New Delhi, Jul 24:
Bollywood is a house divided perhaps like never before with the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput ripping the tinsel veneer to reveal the inner workings of an industry always in the public eye and expose schisms big and small.
From nepotism and insider-outsider to mainstream vs indie cinema and bullying, it is open season for debate and mud slinging.
The weeks since the death of the 34-year-old actor, who was found hanging in his Bandra apartment on June 14, has led to a churn, throwing up deep-rooted issues that have long troubled the glamour industry. The angst and anxiety has prompted searching, existential questions on the nature of Bollywood and its power structures.
During its investigation into the death of the actor, who went from being the ‘outsider’ from Patna to the star of films such as “Chichhore” and “M S Dhoni: The Untold Story”, Mumbai Police has questioned several big names, including producers Aditya Chopra and Sanjay Leela Bhansali as well as journalist Rajeev Masand.
And while the focus for a while was on mental health issues and their manifestations, the discourse has quickly moved on as increasing numbers of film industry insiders are speaking out, sometimes to air animus and other times to spotlight the many areas of friction.
The rifts are wide open and played out mostly on social media.
If Kangana Ranaut slammed film barons Chopra and Karan Johar and also took a swipe at Tapsee Pannu and Swara Bhaskar, Anurag Kashyap and Ranvir Shorey were engaged in an unseemly spat on Twitter.
As the issue snowballed into something no one had quite envisaged, filmmaker Anubhav Sinha said he was quitting Bollywood, triggering intense discussion on what the moniker really means.
“ENOUGH!!! I hereby resign from Bollywood. Whatever the f*** that means,” Sinha wrote on Twitter and updated his profile to Anubhav Sinha (Not Bollywood).
Responding to Sinha, director Sudhir Mishra said, “Bollywood chodo . Let’s go towards Indian Cinema, Indian Storytelling!” “Aligarh” director Hansal Mehta said, “Chhor diya (left it) It never existed in the first place.” Sinha, who has a string of recent successes with films such as “Thappad” and “Mulk”, also said he does not understand the outsider versus insider debate.
“When successful people talk about nepotism and outsider-insider, I find it ironic. I know at least 200 people who are insiders and nobody knows them and then there are people who came out of nowhere and have made it big,” Sinha said.(PTI)