- Big B began with writing the word ‘Why’ four times
- “Excessiveness can often lead to extremes,” wrote Big B
- “To end a most gainful life, is simply not permitted,” he added
Amitabh Bachchan, the grand old man of Bollywood, has shared a somewhat troubling tribute to actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who was found dead at home in Mumbai on Sunday. Police say it was suicide. In his rambling note posted on Twitter, Big B begins with writing the word ‘Why’ four times and ends a recollection of the actor’s work in the MS Dhoni biopic with a choice of words that could be seen as tone-deaf to conversations around mental health. Some responses to Big B’s post on Twitter are pointing this out to him.
In his tribute, Amitabh Bachchan writes of his admiration for Sushant Singh Rajput’s work and personality. “His work was brilliant, his mind even more,” Big B writes, “his speak was measured, as was his screen presence.” He once asked Mr Rajput about a shot in MS Dhoni: The Untold Story of the cricketer hitting a six – Sushant Singh Rajput explained that he nailed the shot by watching the original video of the real Dhoni hitting the six a hundred times.
Much of Amitabh Bachchan’s post, however, reads as somewhat judgemental. When Sushant Singh Rajput spoke, there was a sense of “inner value,” Big B writes, calling it a “trait of excessive intelligence.” He follows it with these words: “When that takes a diversion from the highway, it invariably ends up against a road block – depressive, unwanted, and in belligerent frustration.”
Amitabh Bachchan ends his tribute, well-intentioned no doubt, with more problematic words: “Excessiveness can often lead to extremes. What kind of a mind leads one to suicide is an eternal mystery. To end a most gainful life, is simply not permitted.”
Most responses to Amitabh Bachchan’s post agree with him – some comments, however, do warn against making Sushant Singh Rajput accountable for his own death:
Very easy to ask 5 W’s but the tinsel town lacks empathy and sensitivity towards its own tribe. Once gone now every TDH has lot to share and crib about not being to his/her help.
This hollowness of emotions is truly scary Amit ji.
High time we all leave him to be in peace.
— Ajay Kaul (@rhy2ajay) June 15, 2020
There’s no why in depression- please do a movie about it to spread awareness. It’s a need in today’s day and age. This mental illness kills.
— Priyanka D. (@Priyank61793701) June 15, 2020
Other comments advised Big B and the film industry to look inwards:
With due respect being one of the most respected from Bollywood, you have capability and capacity maybe somehow bring in a CHANGE in the culture within the industry? So many innocent lives go just trying their hardest to fit in or being acceptable by the handful few
— SV (@sv_aus) June 15, 2020
Sir, you were an outsider once. Please make sure smear campaign stops & this doesn’t happen to another person so they decide to end their life. If possible, name them, shame them & shun them.
Life is more precious than personal relationships.
— Vikas Lall, MD (@DrVikaslall) June 15, 2020
He was systematically marginalised, the fire of acting was dampened by production houses, no wonder he felt helpless. Each one of you in bollywood are to be blamed, especially the ones like you @SrBachchan , the silent majority (spineless).
— Devanjana (@UdhanTashtari3) June 15, 2020
Have you ever invited him to your family function and wish him a birthday ?
Why does Bollywood remember him only after he has left the world???
— Shilpa Mohan (@ShilpaMohan29) June 15, 2020
Sushant Singh Rajput, 34, shot to fame as the star of TV soap Pavitra Rishta. He made his film debut in 2013’s Kai Po Che! He starred in several hits and acclaimed works such as Sonchiriya, Chhichhore, Kedarnath and Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!
(If you need support or know someone who does, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist.) Helplines: AASRA: 91-22-27546669 (24 hours) Sneha Foundation: 91-44-24640050 (24 hours) Vandrevala Foundation for Mental Health: 1860-2662-345 and 1800-2333-330 (24 hours) iCall: 022-25521111 (Available from Monday to Saturday: 8:00am to 10:00pm) Connecting NGO: 18002094353 (Available from 12 pm – 8 pm)