On September 5, Showick named Rhea in the drugs dealings and on September 6, NCB called Rhea Chakraborty for questioning. As the grip on Rhea tightens, her lawyer, Satish Manshinde said to the media:
“Rhea Chakraborty is ready for arrest as it’s witch-hunt. If loving someone is a crime, she’ll face consequences of her love. Being innocent she hasn’t approached any court for anticipatory bail in all cases foisted by Bihar Police with CBI, ED & NCB,” – Adv. Satish Manshinde.
Enter the ‘Abla Naari’ narrative: Read on to know more about this PR spin.
This statement by Rhea’s lawyer added fuel to the debate in news media about the vilification of Rhea Chakraborty in the Sushant Singh Rajput Case. Read on to know how this narrative was smartly built, one step at a time.
Let’s look at the chronology of tweets by influencers that have added fuel to the vilification & ‘Abla Naari’ narrative spun by Rhea’s PR team:
August 30 @ 6:01 pm Swara Bhaskar tweets in Rhea’s support
Actor Swara Bhaskar quoted a tweet by India TV’s Consulting Editor, Ajay Kumar. She lashed out at the media and seeded the idea of Rhea being framed. If you check the replies on this tweet, you see that fans have asked some logical questions regarding the WhatsApp screenshot shared by Ajay Kumar. One of the question being: Whose phone is this and how does one verify if the name mentioned corresponds to the real number of Sushant’s sister. These questions and many more go unanswered.
Till August 30, there is no mention of Rhea or Sushant on Swara Bhaskar’s Twitter timeline. Suddenly she tweets/retweets/comments on everything that’s pro-Rhea. She launches a scathing attack on the media & Sushant’s family.Tweet
August 30 @ 6:43 pm Lakshmi Manchu tweets in Rhea’s support
Actor Lakshmi Manchu proclaims in her tweet she is standing by her colleague and accuses the media of lynching Rhea Chakraborty. She appeals to her industry friends to stand up for Rhea and requests everyone to back off till the entire truth is officially released.
It’s interesting to note how Lakshmi Manchu suddenly woke up on August 30 and started tweeting fervently in favour of Rhea. Her entire narrative is around the vilification of Rhea Chakraborty by the media and public.Tweet
August 30, 8:46 PM Taapsee Pannu responds to Lakshmi Manchu’s tweet.
She says she doesn’t know Sushant or Rhea and talks about how it’s wrong to overtake judiciary to convict someone who isn’t proven guilty. After this tweet, she raises her voice on media’s behaviour and adds to the narrative of a media trial against Rhea.
They keep a gap of about a day between Swara, Lakshmi and Taapsee’s tweets.
The gap allows space to create a playground for the ‘Abla Naari’ narrative to perform its influential magic. We see many directors, actors and Bollywood supporters joining the movement on this day.
As soon as the excitement dwindles, the PR team puts forth its trump card.
The tweet by actor, Vidya Balan spirals the ‘Abla Naari’ narrative into jet speed, destroying every other belief that came its way.Tweet
September 1, 4:46 pm Vidya Balan responds to Lakshmi Manchu’s tweet.
She thanks Lakshmi for ‘saying it out loud’ and then formally inaugurates the ‘Abla Naari’ narrative. She says that the vilification of Rhea Chakraborty breaks her heart. She then says that law should take its course.
Let’s understand the PR spin on these tweets.
Seems like a desperate attempt to systematically divert attention from SSR:
When 4 powerhouses of Bollywood speak about a topic, the news media and netizens will definitely take notice. Swara, Lakshmi, Taapsee and Vidya’s tweets spin the ‘Abla Naari’ narrative and spark fresh debates around feminism and women’s rights. Intellectuals accuse media of running a circus.
How do the tweets by Bollywood powerhouses spin into a choreographed narrative?
Jungle fire strategy: Each tweet by the powerhouses garners a large number retweets, comments and likes. Since these powerhouses are influencers, their colleagues (also influencers) also join the jamboree and talk about media vilification of Rhea. Further, there are replies on the replies with pro and against parties fighting and discussing over the issue while the tweeter smiles at the ‘engagement’ on their tweet.
News features & articles: Each of the tweet by the four powerhouses independently makes news and then sparks a debate around the role of media and the ‘Abla Naari’ narrative.
Fresh debates: New discussions centering around feminism, equality to women, Bollywood supporting their colleagues rise.
Social media shares & discussions: The articles and shows on news channels become fodder for a high number of social media shares. Each social media share has a discussion and debate around the ‘Abla Naari’ narrative.
The new narrative creates a split among SSR Warriors: The ‘Abla Naari’ narrative creates a split among the supporters of SSR. Not everyone likes the behaviour of the media towards Rhea and this creates a diversion from the SSR case within the SSR Warriors community.
Extension of narrative by YouTubers: Whether for or against, the entire ‘Abla Naari’ narrative is fodder for YouTubers who take the discussion beyond WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. Hundreds of videos on the tweets by the powerhouses takes away attention from Sushant and puts the spotlight on Rhea.
Memes and cartoons capture the youth: Everyone knows that youth are not on Facebook and Twitter. They are on Reddit, Instagram and Pinterest. Cartoons, memes and short interesting videos work with the youth. The ‘Abla Naari’ narrative is then taken to platforms where the youth spend time. Each platform creates a domino effect of posts, reposts, replies, likes, comments et. al. All this adds fuel to the already burning fire.
All this is a thought-seeding exercise by Rhea’s PR team and an attempt to influence the masses to believe that she is being targeted. This builds foundation for public sympathy when Rhea admits to NCB that she used to buy drugs.
Once they believe they have achieved their goal of seeding the ‘Abla Naari’ narrative, Rhea releases a statement through her lawyer.
On September 6, 2020 the news media was focussing on whether Rhea Chakarborty will be arrested or not. Meanwhile, Rhea’s lawyer Satish Manshinde issued a statement saying that if love is a crime, Rhea is ready to face the consequences.
Talented actor, Sushant Singh Rajput left for heavenly abode on June 14, 2020. Since then there have been speculations around his tragic and untimely death. After Mumbai police declared it as a suicide and amidst public and media furore, Sushant’s father, Krishna Kumar Singh filed an FIR in Patna against Rhea Chakraborty & her family members for abetment to suicide, wrongful restraint and a host of other accusations.
Ever since Sushant’s father filed the FIR, Rhea Chakraborty has been facing media trial. Initially, Team Rhea tried some failed attempts at managing her image crisis. DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter published a case study on the gaps in their strategy. Since that article on August 28, 2020, Rhea’s team has taken a complete U-turn and changed Rhea’s narrative. We have also questioned the silence of ‘A’ listers in the Sushant Singh Rajput case and tracked Rhea’s transformation from scared kitten to fearless vixen. The launch of Akshay Kumar’s FAU-G game just two days after PUB-G ban raised a lot of speculations too.
Losing Sushant is like losing a family member. There is nothing choreographed about the love of Sushant’s fans across the world. #JusticeForSSR is an appeal that comes straight from the heart of millions of people who are waiting for justice to prevail.
Leave your comments on this blog post and let me know your views on the ‘Abla Naari’ narrative that is being spun by Rhea’s team.
Dear Readers, I, Mayura Amarkant, Founder of DiaryOfAnInsaneWriter have written the above article based on my experience as a Crisis Manager, having managed large-scale national crisis for brands and individuals. Indo-global SME Chamber recognised me for my work in the form of a national-level award as a Woman Business Leader in Digital Marketing and PR. The views expressed above are completely my own. This is NOT a sponsored or paid post. We intend the above to be a case study for those who wish to understand content seeding for influencing the masses. It doesn’t make any direct or indirect allegations on the involvement of any party in the SSR Case or otherwise. The information depicted above is from the public domain.
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