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How Bollywood’s ‘privilege club’ failed Sushant Singh Rajput

New Delhi: Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide has sparked off a conversation around the ruthless ways of Bollywood’s power camps — especially for young aspirants who come to realise their dreams as ‘outsiders’ from all over India, with no bloodline to flaunt.

The general sense that the film and television industry does not care for its own — unless you are an offspring of the industry – is not new. It was gaining ground over the past decade or so. Only, the subject started being widely discussed after actress Kangana Ranaut spoke of it a while back, ironically on “Koffee With Karan”, the chat show hosted by Karan Johar, often accused of being the grand dad of nepotism in Bollywood for his penchant at casting star kids in projects that prop their budding careers.

Kangana, for one, seems convinced that Sushant’s deserving films and work were never acknowledged, particularly at the award ceremonies. She also snubs the argument that he committed suicide because of depression, owing to a ‘weak mind’.

“How can his mind be weak? If you look at his last few posts, he is clearly saying, literally begging, ‘Watch my films. I have no Godfather. I will be taken out of the industry’. In his interviews, he had expressed why the industry wasn’t accepting him,” Kangana said in a video message.

The theory finds resonance in the words of politician Sanjay Nirupam, whose tweet says Sushant lost seven films, which he had signed, even after the success of “Chhichhore”.

“He lost the films in just six months. Why? The film industry’s ruthlessness works on a very different level. And that ruthlessness took the life of one talented person,” Nirupam posted.

Leaving the world of engineering, Sushant danced his way into showbiz as a background dancer, and got his acting break as the main actor’s brother in the TV show “Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil”. He was tagged a rising star after “Kai Po Che!” in 2013, and went on to prove his worth with every role he did — from “M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story” and “Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!” to “Kedarnath” and “Chhichhore”.

So, why did he lose out on projects?

According to hearsay, over the past few years, Sushant was replaced in several big banner films including Sanjay Bhansali’s “Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela” and Aditya Chopra’s “Befikre”. (Incidentally, his replacement in both films, Ranveer Singh — although a self-made superstar and an undeniable talent — is related to the Anil Kapoor clan. He is Sonam Kapoor’s cousin.)

However, Sushant never revealed any sign of depression owing to the rejections.

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Rajput’s suicide: Mumbai Police to probe ‘professional rivalry’

Mumbai: After Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput hanged himself, the police have started an all-encompassing probe into the suicide from various angles, even as his last rites were performed here.

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh reiterated the police version that that the autopsy report has confirmed that Rajput committed suicide by hanging himself.

“However, there are media reports that he allegedly suffered from clinical depression because of professional rivalry. Mumbai Police will probe this angle too,” Deshmukh said.

“The provision post-mortem report has cited asphyxia as the cause of death,” Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abhishek Trimukhe, told mediapersons, even as the police tentatively ruled out any possibility of a foul play.

The police have also quizzed Rajput’s friends Rhea Chakravarty and Mahesh Shetty on the incident, and some more persons are likely to be queried, sources said.

“As we are all deeply pained and shocked to hear about Sushant Singh Rajput’s untimely demise, so is Mahesh Shetty. He has lost a brother, a very dear friend and is still coming to terms with the shock and reality and is completely heartbroken. We, his team, request the media and all of you, on his behalf, to please give him some privacy and let him grieve for his loss,” said Shetty’s team in a social media post.

As part of the probe, separate teams from the Bandra Police Station, the Crime Branch-CID and the Forensic Department visited Rajput’s Bandra flat.

Earlier on Monday morning, Rajput’s family reached Mumbai from Patna, visited his home in Bandra and later claimed his body.

It was subsequently taken for the funeral at the Vile Parle Crematorium amid heavy rains with a large number of mediapersons, police and a few fans present.

It may be recalled that on Sunday, Rajput, 34, ended his life by hanging himself in the bedroom of his home and was found by his domestic help who alerted the police.

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Sushant Singh Rajput: Condolences continue coming in

Mumbai: Bollywood continued expressing grief and disbelief over the demise of Sushant Singh Rajput, all of Sunday. The actor was found hanging in his residence by his maid on Sunday morning.

Among those who took to social media later on Sunday to express condolences was Salman Khan. “U will be missed … #RIPSushant,” wrote the superstar in a short message conveying his grief.

Sushant’s co-stars and director from his debut film “Kai Po Che” (2013) also took to social media to express grief. “This is so unfair. Gone too soon. I’ll always cherish our conversations on acting and cinema. You’ll be missed bhai. May God give strength to his family and loved ones. Rest in Peace brother,” wrote Rajkummar Rao.

Amit Sadh, who also starred in the film, tweeted: “I am sorry… I did not come to your rescue… Will regret all my life for not reaching out! Right now very sad but will cherish the time we shared filming Kai po che…Rest in peace bhai.”

“Kai Po Che” director Abhishek Kapoor wrote: “I am shocked and deeply saddened by the loss of my friend. We made two very special films together. He was a generous and fabulous actor, who worked very hard to breathe life into his characters. I pray for his family, the loss is immeasurable. He was a huge science buff and consumed by what lay beyond in the universe. I’m going to miss you brother. Stay interstellar.”

Vaani Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra, Sushant’s co-stars in the 2013 release, “Shudh Desi Romance” also took to social media to share their emotions.

“Sush I will miss you buds,” wrote Parineeti.

“It’s heartbreaking. Lots of love.. RIP

Young actress Sara Ali Khan did not have words to express her grief. She just posted emojis of love, broken heart and tears.

Bollywood couple Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ai Khan shared their condolences on Sushant’s death on the actress’s Instagram account. “This is such terrible news. Praying you find peace Sushant. Strength to his family. Saif and Kareena,” they wrote.

Among industry colleagues who expressed condolences was Sonu Sood. “Today we lost a friend, a colleague & this loss is irreparable. I request my friends from the media not to sensationalise this, I request everyone not to share images. A boy who came to this city with dreams in his eyes and achieved so much has left us forever. Let him go in peace,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, for all those who have reacted with disbelief over the news, filmmaker Anubhav Sinha had an angry retort: “Shut up that you can’t believe it.”

Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan blogged about the late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, saying that while what leads one to suicide is an “eternal mystery”, ending a “most gainful life is simply not permitted”.

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