Sushant Singh Rajput’s death rekindles nepotism debate
Fans and celebrities outrage over Bollywood’s hypocrisy in treating outsiders
The suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput has rekindled discussions on nepotism and privilege in Bollywood. On Sunday, several celebrities took to social media to express their grief over Sushant’s death. Among them, director-producer Karan Johar, who produced Drive, wrote on Instagram, “I blame myself for not being in touch with you for the past year..... 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...will never make that mistake again...”
Karan wrote that Sushant’s demise has been a ‘huge wake-up call’ for him. “We live in very energetic and noisy but still very isolated times ...some of us succumb to these silences and go within...we need to not just make relationships but also constantly nurture them... Sushant's unfortunate demise has been a huge wake-up call to me ...to my level of compassion and to my ability to foster and protect my equations.....I hope this resonates with all of you as well....will miss your infectious smile and your bear hug ....,” the producer wrote.
Actor Alia Bhatt also shared a condolence message, writing, “I’m in a deep state of shock. No matter how much I think about it, I don’t have the words. I’m totally devastated. You've left us too soon. You will be missed by each and every one of us. My deepest condolences to Sushant's family, loved ones, and his fans.”
Karan and Alia’s posts were criticised by a section of social media. They were called out for mocking Sushant on an episode of Koffee With Karan in the past. They were also accused of nepotism and being dismissive of outsiders.
Meanwhile, a few celebrities also tweeted about Sushant’s struggles in recent years. As per reports, the actor was battling depression for six months and was under medication.
“It’s no secret Sushant was going through very tough times,” wrote celebrity stylist Sapna Bhavani, adding that no one in the industry stood up for him or lent a helping hand. “To post about him today is the biggest display of how shallow the industry really is,” she wrote.
Remembering Sushant, director Shekhar Kapur tweeted he knew the pain he was going through. “I knew the story of the people that let you down so bad that you would weep on my shoulder. I wish I was around the last 6 months. I wish you had reached out to me. What happened to you was their Karma. Not yours,” he wrote.
Actor-producer Nikhil Dwivedi tweeted, “At times our movie industry's hypocrisy gets to me. High &mighty announcing they should've kept in touch with Sushant... C'mon u didn't! & that's coz his career dipped. So STFU! R u in touch with Imran Khan, Abhay Deol & others? No! But you were, when they were doing well.”
Anubhav Sinha, director of Mulk, Article 15 and Thappad, wrote, “The Bollywood Privilege Club must sit down and think hard tonight.”
Sushant’s last rites took place at the Pawan Hans crematorium in Mumbai’s Vile Parle on Monday afternoon. He is survived by his father and elder sisters.