Sushant Singh Rajput’s death reignites the debate on Nepotism. The question is: Will this end here or reach the finish line?
“Sushant Singh Rajput was removed from around seven films and some of his films were not released. Such a situation was created which forced him to take the extreme step.” – This is the reason cited for a case against Bollywood big wigs filed by Advocate Sudhir Kumar OjhaTimesNowNews.Com
Here’s The Back Story
On 14 June 2020, Sushant Singh Rajput, a former Bollywood actor, committed suicide and was found dead in his apartment in Bandra, India. From starting as a background dancer to being debuted in Kai Po Che! (2013), the 34-year-old actor was a complete outsider to this world of showbiz and had to battle his way through.
The untimely demise of Sushant reignited debates surrounding nepotism in the Hindi Bollywood industry.
There was an outcry on social media as the general public attempted to unveil the ugly side of power-dynamics and the hypocrisy of the “privileged club” that silently runs the Bollywood industry. Social media users called out on nepotism and the toxicity that it evokes, whereby these so-called “self-appointed gatekeepers” of the Bollywood Industry decide the fate of one’s career.
The impact of Sushant’s death was vivid as the social media following of popular filmmakers and producers, namely Karan Johar, significantly decreased. Karan Johar was targeted for being the bearer of Nepotism and for repeatedly recruiting star kids because of the big family names that they came from.
Ayushmann Khurrana’s words from his book Cracking The Code: My Journey In Bollywood were tweeted as proof of nepotism that exists in Bollywood:
And more proof apparently…
Alia Bhatt was also blamed for her hypocrisy and for hailing from a privileged club, where her talent did not matter as much as her surname did.
We don’t know what happened here:
Kangana Ranaut slammed nepotism and questioned the industry for not acknowledging Sushant’s work in great films like Chichoree.
Twitter was also abuzz with outrage.
Vivek Oberoi, a Bollywood actor, who was present at Sushant’s funeral, also shared his thoughts.
In an Award show, Sushant openly expressed his views on nepotism. He said:
“Nepotism is there, it’s everywhere, not just in Bollywood. You can’t do anything about it. Nepotism can co-exist and nothing would happen but at the same time, if you deliberately don’t allow the right talent to come up, then there is a problem. Then the whole structure of the industry would collapse one day. But till then, it’s fine”.Sushant Singh Rajput
Are his words going to come true today, when he’s no more?
Signs of Deppression?
It is being said that Sushant had shown signs of clinical depression and had lately lost some films as well. His last few posts on Instagram also seem to indicate that he was going through a turbulent phase in life, and was perhaps calling for help as the Bollywood fraternity had reportedly isolated him.
Nevertheless, Sushant’s death indeed brings into question the responsibility of big filmmakers in casting newcomers. The star kids will always have it easy in building social capital, but if they continue to be prioritized based on the kinship culture, then the emerging talent will always be sidelined and demotivated.
Are We To Blame Too?
Sushant’s death also highlights our role as an audience. It is equally incumbent upon us to watch and praise the emerging talent and support their content. Otherwise, the society, as a whole, will be deprived of some formidable performances.
What happens now?
We’ll have to wait and see if the public who tweeted with so much rage will be able to get answers, or, will this too pass – like many other storms that threaten to shake the status quo, yet calm down with some minor collateral damage – this time the damage was a precious life – who or what will it be next?
We leave you with a final tweet from Sushant himself:
Hiba Shoaib is a student of social development and policy at Habib University. She is currently working as an Undergraduate Research Fellow at Center for Transdisciplinary Design and Innovation Lab. As an aspiring policy-practitioner, she aims to address socio-economic concerns. She uses her research and critical-writing skills to empower people and advocate for social justice.