Sushant Singh Rajput, Karni Sena, and Deepika Padukone: Irony of Misjudgments

Sushant Singh Rajput

Sushant Singh Rajput had once omitted ‘Rajput’ from his name on Twitter. It was back in January 2017, when the Karni Sena had plundered the sets of the Deepika Padukone-starrer, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s directorial Padmavati over the alleged distorted historical depiction of the Rajput queen. As a mark of criticism of Karni Sena’s act, Sushant Singh Rajput removed his last name ‘Rajput’ from his twitter handle for a day.

Padmavati was being directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Karni Sena along with many other Hindutva-aligned outfits and social media handles were convinced that the movie would feature objectionable scenes violating the honour of the Rajput queen Padmavati. She was, after all, a mother-figure for the Rajputs.

When a twitter user tried to shame Sushant, he retorted claiming that he was 10 times more Rajput as any of the “vandals” were. Clearly, he was opposed to the Karni Sena and was at loggerheads with them. He considered them to be a bad portrayal of the Rajput community.

The Karni Sena denouncing whom Sushant Singh Rajput had once dropped the ‘Rajput’ from his name were among the solid forces behind the Apex court ordering CBI to probe into his untimely and unfortunate death. The Karni Sena had held a demonstration in the national capital’s India Gate demanding a CBI investigation Sushant’s death case. They also raised slogans with placards boldly reading “hang the killers of Sushant Singh Rajput”.

On the other hand, actress Deepika Padukone, for whose movie he had condemned the Karni Sena has not uttered a word for Sushant’s mysterious death. She is the reigning actress of Bollywood who commands a lot of influence. Despite the anxiety in the country and daily developments on the case, the Padmaavat actress has not spared a word demanding justice or a CBI probe.

In fact, within minutes of the news of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death going viral, signalling it to be a suicide driven by depression, Deepika put out an Instagram post reiterating her own “depression” story. What made the actress so certain that it was a case of suicide by depression?

It has been revealed that Sanjay Leela Bhansali wanted to cast Sushant Singh Rajput in many of his films. But Rajput was under contract with Yash Raj Films who were not liberating him to work in Bhansali’s films. Bhansali had chased Sushant for five years but no luck. He wanted to cast him in Ramleela, Bajirao Mastani, and Padmaavat. It is alleged that Yash Raj films encouraged Bhansali to work with Deepika Padukone’s husband, Ranvir Singh instead of Sushant Singh Rajput in all these films.

Despite being keen on working with Bhansali, Sushant was compelled to turn down all the promising films offered by the ace film director because he was pinned down by contracts. As an outsider with no support system in the industry, he was striving to build a rapport with film makers, to get into their good books. When he found Sanjay Leena Bhansali to be that one prominent filmmaker who was interested in his craft, he tried to ingratiate himself more with the director. Perhaps, dropping the “Rajput” for a day, in support of Padmavati was one of such desperate attempts. Can we blame him after all?

Padmavati released in January 2018 as Padmaavat, and proved to be a major success. Had he not been held back by Chopra’s contract, he could have been a part of it.

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