Smash the patriarchy: Not just Rhea Chakraborty, Rekha was also subjected to media witch-hunt 30 years ago
Smash the patriarchy: Not just Rhea Chakraborty, Rekha was also subjected to media witch-hunt 30 years ago

Late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput's girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, who has been accused by his family of abetting his suicide and extortion among other charges, has been remanded in judicial custody for two weeks after being arrested by the Narcotics Bureau (NCB). The 'Jalebi' actress was recently denied bail for the second time and currently remains at Mumbai's Byculla jail.

While the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI are still investigating Sushant Singh Rajput's death case, the unfair media trials and witch-hunts have already pronounced Chakraborty guilty. Rhea has not just faced the wrath of furious 'SSR warriors', the 28-year-old and her family has also been caused extreme trauma, courtesy to the constant sensationalisation of the case. From abusive Bhojpuri songs using filthy language against the actress to cameras zooming into her living room and her father, a retired army officer, being hounded by the media outside her building compound, Rhea has already been convicted by the media even before foul play could be established behind Sushant's death.

However, Rhea Chakraborty isn't the only actress who has been subjected to the witch-hunt and been called a gold digger, murderer, maneater and more. One of the finest personalities of Hindi cinema, legendary actress Rekha was also subjected to a similar media trial after the tragic death of her late husband Mukesh Aggarwal.

According to writer Yasser Usman's book ' Rekha: The Untold Story', the veteran star - who has countless awards and honours in her name and still manages to shine bright -- had to bear the brunt after Aggarwal committed suicide in October, 1990.

Rekha tied the knot with the Delhi-based business man after dating him for over a month and seven months after their marriage, Mukesh Aggarwal committed suicide by hanging himself from the fan. He had allegedly used Rekha's dupatta and it was suggested that he was battling with chronic depression. The actress was reportedly in the United States for a stage show when she got the news of the tragedy.

But the worse was yet to come!

While a bereaved Rekha was still mourning the death of her husband, the media trials had already tagged her as the national vamp.

"Woh daayan mere bete ko kha gayi (That witch devoured my son)," Aggarwal's angst-filled mother had said.

Soon, headlines like 'The Black Widow and The Macabre Truth Behind Mukesh's Suicide' were all over the news. The posters of Rekha's upcoming film 'Sheshnaag' were vandalized and smeared with black ink. During these tough times, it wasn't just the fans who deserted the Bollywood diva, even her co-stars didn't mince their words before passing vile and misogynistic comments.

Shubhash Ghai had reportedly said, "It's going to be tough even professionally for her. No conscientious director will work with her ever again. How will the audience accept her as Bharat ki nari or insaf ki devi?"

"Rekha has put such a blot on the face of the film industry that it'll be difficult to wash it away easily. I think after this any respectable family will think twice before accepting any actress as their bahu," the director had added.

Predicting the end of her career, her co-star Aupam Kher had said, "She's become the national vamp. Professionally and personally, I think it's curtains for her. I mean I don't know how I will react to her if I come face to face with her."

Today, Rekha's enchanting smile is proof that she has emerged as a fighter. From her debut in 1970 film 'Sawan Bhadan' to the following four decades, the legendary actress has managed to win hearts over and over again with her impeccable performances. The 65-year-old, who has done over 180 movies in her 40 years career, was last seen in 'Shamitabh' in 2014.

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