New Delhi: Indian film director Abhinav Singh Kashyap, of Dabangg (2010) fame, took to Facebook Monday night to release a statement on the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput on 14 June. Kashyap appealed to the Maharashtra government to launch a detailed investigation.
In an over 1000-word post on his Facebook page dated 15 June, Kashyap alleged that a “bigger malaise” in Bollywood was behind his death. Comparing it to the #MeToo movement, he notes that Rajput’s untimely demise is just the tip of the iceberg.
He went on to allege the role Yash Raj Films’ talent management agency may have had in pushing Rajput to taking his own life, adding “These people don’t make careers. They ruin your career and life.”
Tracing a trend in how talent managers function in the Hindi film industry, he says “needy wild talent” from outside Mumbai with no connections or property is scouted, following which these aspiring actors are “lured with free invites to Bollywood parties and random Restaurant launches on the pretext of introducing them to celebrities.” Kashyap wrote that they are “ignored and treated very badly” at said parties in order to “break their confidence”.
The next step is a “multi-year exclusivity contract” accompanied with pressure “to sign-up for it by promising to protect them from predators or offering a pittance.” Once the talent is signed, he said, they are made to work practically like “bonded labour”, forced to “give up their right to exercise free choice and their discretion in any matter concerning career.” And breaking such contracts invites heavy penalties.
‘My projects and creative endeavors have been sabotaged’
Claiming to be a victim himself, Kashyap, who happens to be filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s younger brother, blames Salman Khan, his father, acclaimed scriptwriter Salim Khan, and his brothers Arbaaz and Sohail Khan, for sabotaging his career and bullying him. The Khans allegedly sabotaged two of his independent projects — one with Viacom Pictures and the other with Shree Ashtavinayak Films.
Kashyap stated that the Khans sabotaged “the release of the film and got their PROs to run a sustained negative smear campaign against me and my film (Ranbir Kapoor starrer) Besharam before release….Over the next few years, all my projects and creative endeavors have been sabotaged and I have been repeatedly threatened with life and rape threats given to/for the female members of my family,” he recalled.
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Kashyap blames the sustained bullying and gaslighting for his divorce and family breaking up in 2017. He even tried filing an FIR, but the police refused and filed a non-cognizable complaint instead. The complaint remains open till today given the text messages he presented as evidence could not be traced back to anyone.
However, he averred that he would not “give up like Sushant Singh Rajput” and that he still has all the proof. “This is not a threat, it’s an open challenge,” he ends, urging other “suffering actors and creative artists” to share his posts on social media, along with the media and those who watch movies.
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