Rakhi Sawant has taken the media and celebrity circus that we have all been witness to following Balika Vadhu actress Pratyusha Banerjee's tragic alleged suicide to a whole new level.
In a bizarre press conference held at a banquet hall in Mumbai's Oshiwara area, Sawant made two claims: one, that she was in possession of a video that would reveal that Banerjee's death wasn't a suicide, and two, that ceiling fans were indirectly responsible for the lives of thousands of young, fragile women across the country. "If a father and mother love their daughter, they should get rid of ceiling fans," said Sawant, dressed in a black velvet top, with a flex banner behind her that read 'Lautkar aa jao Pratyusha (come back, Pratyusha)'. "Use AC, use table fans," she added, brandishing a small white ceiling fan that she had brought along to the presser for added impact.
On being asked how the poor would cope with the heat, she said, "Table fans are not expensive. We are planning to go to slums and donate 5,000 fans to the poor ourselves. At least we're doing this. What are others doing for the country? What is the government doing?"
However, it must be said that Sawant's idea of getting rid of ceiling fans to prevent suicides, as crazy as it may sound, isn't new.
A number of journalists present there, including this writer, could barely resist from smirking. One reporter asked, "20 years ago, [actress] Divya Bharti had committed suicide by jumping off a building. Should we also ban buildings?"
Sawant replied: "Please don't make fun of this issue. Now if Smriti Irani said this, you would applaud her. Why? Because she's the education minister, that's why?"
At this point, a few irate journalists asked her to share details of the supposedly explosive video she had, which she claims was sent by Banerjee's producer boyfriend Rahul Raj Singh's ex-wife Saloni Sharma. "We have proof that it was not a suicide, but we've been told that we have to give it to the Crime Branch first," she said. "Some people from the Crime Branch were supposed to attend this press conference, but they backed out at the last minute."
However, it must be said that Sawant's idea of getting rid of ceiling fans to prevent suicides, as crazy as it may sound, isn't new. In 2010, a four-member team probing the suicide of a student at IIT Kanpur, one of India's premier engineering colleges, had recommended that the ceiling fans be replaced by pedestal fans.
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