gandhi and everyone you can think of in between.

You have Jaya Bachchan fighting for image of the film industry. Another film star-turned-MP Ravi Kishan is asking for cleaning up drugs from Bollywood. It is just hard to keep up.

Our attention spans are so short now, we don’t notice how the trending trends morph into something else. #IamAnna became #MainHoonAamAadmi and #JusticeforSushant became #JusticeForKangana.

Of course, we are part of the process, we are the ones being manipulated to suit someone else’s agenda.

Yesterday it was nepotism that killed Sushant, then it was Rhea who drugged Sushant. It all changed to Kangana slamming insiders, the insiders then gave way to debate on politicos. Politicos abuse and misuse power so today it's about justice for Kangana.

Who knows what's next? Nothing is impossible. Even daily soap writers don’t change plots this quickly.

And the joke is on you. Yes you, my dear reader. You, your friends and your online circle who pass along your judgements on WhatsApp groups.

You jump from channel to channel, feasting on people tearing into each other wondering will Rhea go to jail? Is she innocent? Who all are in the cabal? You pass your opinions as frantic, crusading TV reporters dish it out.

You are responsible. Stop watching it. When TRPs dip, the channels will move on. Do this now.

Nikhil Pandey

Nikhil Pandey is News Editor with Wion Digital. He follows politics, sports and entertainment.

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