11 April, 2021

Love Song To Addicts

Being drawn to addictive substances is a normal psychological response from teenagers: a part of curiosity, and problem-solving. We as a society, and our draconian laws, fail them.

Love Song To Addicts

Sushant Singh Rajput’s tragic and untimely death has thrown open many a can of worms. One of the worst is the ­concerted effort to target and malign the actor’s girlfriend and her brother on charges of drug use and trafficking. While convoluted theories of how Rhea Chakravorty’s family were conspiring to usurp Rajput’s wealth were doing the rounds right from the beginning, the narrative took a particularly ugly turn when the stories got laced with use of drugs to numb and manipulate Rajput, and ultimately cause his death. Suddenly, the whole lot, ­including Sushant, became a pariah in the eyes of the moral policing mobs, who started baying for the blood of those who survived the melee.

This sledgehammer approach to substance misuse is not new to our society. Cannabis (known by names like ganja, charas, bhang and marijuana), which has been a part of our sociocultural matrix for thousands of years, was banned under the draconian drug control laws in India in 1985. The new law would attract extreme punishments of years of ­imprisonment, or...

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