Filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee has revealed that he remembers Sushant Singh Rajput as a boy from an engineering college, who having made it in Bollywood was “totally focused” on his craft.
In an interaction with news agency Press Trust of India, Banerjee fondly recalled how the actor always had a “book or two” on him and took pride in the fact that he had a life away from the “shallower aspects of showbiz.”
The director, who had worked with Rajput in the 2015 film Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! spoke on the actor’s death and revealed that the “biggest unfairness” is that “it takes double the talent, energy and hard work for an outsider to convince the audience and the industry that he or she is as safe a box office bet as a mediocre, unmotivated and entitled establishment elite.”
He further said that the media often engages in family and celebrity worship, which can be frustrating for those in the limelight. “Those who can let this slide survive. Those who can’t – those who hurt a little more or are vulnerable and impressionable – they are at risk.”
Banerjee is not the only celebrity to have spoken up against practices in the Hindi film industry following the passing of Rajput on 14 June.
Ranvir Shorey recently wrote a series of tweets on the “inherited privilege” that the elite club of Bollywood enjoys and gets to decide who will be a star. Elaborating on the so-called ‘gatekeepers’ of the film industry, Shorey wrote that it was time something was said about the “games they play, and their two facedness” and the “power they wield with zero accountability”.
Earlier, celebrities like Shekhar Kapur, Gulshan Devaiah, and Anubhav Sinha too pointed at the contribution of the “Bollywood privilege club” in the actor’s death.
Here is Kapur’s tweet
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 Iwas 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 (@shekharkapur) June 15, 2020
Saif Ali Khan had expressed his dismay over people who “talking rubbish “on social media during the time of the tragedy. He criticised the sudden “outpouring of love from people who obviously didn’t care about him (Rajput), and people who famously don’t care about anybody else.”
A collection of Suicide prevention helpline numbers are available here. Please reach out if you or anyone you know is in need of support. The All-India helpline number is: 022 2754 6669