Even after three weeks since actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, conspiracy theories, assumptions and debates refuse to die down. Angered by this constant rumour-mongering, blame game and social media toxicity, actor Raveena Tandon urges, “Stop sensationalising it now. You can’t blame anyone, not the film industry. This is just becoming a witch-hunt, a lynch mob, which is wrong. People have to think rationally. It’s doing a great disservice to the poor boy who’s gone.”
The 45-year-old, who had met Rajput twice during his film promotions on a reality show, reveals that she was appalled to see a Whatsapp forward doing the rounds that, “Karan Johar intentionally made a bad film for Sushant, so he could ruin the actor’s career. Why would a producer pay an actor crores of rupees, sign him in his movie and then risk the rest of the crores in making a shitty film? Why would anyone invest so much money, time and mechanism to intentionally sabotage his own film? How absurd are these allegations!”
However, Tandon doesn’t deny the existence of “camps and mean girl gang” in Bollywood, something that she had also tweeted about after Rajput’s demise, when many other actors, too, had called out the toxic star culture and favouritism in the film industry.
“There are politics, I agree. And there are good people and there are bad people. This is what I had written in my tweet also. And there are bad people who do plan your failure; I’ve been through it. They are the ones who would want to see you down and removed from films. It’s literally like classroom politics. They play dirty games,” she says adding that, “But people like this are there in every industry. We’re in a high profile glamorous job and the competition is cut-throat, so it gets highlighted.”
The actor further goes on to gives her own example of being removed from a film overnight at the hands of ‘mean girl gang’ that she referred to.
“I was doing fittings with the film’s designer for an outfit for the evening mahurat party. At 4pm, I get a call that I’ve been dumped from the movie and I’ve to return the signing amount because the hero’s girlfriend didn’t like me,” she reveals, quoting an interview of late actor Shashi Kapoor that helped her deal with that situation.
“He had said main party par gaya hoon, and there I realised the hero is someone else and they didn’t even inform me’. So, what happened with all these false claims of nepotism? Even the greatest filmmaker Raj Kapoor’s family wasn’t spared by politics,” says Raveena, who admits that the reason she remembers Kapoor’s interview so clearly, “Because at that time, I used to get inspiration from these people when these kind of things used to happen to me. ‘Even they’ve faced things like this’ — I used it as an example to console myself.”
Mention how Rajput always feared being thrown out of Bollywood if his films didn’t work, Tandon says that’s a reality that with every actor.