Wednesday, Feb 01, 2023

As Sushant Singh Rajput’s death sparks debate on nepotism in Bollywood, Karan Johar, Alia at centre of social media focus

Karan Johar and Alia Bhatt's condolence messages didn't go well with some people on social media and once again sparked the debate around nepotism and favouritism in the Hindi film industry.

sushant singh rajput death Sushant Singh Rajput’s death left the entire film and television fraternity shocked. (Photo: Sushant Singh Rajput/Twitter)

Sushant Singh Rajput killed himself in his Mumbai house on Sunday. After his demise, the entire film and television fraternity has been in a state of shock. Mourning the loss of young talent, several celebrities like Karan Johar, Alia Bhatt, Sonam Kapoor and others took to social media to express their grief. They even held themselves guilty of not being there for Sushant during tough times.

Karan Johar wrote on Twitter, “This is heartbreaking….I have such strong memories of the times we have shared …I can’t believe this ….Rest in peace my friend…when the shock subsides only the best memories will remain….Broken heart.” He also shared a photo of himself and Sushant, and added, “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.”

Alia Bhatt tweeted, “I’m in a deep state of shock. No matter how much I think about it, I don’t have the words. I’m totally devastated. You’ve left us too soon. You will be missed by each and every one of us. My deepest condolences to Sushant’s family, loved ones, and his fans. I hope you find the strength to make it through this devastating time.”

However, their condolence messages didn’t go well with some people on social media and once again sparked the debate around nepotism and favouritism in the Hindi film industry. Some even brought up an episode of Koffee With Karan where KJo asked Alia to rate three male actors in a Rapid Fire question. The options were Sushant Singh Rajput, Ranveer Singh and Varun Dhawan. On this Alia Bhatt replied, “Sushant Singh Rajput, who?”

As #JusticeForSushantSinghRajput became a top trend on Twitter, there was a flurry of activity on the handles of Karan Johar and Alia Bhat. It is learnt that social media managers of the stars have their job cut out trying to sanitise the feeds of abusive comments. Karan Johar’s last post on Sushant had over a million likes and 1.3 lakh comments.

Alia Bhat’s post has double the number of likes and a similar number of comments. For both the stars, the spike in comments is ten times what they get on a regular post.

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A post shared by Alia Bhatt ☀️ (@aliaabhatt) on

Here’s how some people raised fingers on KJo:

Filmmakers Anubhav Sinha, Hansal Mehta, Shekhar Kapur, actors Nikhil Dwivedi and Kangana Ranaut also took a dig at the big banners of Bollywood. Sinha wrote on Twitter, “The Bollywood Privilege Club must sit down and think hard tonight. PS- Now don’t ask me to elaborate any further.”


Hansal Mehta shared his advice for “outsiders” in the industry as he tweeted, “There are many young ‘outsiders’ in this industry. Remember this – there is an establishment that will make you feel like the next big thing until they need you. They will drop you and mock you as soon as you falter. Do not fall for the trap. The ones that celebrate you..will celebrate your downfall some time later.”

“I knew the pain you were going through. I knew the story of the people that let you down so bad that you would weep on my shoulder. I wish I was around the last 6 months. I wish you had reached out to me. What happened to you was their Karma. Not yours. #SushantSinghRajput,” Shekhar Kapur who was to work with Sushant on his film Paani tweeted. Paani was shelved by Yash Raj Films.

Amid all the furore, Swara Bhasker, Sonam Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha urged people to not start the blame game. Sonam wrote on Twitter, “Blaming a girlfriend, ex girlfriend, family, colleagues for someone’s death is ignorant and f****** mean spirited.” Echoing similar thoughts, Swara Bhasker tweeted, “Parts of India Twitter blaming #KaranJohar and #AliaBhatt for the tragic suicide of Sushant – for some silly game played on a frivolous and pointless chat show (that All those people who are now abusing Bollywood nepotism lapped up) is both the height of idiocy and hypocrisy!”

She added, “Sushant didn’t leave a note. We don’t know what he went thru. We don’t know the cause. STOP taking out ur frustration using the pain of a troubled person. He didn’t leave a note! Get it? He didn’t want to talk about it. He’s gone. Let him have his peace & his family privacy.”

After Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, the police said the actor had shown symptoms of clinical depression and was consulting a psychiatrist.

First published on: 16-06-2020 at 15:32 IST
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