India’s top anti-crime agency is taking over the investigation into the death of movie star Sushant Singh Rajput, whose suicide has shaken Bollywood and sparked bitter recriminations.
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) August 5, 2020
Rajput, 34, was found dead in June in his Mumbai apartment — with police saying he took his own life — setting off a debate over mental health in the multi-billion-dollar industry.
India’s top crime agency takes on Rajput’s case
His former girlfriend, fellow actor Rhea Chakraborty, petitioned the Supreme Court Wednesday after Rajput’s family disputed reports that he suffered from depression and accused her of stealing his money and harassing him.
Chakraborty strongly denied the allegations and asked the country’s highest court to transfer the case from local police in Rajput’s home state of Bihar.
Government solicitor general Tushar Mehta told the hearing that the Central Bureau of Investigation, India’s top federal crime agency, would take charge of the case, which has grabbed media headlines for weeks.
Born in Bihar, Rajput quit engineering studies to pursue a career in acting and dance.
He got his big break in 2013 with “Kai Po Che”, a film about cricket, love, and politics that won acclaim at the Berlin film festival.
He was also lauded for his portrayal of Indian cricket hero Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the 2016 hit “M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story”.
Mental health awareness needed in Bollywood
In an interview in 2016, Rajput spoke of the emotional rollercoaster he experienced while filming the movie, which portrayed the heartbreak suffered by Dhoni when the cricketer’s girlfriend died.
“After we did the preparation, in my head I was him and everything that was happening was actually affecting me,” he said.
Rajput’s death — barely a week after his manager took her own life — rekindled discussions about mental health in the industry.
Stars such as Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma, who have spoken about their own battles with depression and anxiety, posted messages about the importance of seeking help.
Sushant Singh Rajput Death: Ishkaran Singh Bhandari To Lead Another Peaceful Protest On August 7 To Seek Justice https://t.co/4up58AtRmf
— Ishkaran Singh Bhandari (@ishkarnBHANDARI) August 4, 2020
It also sparked an angry outcry from fans and fellow actors about the difficulties faced by aspirants struggling to grab a foothold in Bollywood, with some attacking the industry for its insiders-only culture.
Although many of Bollywood’s top stars such as Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra Jonas do not hail from film families, the industry has a long history of offering leading roles to the children of celebrities, often with no prior acting experience.
The Bollywood star Rajput’s last film before his death was a Hindi remake of the Hollywood romance “The Fault in Our Stars”, titled “Dil Bechara” (“Poor Heart”), which was released last month.
Not only India, Pakistan also mourns over Bollywood star’s death
Hamza Ali Abbasi urged everyone to be kind to others. He asked people to extend kindness to the weak and poor. He advised people to be honest and ensure that others are safe from their actions and words. “Give charity. Know that real life is about to start after the transition we call death. All peace comes from God,” he concluded.
Pakistani model and actor Amna Ilyas took to Twitter saying, “If a person has fame and money, it doesn’t mean he is the happiest of all! One in four people in the world is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Please take care of the people around you. Sushant Sing Rajput, rest in peace.”
Zara Noor Abbas explained that it’s the reaction of people that discourages those suffering – from opening up about their traumas. “People keep things to themselves, thrown by what others will interpret them as. That fear is what makes them sulk deeper into the darkness. So before you judge someone, stop and think about the inner battle they are constantly fighting.”
AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk