Sushant Singh Rajput
It gives me great pain to pen down this article as I feel really disheartened by the fact that Sushant Singh Rajput, a young, smiling and a promising actor par excellence, has left the mortal world forever.
It initially looked like an apparent case of suicide and the cause was attributed to his personal depression.
Later on, media reports started surfacing that he was actually driven to a manufactured loneliness by the film industry which resulted in his suicide due to the lack of availability of qualitative work in films as he was not duly supported and promoted by the film fraternity because he was treated with discrimination as an outsider who had no filmy background to his credit.
He was signed for many movies but all his movies were craftily and mischievously snatched away from him. My heart feels really heavy with subdued anguish to know that Sushant lost all hope and saw the end of the road due to his loneliness which was generated by his film fraternity.
His suicide has now opened up a Pandora ’s Box of accusations of nepotism against a lot of well-known film personalities like Karan Johar, Salman Khan, Aditya Chopra of Yash Raj films and so on.
Since then, the comments section of the social media accounts of these film personalities has been bombarded with loads of abusive hard-core expletives as people blame them squarely for causing Sushant’s death and the curse word of nepotism started is still trending ferociously on Twitter and Instagram as Kangana Ranaut, Abhay Deol and Abhinav Kashyap have also come out in the open and talked with no-holds barred about the hate politics and vindictive mind-games being practiced in Bollywood.
It is an accepted thing that depression is a big killer in the world and we all need to identify and support ourselves and each other to come out of it.
The society needs to stop judging the people suffering from any kind of depression or psychological condition.
Debates and discussions should be organized at the school, college and university levels as well as in all organisations in the public and private sector about the ways of identifying and tackling the symptoms of depression.
The causes of depression can vary from person to person. But it is high time that we also start talking about the common factors in our society which causes depression.
One such factor is nepotism. When hard-working people are denied their dues and treated malevolently with a view to destroy their self-worth and self-confidence, it causes depression and in the extreme case, a tragic suicide.
It is not enough to treat the symptoms of depression but also, it is very important to address the root causes of it. In Sushant’s case of depression, the root cause is the omnipresent and omnipotent poison of nepotism in the film industry.
Well, the fact is that nepotism is a sick reality of our existence in almost every sphere of human activity.
Nepotism basically means the practice among those with power or influence of favouring their own relatives, family or friends without bothering about their eligibility, talent or qualifications.
Consider any professional field and you will discover the stark presence of nepotism, cronyism and favouritism – all of these attributes can be clubbed under a general umbrella term of ‘sifaarish’ way of life.
Especially, in our Indian society which embodies and exemplifies ‘sifaarshi culture’, it is well-known that if we have to go for any job interview in the Indian market, whether in the public or private sector, the educational qualifications or work experience is many a times not sufficient enough to land us with a real job unless we have managed to fetch a good ‘sifarish’ (recommendation) regarding it from someone who usually happens to be an influential person and generally close to the employer.
Tens of thousands of people with good qualifications and experiences fail to get a job in various fields in the Indian market today because they every now and then, they get bitten by the poisonously sharp tentacles of the venomous serpent of nepotism.
The problem with film industry is that it is a flamboyant show business where it is difficult to hide anything for a long period of time and hence, that’s why the face of nepotism gets shrewdly exposed to the outside world.
In other professional fields, even though nepotism is present and thriving, but it does not make itself overtly clear to the outside world on many occasions because it easily escapes the media scrutiny and public glare.
As such, Bollywood comes to be naturally seen as the epitome of nepotism. However, nepotism is a bigger, deeper and graver problem in every field which is eating away the aspirations, dreams and hopes of millions of people in India every single day.
It is not that people who are dejected, disappointed and defeated by the forces of nepotism in other fields do not suffer from depression and commit suicide, but their stories usually slip through the pages of the newspapers in small fonts and never get the attention screaming through the bold headlines like in the case of Sushant Singh Rajput.
The death of this young, good-looking, talented and rising film star has exposed not just the nepotism existing inside the dark glamorous world of Bollywood but it has actually made everyone sit up and take notice of a bigger problem affecting the Indian society, i.e., nepotism existing and perpetuating unabashedly in every field or professional occupation.
For example- if you dissect the scene of Indian politics, whether it is BJP or Congress at the national level or any regional political parties, the culture of integrity and transparency is normally absent and it smacks of ill-bred nepotism, where election tickets are generally reserved for the near and dear ones of leaders.
When we consider the case of suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput, one can easily conclude that the Indian film industry has actually become a close niche of few families who have managed to control and cunningly manipulate the entry and exit points of the film world for the newcomers from less privileged backgrounds.
On the contrary, the children born in the filmy families have an easy access to the perks and privileges of the Bollywood mafia. The award shows in Bollywood are a complete farce as these are a genuine reflection of the deep levels of nepotism.
So, what is the solution to end this disease of nepotism in the film world before it ends the life of every young promising actor and actress? One of the solutions is a collective response by the fans.
Things can change only when the general public forges a real unity against the bullying tactics of the bad boys and mean girls of Bollywood. The big banners and big film stars are nothing without their fan base.
If people stop going to see their films and start boycotting their production houses, it will act as a strong reprimand and rebuke to the egoistic and over-pampered Bollywood biggies who think of themselves as demi-Gods.
However, this thing will happen only when the general public gets awakened up from their slumber of supporting and worshipping the big film stars blindly.
It is time to enlighten and educate the society which needs to start appreciating the small budget films, many of which have better story lines as well as more refined actors and actresses than the various star-studded films.
The authorities need to investigate seriously the case of Sushant Singh Rajput without any fear or favour. Everybody knows that the big filmy names involved in the case have a sufficient clout to come clean out of it as many of them do not care two hoots about the law and processes which is quite evident from their various illegal, previous acts of misdemeanor on many occasions.
The suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput needs to be stopped treating like a case of simple depression only. It needs to be determined with reliable evidence as to what circumstances abetted his suicide.
Taking concrete action against those responsible for his suicide is the least we can do to honour his memories and offer respect to his departed soul. Or else, are we waiting for another Sushant to commit suicide? People who led Sushant Singh Rajput to the dark alleys of depression will be looking for their next prey very soon. So, are we going to just sit silently?
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