It’s not even been a week since we lost Sushant Singh Rajput, and yet, so much seems to have happened since then. Members of the media haven’t thought twice before using cricket puns like ‘Hit Wicket’ to describe Rajput’s death, because of his role as MS Dhoni. Kangana Ranaut released a video, where she pronounces Rajput’s death as a ‘planned murder’ and turned the whole incident into an insider vs outsider debate while graciously including herself a victim of the industry’s politics. Abhinav Kashyap published an ‘expose’ of the industry’s dark alleys, accusing Salman Khan and his brothers Arbaaz and Sohail, of bullying and sabotaging his career. A legal complaint has been filed against Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Salman Khan and Ekta Kapoor, by an advocate in Bihar. So much noise around a person, who wasn’t spoken of as he lived and breathed.
Which is why, amidst all this cacophony, one really needs to pay heed to Saif Ali Khan’s words where he labels all this outpouring of love and concern from people who didn’t care about him, as the ‘ultimate hypocrisy’, also calling it an ‘insult to the dead’.
Speaking to The Times of India, Saif Ali Khan said, “There are so many people who’ve made comments so quickly. And it just seems to me that people are somewhere gaining some mileage from this poor fellow’s tragedy, you know, whether it’s to show compassion or to show interest or to show some political stance. So many people are talking rubbish in this nonstop kind of barrage on social media and it’s just embarrassing, really, I think. Out of respect for him, for Sushant’s tragedy, maybe a day of silence or introspection would be a little more becoming than this outpouring of love – an outpouring of love from people who obviously didn’t care about him and people who famously don’t care about anybody else. You know, it’s a very cutthroat line of work. But to pretend that you do care is like the ultimate hypocrisy and I think that’s an insult to the dead, you know, it’s an insult to the soul that’s gone. I think the least we can do is not try and come across as the most politically astute or the kindest or the wisest or something or the other?”
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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
Saif Ali Khan’s words do sting. While there are people like Ranaut, Abhinav Kashyap, who are turning this death into a witch hunt by asking about who is responsible, there are the likes of the A-list celebrities, who are writing ‘heartfelt’ eulogies, without an iota of ingenuity in them. Johar’s ‘crime’ might or might not be worthy of a legal complaint, but the paragraphs he wrote about how he felt sorry for Rajput, seems to emanate from a place of self importance. Even the likes of Akshay Kumar and Alia Bhatt made their eulogies for Rajput, about their memory of the actor, hence making it about themselves. What these celebrities don’t seem to understand is that staying quiet would have been okay too.
Abhinav Kashyap might or might not have had his career destroyed by Salman Khan, and yet no amount of self-righteousness can change the fact that he piggy-backed his sob story on the death of a young actor. Ranaut has been vocal about her disdain for Johar and his close friends like Alia Bhatt and Deepika Padukone, but what she did was appallingly crude and insensitive. Ranaut used Rajput’s death to shamelessly further the self-serving wedge between insiders and ‘outsiders’ like herself. The media has constantly been quoting these anonymous ‘sources’ about how Rajput was facing a financial crisis, flashing the picture of his corpse (even if it’s censored), and lastly, the general public forwarding those horrifying pictures of a dead man out of curiosity, have we lost all humanity? Is there no longer a line of decency anymore? Can we not show even an iota of respect for the dead?
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This has to be said . My best friend is no more , I still have a bloody hard time accepting that and whenever I check social media to check up on news on him, I read fiction and instead of finding people online , i see peddlers . Peddlers pushing their agendas to promote themselves and their causes . Every single person who wants their two bit fame has an opinion on his life . Firstly, he didn’t give a fuck about fame or your opinions. He didn’t care about these people who are busy posting about not being in touch with him. For the record, he didn’t care about being in touch. He hated fake friends, phone calls and small talk. He rejected your parties, you didn’t shun him. He rejected your lobbies . He didnt need camps, he had his own kingdom. He was a fighter . He made his own place in the sun. He was an outsider and he never cared about being a insider . That’s because he had a life beyond films. The industry was a small part of his life , he had many worlds beyond that . He didn’t give a shit about success . He never failed . He has given more super hits than any of his other contemporaries . He just didn’t care about the 100 crore club. He didn’t want to belong to any club or be part of the rat race . He didn’t care about awards . He walked out of an award function just cos he got bored . This was even before they announced his best actor award . You had to be a lot more interesting than a bloody trophy to hold his attention. He was a force of nature. His accomplishments are multifold. He was as simple as quantum physics . He was a crazy genius. He read Sartre and Nietzsche , he studied astronomy and stoicism , he wrote poetry , played the guitar , wrote with his left and right hand. He cared about saving the planet , the world , about going to Mars, he invested in charities , in science projects and innovations that were beyond your comprehension . So please don’t try to make sense of him or reduce his talent to serve your mere agenda .
Rajput’s friend and former manager, Rohini Iyer summed up in her attempt to address the ones trying to profit out of someone’s death: “He rejected your parties, you didn’t shun him. He rejected your lobbies. He didn’t need camps, he had his own kingdom. He was a fighter. He made his own place in the sun. He was an outsider and he never cared about being an insider. That’s because he had a life beyond films. He didn’t care about all of you or your dumb opinions then. He won’t care any less now. But I do. Protecting his legacy is important to me. So setting the record straight once and for all.”
Iyer could be speaking to all of us.