DISCLAIMER: The following article is written through the eyes of the writer. Some characters are left unnamed to aid the flow of writing.

As the media tries to dissect the reasons behind the untimely demise of Sushant Singh Rajput, the only truth that holds good is that his parents lost their only son and his sisters lost their only brother.  

An actress in her feigned innocence in a popular talk show, questioned, “Who is Sushant Singh”?

Well for those uninformed souls, Sushant Singh Rajput, a brilliant, young, multi-faceted boy from Patna, who came to the tinsel town of Mumbai to carve his niche in Bollywood.

His suicide has opened a can of worms with a multitude of sentiments pouring in. There are panel discussions taking place, aiming to delve deep into the reasons which prompted the young boy to take this extreme step. A step where he thought that the act of ending his own life would obliterate all that he was going through, perhaps a whirlpool of emotions for months on end.

The so-called ‘expert’ panellists claimed that they had anticipated this, so I ask, what did you do to stop them? You, as an ‘insider’ of the film industry were aware of what was happening. Yet, you chose to sit back and watch the drama unfold. Is it because you wanted to use it as a story-line for your next film?

Now they blame themselves for Sushant’s death, stating it was a mistake not to keep in touch. Do you mean it or is it to exonerate yourself from the guilt of creating a toxic culture of sabotaging one’s career? Ironically, these are the same people who benefit from nepotism every day.

To add to the irony of the situation, a certain director and producer of  ‘cult’ cinema says “you have to be happy with what you have”; and defends the flag bearer of nepotism by saying that MR. X is “the bigger victim” and “without nepotism society will collapse because nepotism (familial) is the fundamental tenet of a social structure”. I agree when you say, “it’s only the audience who decides who they like and don’t” but it is people like you who have the power to influence who the audience sees. Understand that defending those who are wrong will not make you a part of their inner circle.

In the film fraternity, some people are insiders because of their lineage (few are just lucky, been born into the right family) and then there are outsiders. There is also a third category of people. People who played their connections and slithered into the elite Bollywood circle.  

It is no secret that people who are not half as good in their acting prowess as Sushant was, continue to get coveted roles.

Agreed that people will bias with members of their own family but, should it be at the extent of demeaning others? There is a certain group of people who have the popularity to make a difference; the difference can be to make or break.

Very few people who have the ‘guts’ to voice their opinions and stand up for what is right irrespective of the consequence. What happens next to these ‘gusty’ people is that they are ridiculed on popular chat shows.

Cruel, as it sounds, this is the harsh reality of Bollywood.

What was Sushant Singh doing besides pleading to people to watch his movie?

He was trying to find his little space in an arena where the participants claim there is no competition and enough work exists for everyone. He was like a plant amongst the banyan trees aspiring to reach towards the sunlight so that he could grow as well.

Whether it was the world or he who conspired against him will remain a mystery. But I truly hope that Sushant finds the light he was looking for within himself in the realms beyond.

Justice or injustice. Right or wrong. What is the verdict? Well, it all depends on who is the judge’s friend.

Ananya Yadav, Amity International School, Noida

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