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Sushant Singh Rajput's death unveils ugly side of Bollywood- 'Privilege Club' and their 'Hyprocrisy'

Sushant Singh Rajput's death has triggered an outrage on Twitter with people calling out the "self-appointed gate keepers" and "privilege club" of Bollywood. The actor's suicide has triggered a debate on nepotism as well as mental health.

India TV Entertainment Desk India TV Entertainment Desk
New Delhi Updated on: June 17, 2020 18:16 IST
sushant singh rajput

Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead on June 14, Sunday, at his Bandra residence, Mumbai.

Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide has blown the lid off Bollywood's dirty game and power play by self-appointed gatekeepers. While netizens mourn the loss of the bright young star, a trend erupted on Twitter aimed to boycott "the camps" of the showbiz industry. Social media users are blaming Bollywood's "camp" for Sushant's suicide.

Sushant, 34, was found dead at his Bandra residence, Mumbai on June 14, Sunday. It has been three days and the outrage doesn't seem to die soon. Karan Johar and Alia Bhatt have been trending since then for all the wrong reasons. 

The anger was fuelled when his several former colleagues and members of the fraternity spoke up against the "Bollywood privilege club' and the toxicity that nepotism evokes. 

According to Indian Express, Mumbai Police confirmed that Sushant showed symptoms of clinical depression and was seeking counselling. He, however, was not taking medication.

On Monday, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted, “While the post mortem report says actor @itsSSR committed suicide by hanging himself, there are media reports that he allegedly suffered from clinical depression because of professional rivalry. @MumbaiPolice will probe this angle too.”

Connecting the dots, his fans and well-wishers have been lambasting Bollywood for not supporting the actor when he was in need and now tweeting when he ended his life.  

Twitter is fuming. 

A video clip of the actor talking about nepotism is doing the rounds on social media from a few days.  

Throwback clip from Koffee With Karan episode with Sonam Kapoor on the couch is also being circulated widely. This is in response to her tweet in which she wrote: "Blaming a girlfriend , ex girlfriend, family , colleagues for someone’s death is ignorant and fucking mean spirited."

Calling Alia Bhatt and Karan Johar "hypocrites", a Twitter user wrote, "Well who knew #AliaBhatt would manage to act via twitter too?  When asked about Sushant on koffee with karan she said "sushant who" then she and #KaranJohar followed it by joking about him. Hypocrites and insensitive to THE CORE. Be a smart audience. Do not watch his movies".

A screenshot of Sushant's Instagram conversation with one of his fans is doing the rounds after his death. The actor requests his fan to watch the film (Sonchiriya) saying that he has no Godfather. A quote of Ayushmann Khurrana is also going viral.

Here's a video of Akshay Kumar talking about the power game that happens in the industry.

Well, the anger on Twitter has some facts to substantiate it.

In an interview published on 28 September 2019 in Huffington Post, Sushant was asked about not getting the acknowledgement he deserves despite consistently delivering strong performances. Sushant answered, “I was disappointed during Dhoni. Then I told myself, maybe I overestimated what the reactions were going to be.”

In another interview (Film Companion), he had said, “When you’re successful as an outsider, you’re discussed but in a very hushed tone. That’s about it. But when you are an insider and you succeed, it’s multiplied by ten and if you lose, it’s divided by ten.”

Drive, which released on Netflix in 2019 was in limbo after it was completed in 2018. When Sushant was asked about the Karan Johar production co-starring Jacqueline Fernandez, he said, “I don’t know, I was repeatedly told that it would release but haven’t heard anything from them.I have only happy memories of Drive because the money I made off that film was donated to the Kerala floods.”  

"In off-record conversations, a Dharma executive joked that they don’t know how bad the film is because half of them haven’t bothered to see it," wrote Huffington Post in its article.

Now, let's talk about one of his ambitious projects- Shekhar Kapoor's Paani, which was left mid-way by YRF. In his Twitter post after Sushant's death and also earlier, Kapur mentioned that the actor meticulously prepared for the role (for three months) and broke down when he learnt the film isn't happening.

“Somebody should make that film. We’re closer to a water crisis then we were ever before," Sushant told Huffington Post.

Well, this only increased the differences between YRF and Sushant, who has earlier worked in Shuddh Desi Romance and Detective Byomkesh Bakshy. According to a Pinkvilla report published on November 2, 2017, Sushant had to let go of Abhishek Kapoor's Fitoor due to dates issues as he had signed YRF contract. Also, he was the original choice of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Ram-Leela, which later went on to Ranveer Singh, again because of the dates. (Theories doing the rounds on social media also claim that at that time even Ranveer was under a three-year contract with YRF but he was allowed to do Bhansali's film as he was the blue-eyed boy of the production company).

Adding to the woes, Aditya Chopra gave Befikre to Ranveer, which was earlier promised to Sushant. According to a report in DNA, an insider said, “Adi had promised Sushant Befikre and then gave it to Ranveer without informing the SDR actor. This upset him and he has decided not to associate with YRF anymore.”

Even those from inside Bollywood have hinted at the dirty game played in the industry.

Besides Kangana Ranaut, who was the first Bollywood celebrity to expose and speak vocally on nepotism in the showbiz industry, several others also called out "Bollywood Privilege Club".

Kangana blasts Bollywood for not acknowledging Sushant's films, says "Yeh suicide thi ya planned murder?"

In a hard-hitting tweet, veteran actor Dharmendra wrote despite not knowing Sushant personally, his death served as a reminder that Bollywood could be "cruel". "Pyaare Sushant, naa film dekhi na kabhi mila tum se... par tere achaanak chale jaane se bada sadma laga. This beautiful beloved 'show business" is very cruel. I can imagine your unbearable pain. I share the pain of your loving family and friends," Dharmendra wrote.

Section 375 actress Meera Chopra wrote a long note. "I just want to say to my industry that help people when they need it, and you know when they need it. There is no point tweeting when they are no more. Don't pretend to be sad when you guys didn't do anything when he was sad. Stop being such a hypocritical society," she said in her note.

Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota actor Gulshan Devaiah wrote, "As actors, somewhere deep down inside, we think we know why he did it and that’s why it so disturbing even if you didn’t know him at all. It’s a hard game to play and he played it very well but the game won in the end".

Quoting Chopra's tweet, he dismissed the idea of Bollywood being a family. "If one thinks it’s a family, there is the problem. Bollywood is an imaginary name for a place of work, that’s it. I am really not trying to put anybody down here and sorry if it seems," he wrote.

On Sunday when news of Sushant's demise broke, actor-producer Nikhil Dwivedi penned a hard-hitting tweet calling out the "hypocrisy" of the film fraternity. "High and mighty announcing they should have kept in touch with Sushant. Come on, you didn't! And that's because his career dipped. So STFU! Are you in touch with Imran Khan, Abhay Deol and others? No! But you were, when they were doing well," Dwivedi said.

A similar sentiment was echoed by Article 15 director Anubhav Sinha, who wrote, "Bollywood Privilege Club must sit down and think hard. Now don't ask me to elaborate any further" 

Sushant's hairstylist Sapna Bhavnani also wrote that there's no point in expressing grief by those people who didn't lend a helping hand when he was in need. "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 tweet today is the biggest display of how shallow the industry really is. No one here is your friend," she wrote on Twitter. 

Ranvir Shorey also called out "self appointed ‘gatekeepers of Bollywood’".

Vivek Oberoi, who was present at Sushant's funeral, wrote, "Being at Sushant's cremation today was do heartbreaking. I truly wish I could have shared my personal experience and helped him ease his pain. I've been through my own journey of pain, it can be very dark and lonely. But death is never the answer, suicide can never be a solution. I wish he stopped to think of his family, friends and the millions of fans who are feeling this tragic loss today..he would have realised how much people CARE! When I saw his father today, having to light the fire at the cremation, the pain in his eyes was unbearable, when I heard his sister weeping, begging him to come back, I can't express how deeply tragic it felt." 

Saif Ali Khan in an interview to TOI called out Bollywood and its "ultimate hypocrisy". “I mean, we don’t care about anybody. You know, it’s a very cutthroat line of work. But to pretend that you do care is like the ultimate hypocrisy and I think that’s an insult to the dead, you know, it’s an insult to the soul that’s gone,” Saif said.

“We live in an age where people write 10 lines for you on Twitter and will walk past you on the street - won’t even touch you or shake your hand. You know, you get wished for your birthday, but people don’t actually call you. There’s no contact. People are failing people constantly. Everyone talking about him, even those saying who failed you or didn’t fail you is, I think, somewhat exploiting his name. To take any stand at the moment, apart from just sorrow, and just saying that I’m really sad that he had no way out except this - any other comment is somewhere manipulating the situation, I feel. You have come across this as an opportunity to take a shot at somebody, and you’re taking a shot,” he added. 

Raveena Tandon also took to Twitter to share that she has been a victim of the "camp" game.

Director Shekhar Kapur wrote, "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. 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. #SushantSinghRajput"

"Naming few people has no value. They themselves are products and victims of a ‘system’ everyone is protesting against.  If you really care, if you’re really angry, then bring down the system. Not the individual. That’s guerilla warfare. Not a spurt of anger.  #SushantSinghRajput," he wrote in another tweet.

If you need support or know someone who is under depression or suicidal, please reach out to mental health specialists or helplines. AASRA: 91-22-27546669 (24 hours) Sneha Foundation: 91-44-24640050 (24 hours) Vandrevala Foundation for Mental Health: 1860-2662-345 and 1800-2333-330 (24 hours)

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