Ever since Sushant Singh Rajput tragically passed away last month, the internet has become a toxic place. Like other fans, I am absolutely devastated by Sushant’s death and I believe that his absence in the industry is going to be felt with every coming year. He was a stellar actor and left the world too soon. No one and absolutely no one deserves to feel the way he did–to take such a drastic step that ended his life.
Having said that, while the reason for his death is pretty evident, I am willing (just willing) to believe that there is probably more to it. However, I am not the jury and am definitely not in the position to be taking out a verdict. That being said, neither is anybody else on the internet.
Several industry insiders re-ignited the nepotism debate, and netizens were quick to suddenly blame star kids for his death. The one person who has been at the receiving end of this hate is Karan Johar, the apparent ‘flagbearer of nepotism’ (to quote Kangana Ranaut). According to a popular Bollywood daily, Karan Johar is in a bad state, mentally and emotionally. The director recently quit the MAMI board amid these threats and allegations–the trolling after Sushant’s demise has hit him really hard. A close friend of him revealed that Karan is more often than not, quite unbothered by trolls and comments. However, this time, it has really affected him. He often breaks down over the phone and constantly wonders what he has done to deserve it, added the source.
Now, before I get hate comments for ‘taking his side’, I have two things I want to talk about.
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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…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….Sushants 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 ….💔💔💔
Firstly, I am not defending Karan Johar. I am talking on behalf of every individual who is dealing with blatant internet hatred–something that has serious repercussions on a person’s mental health. The allegations made by netizens include that Karan has been mean to Sushant and had restricted the number of movies he could work in. How do we know that? A random tweet? An Instagram post? Or simply a Whatsapp forward? All I’m saying is that we cannot base our anger on assumptions and shower someone with hatred.
Secondly, let’s talk about launching star kids and promoting nepotism. While I’m not in favour in of nepotism, let’s acknowledge that it is human nature to favour someone you know. For example, my mother is a general manager at a multi-national company. If I ever want to get into the same line of business, she, as a parent, will try her best to get me going. Whether or not will I be able to do justice to it is completely based on my calibre. Similarly, as a movie producer, it is Karan Johar who gets to decide who stars in his movies. Does he have a propensity to launch star kids? Yes. Ethically, we should as an audience ask him to be fairer. But is he doing something morally wrong? Technically, no.
So, why are we subjecting Karan Johar and all the star kids to this hate? I don’t think that nepotism is justified. However, as an audience, we’re forgetting that we play a bigger role in putting an end to nepotism than Karan Johar himself. Think about it–he’s a successful producer and director because WE are paying for first-day-first-show tickets for his movies. WE are the ones who pay to watch every movie a star kid is in. So technically, we hold the power to end nepotism in the industry.
Lastly, I don’t think it is fair to be putting someone through this much hate. If the reason for Sushant’s death is bullying, we are subjecting Karan (and other stars) to the same. Hate only begets more hate. If you want to see more of a new industry outsider on screen, watch their movies! Tell your friends and family to watch them! Promote their talent on social media. And if you really want to honour Sushant, speak up about how important taking care of our mental health it is.
Sushant’s death has certainly left a void in the Indian film industry (and our hearts)–let’s fill it with support, and not hate.
Featured Image: Instagram