File image of Sushant Singh Rajput | Commons
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Bollywood may seem like one big happy family, but Sushant Singh Rajput’s death has shown there are deep cracks within the film fraternity and that ultimately, it’s each to their own.

The deluge of social media posts that followed after the news of Rajput’s death included messages from colleagues, acquaintances and well-wishers recounting anecdotes and remembering him for his talent, smile and ‘bear hugs’.

But messages from directors Karan Johar and Shekhar Kapur stood out. Not so much for their touching show of grief, but for their acknowledgement that something was not right with Rajput for a while and yet they did not reach out to him.

Rajput’s tragic death has unleashed a whirlwind of emotions for the film industry, fans, people who personally knew him, and even those who didn’t.

At just 34, he was a young, rising star with immense potential and already had several notable films to his credit, including the biopic on M.S. Dhoni and Kai Po Che.

Vani Kapoor spoke about her “first co actor”, Priyanka Chopra remembered their conversations about “astrophysics at sunrise”, while Harshavardhan Kapoor recalled their conversations about “life and science”. Shah Rukh Khan, on the other hand, began his tribute with a touch of narcissism — “He loved me so much…I will miss him so much.”

Almost everyone expressed shock and helplessness about the pain Rajput seemed to have suffered for years. But could Sushant Singh Rajput not have been helped by the large-hearted ‘family’ that is Bollywood?

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Also read: Sushant Singh Rajput: How not to cover a death, starring, Aaj Tak, News Nation, ABP


 

Lack of support

Karan Johar said he blamed himself “for not being in touch” with the actor and would “never make that mistake again”.

“I have felt at times like you may have needed people to share your life with…but somehow I never followed up on that feeling …we live in very energetic and noisy but still very isolated times …some of us succumb to these silences and go within,” Johar posted on Instagram, adding that Rajput’s death was a “wake up call” for him.

Shekhar Kapur said he wished Sushant had “reached out to him”.

“I knew the pain you were going through. I knew the story of the people that let you down so bad that you would weep on my shoulder,” he wrote on Twitter.

“What happened was their karma, not yours,” he added.

 

But celebrity hairstylist Sapna Bhavnani wasn’t buying any of it, and straight-up called out the film industry for not doing enough to help Rajput.

“It’s no secret Sushant was going through very tough times for the last few years. No one in the industry stood up for him nor did they lend a helping hand. To post about him today is the biggest display of how shallow the industry really is. No one here is your friend,” she said on Instagram.

Then Monday afternoon, Kangana Ranaut, in a video posted on Twitter, also blamed the industry, insinuating that it was a factor in Sushant’s death. Alleging that ‘outsiders’ like him and her, as opposed to star kids, have it tougher, a visibly agitated Ranaut claimed Rajput’s recent social media posts were a cry for help. Actress Meera Chopra was also critical of the industry’s role in not supporting Rajput, referring to Bollywood as a “cruel, cold and ruthless” industry, where one flop movie could lead to people treating you like an “untouchable”. Chopra wrote that after Rajput’s death, she wouldn’t be able to see the industry in the same light ever again.


Also read: 5 performances by which to remember Sushant Singh Rajput — from Kai Po Che! to Chhichhore


 

Token show of solidarity

Bollywood celebrities turned up for Rajput’s funeral Monday afternoon, and almost everyone put up a message for him on social media — including those who have never worked with him. But scrolling through these tributes, one felt like these were statutory messages that had been shared just because these people were part of the same so-called ‘fraternity’.

Just like that, publicly discussing Sushant Singh Rajput’s troubles have become a show of token solidarity. Soon, Bollywood will forget its promises to stand by each other, and silence will envelop more who are not in the ‘Big League’ of stars.

Suicide is a deeply disturbing issue, which still carries immense stigma and doesn’t receive the amount of attention it deserves.

While actor Deepika Padukone has shaken things up a bit by talking about her own struggles with depression, it’s still a widely unacknowledged issue, spoken about in hushed tones.

But one thing Bollywood’s social media messages have shown us is that more actors are beginning to be more open about the fact that surviving the industry is a very tough task.

A superstar like Shah Rukh might like to dwell on how he was “loved” by Rajput, but the young star’s death is a jarring reality check for others feeling overwhelmed in their lives, or for people sensing turmoil in someone else’s.

It’s time to speak up, sooner.

Views are personal.


Also read: Most suicide helplines are of little help as they don’t work when people need them


 

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8 Comments Share Your Views

8 COMMENTS

  1. Well if it is suicide y his eyes or tongue show the signs.?also y the police was not called immediately.but the locksmith was called? Y casualness? Looks little fishy.

  2. Recently I saw chichhore, what a genuine movie…I ignored when it was released.. because of eating and reviews…I regret it… Rip Sushant..u r an inspiration…

  3. Please don’t pay attention or feel hurt over these negative comments posted for this article. Whatever you have written,(though ofcourse it’s an opinion blog) is absolutely true. The world may have lost SSR but we should try our level best to prevent this from happening ever again in our . Bollywood would never feel the same again and SRK surely has lost my respect with him saying what he did, on Sushant’s demise. But it feels strange, to talk about sushant’s demise, it’s still unbelievable and unreal that he’s gone. I always looked forward to his projects, kept tabs on what next film of his was coming out. Now there will be no more. A lot of people, none more than his family and friends must have wished and prayed for it a million times, but alas I say it too again. I wish you hadn’t done this SSR. I wish you hadn’t died.

    • This writer is obviously being paid by the Bollywood mafia to continue the suicide narrative. With the mounds and mounds of evidence/facts pointing towards a clear cut and planned murder, you have to be a complete idiot to believe it was a suicide. Stop insulting our intelligence by trying to convince the general public that SSR’s death was due to suicide. These type of journalists, crooked Cooper hospital doctors, shameless Bollywood actors/actresses that are silent, politicians that are turning a blind eye, and all of SSR’s so called friends-who we know that played a part in his death ( Sandeep Singh, Rhea, Bhatt camp, Khans, Patani, and his house help all insured SSR was killed). I hope they all face the karma they deserve and justice is served for SSR.

  4. Who kept him silent for wat reason n who drove him to do such extreme step. Dont blame silence but blame those 8 ppl who silenced him with nepotism. Over n above sample gf rehea she broke off n dint take his call wen he was going to do extreme step. Ankita lokhande was d best gf he had for 6 yrs

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