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Justice for Sushant Singh Rajput (SSR): A view from Hollywood to a silent Indian Revolution - Part 1

George Reeves… the closest Hollywood came to the SSR Incident


As an actor George Reeves is best remembered for his role as Superman in the 1950s television series of the same name. He had a steady Hollywood career appearing in over 40 films. But, his typecasting as Superman came as a mixed blessing. He gained national fame in the US, but his movie offers dried up as Hollywood executives were increasingly reluctant to cast an ex Superman in the role of any other character. He went into depression but continued to appear in the public amongst children as their cherished role model.

Early morning on June 16, 1959, a gunshot was heard and police found George Reeves dead at his home with a bullet wound to his head. An official inquiry deemed the death a suicide. The fact that Reeves was coping with depression also helped the police establish a case for suicide. But, additional information emerging since his death has convinced many to suspect foul play and cold blooded murder as the cause for the actor's untimely demise… just like what happened to Sushant Singh Rajput.


From Left to Right : George Reeves & Sushant Singh Rajput - 2 stars that burnt out too soon


A Reeves Redux in Bollywood: The case of Sushant Singh Rajput


I am currently visiting a friend in Los Angeles. She is of Indian origin and our association goes back to our days in college. As my friend and I drove past the Mountain View Cemetery in Pasadena (a leafy, high end suburb of Los Angeles) where Reeves was buried, I mentioned to her the case of George Reeves. My friend was quiet for a while as she absorbed the information, then brought up the incident of Sushant Singh Rajput's (now called SSR by his fans) death in Mumbai, India on June 14, 2020. She said that Reeves was the closest that Hollywood ever got to the SSR case, but that SSR met an end that was far worse.

As I listened to my friend's narration, I realized how much more gruesome SSR's death was as compared to Reeves. Though they both died under similar circumstances involving mystery and cover-ups, SSR's death seemed to have a more sinister undertone than that of Reeves. That is when I decided to tune into how India was reacting to the SSR case.

I was in shock and awe at the magnitude of the quake SSR's death had triggered on social media! The aftershocks of that quake were being felt by Indians and Indian origin citizens of all nationalities across the globe.


A Man like no other in Bollywood

To say that Sushant Singh Rajput was a promising young actor would be a cliché and an understatement. He was an engineer by degree though he dropped out of college in his third year to pursue his passion for acting. He was also a winner in India's National Physics Olympiad.

Throughout his acting career in Bollywood he maintained a deep interest in Literature, Physics and Astronomy. He even purchased a patch of land on the moon!

In short, SSR was way more learned and intellectually qualified than the bulk of A list actors of Bollywood. This very fact it is rumored, made him a target of many envious Bollywood big guns. This may have been one of the causes that led to his ominous end.


Death of a Star: The Crime as it Unfolded

 

Disclaimer: I am aware that SSR's death is a matter under investigation in India by the CBI. So far, the CBI has made only one official confirmation that they are investigating all possible angles as to the cause of Sushant's death. Suicide or homicide - neither has been confirmed by the investigating agency. This blog post expresses my personal evaluation of the string of events which might have occurred on that fateful week of June 2020

 

My western audience needs a brief on the series of incidents that culminated in the gruesome event of 14 June, 2020. I know, my readers in India are well aware of them. Below, is my personal assessment of what transpired based on information provided to me by my journalist friends in India.


On 8 June, 2020, SSR's manager Disha Saliyan, a vivacious and attractive young woman was invited to a Bollywood party. It is said that in that party she witnessed a minor girl being molested. Disha managed a help the girl escape her sordid situation. The girl was to be escorted safely to Sushant Singh Rajput's home by a friend known to Disha. The identity of that person is not known yet and is probably under investigation.

Disha made her way out of that place and called SSR apprising him of the situation. Disha realized that she was being followed while driving back to her apartment. She dialed the 100 number for police (India's equivalent of the US 911). To date, the Mumbai Police maintains that they received no such call on the night of 8 June, 2020 . As Disha reached her apartment she was accosted by the men following her. She was raped and murdered in front of her fiancé Rohan Rai. Her body was flung from the top pf her apartment onto the ground below. The Mumbai Police have closed the case as a confirmed incident of suicide. Disha Saliyan's fiancé Rohan Rai, has since not been heard of or seen. His whereabouts are unknown.

 

Sushant was profoundly disturbed by the events of the night of June 8, as narrated by his closest friends. There was a child trafficking angle linked to Bollywood that had been exposed by Disha's calls to Sushant, and he now developed a fear for his own safety. The party of June 8 was attended by the son of the sitting Chief Minister of the state of Maharashtra and some well-known names in Bollywood including the brother of one of the 3 Khans. SSR feared that his life would not be spared as the famous and powerful entities present in that party would be intent on silencing him. It is said that SSR was found hanging in his bedroom, the morning of June 14.

 

Within the time span of a day, the Mumbai Police had declared Sushant Singh Rajput's death as another case of suicide. A section of India's media supported the narrative of the Mumbai Police and propped it up with additional narratives of how SSR was depressed as he was being marginalized by some very powerful producers in Bollywood. How his last few films had not done too well at the box office and it was reported that SSR was imploring his fans on Instagram to watch his movie "Sonchiriya". It was one of the better films emerging from Bollywood in 2019, but to Sushant's utter disappointment it did not earn the acclaim and the box office revenue it deserved.


Murder Most Foul

These narratives from the Mumbai Police and a surprisingly large section of the Indian media supporting them almost would have succeeded in covering up SSR's death as suicide driven by depression, had it not been for some deeply incisive investigative journalism launched by a channel called Republic TV. Its co-founder and the now majority stakeholder Arnab Goswami has established himself as a brilliantly outspoken, maverick journalist and TV anchor who has established himself as a news media evangelist of national stature whom each and every Indian either despises or adores… there is no in-between.

From the day of the incidents of June 8 and June 14, there had been rumblings in the social media about how the Mumbai Police's suicide theory leaves an ever increasing number of questions unanswered. Arnab Goswami gave a voice to the netizens' concerns on a national platform. Medical experts began questioning the hush-hush manner in which the post mortem was conducted on Sushant's corpse. There were multiple violations of the statutes of the legal and medical and framework which must be adhered to when conducting a post mortem in the Indian legal system. The sanctity of the crime scene was allowed to be violated under direct supervision of the Mumbai Police as unauthorized persons who were in no way connected to the investigation were allowed unfettered access to the victim's residence. Initial records of the investigation got deleted mysteriously from the computer records of the Mumbai Police. The bunglings and the goof ups in the initial investigation by the police are just so many that they almost appear pre-planned and intentional.

Someone or a group, high up in the Maharashtra state government seemed to be in a cover-up frenzy to disprove and delegitimize any theories about SSR's death that pointed away from the suicide angle established by Mumbai Police.

That was when India's Supreme Court (through a petition filed therein) intervened to allow India's apex Investigative Agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over the case from the clutches of the Mumbai Police.


Bollywood's Silence on SSR: "No one Killed Sushant"

What struck the common Indian the most was the ominous silence from the most admired names in Bollywood on the disturbing end to the life of a bright and young colleague who had a genuinely promising career ahead of him. Amitabh Bachchan, the doyen of Bollywood who is particularly active on social media often waxing eloquent on topics of social and national relevance has been silent on SSR to the time of my writing this blog post. Salman Khan's brother Arbaaz Khan was himself present at the party that Disha Saliyan attended a few hours before her rape and murder, according to eye witness accounts. So, Salman Khan's silence on SSR's death can be well understood. But, the other 2 Khans of Bollywood - Aamir Khan and the one and only Shah Rukh Khan have been so silent on SSR's death as if… almost as if they have some complicity in Sushant's murder. The same goes for all others in Bollywood - famous names, names that may sound familiar but not too famous, and those much lower down the food chain.

The collective silence of the Bollywood community on SSR's death and the Maharashtra government's official attempts to silence any noise suggesting homicide seems to point to one statement that they are all trying to make - "No one killed SSR".



The Silent Brigade

Top row (Left to Right): Ajay Devgan, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan (collectively called the 3 Khans of Bollywood), Anushka Sharma (who played Sushant's love interest in an Aamir Khan movie "PK", but maintained a stoic silence on his death).

Center: Sushant Singh Rajput (SSR)

Left: Amitabh Bachchan (the doyen of Bollywood and perhaps its most successful star ever, who is usually very active on social media with his views on social issues but went into silent mode on SSR).

Right: Akshay Kumar (another vocal spokesperson of Bollywood often voicing his opinions on social issues including women's safety. He was conspicuous by his silence on Disha Saliyan's alleged rape and murder and the subsequent murder of SSR).

Rouges Gallery: Bottom row (Left to Right): Arbaaz Khan (younger brother to Salman Khan), Aditya Thakeray (son of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra state), Suraj Pancholi (an actor he has been linked to the suicide of another actor in the past, Jiya Khan).

These 3 men were reported by witnesses to have been present at the 8 June, 2020 party from which Disha Saliyan left in haste to be subsequently raped and murdered. It is alleged that these 3 have a direct involvement in eliminating SSR.


Questions… and more Questions

As Ella Wheeler Wilcox once said - "To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."

That is something that can be applied to all the leading men and women of Bollywood today. And that is the reality playing out in the Indian society right now as we speak, that Indians, particularly the social media savvy young generation is unable to understand and digest. Why are the idolized stars and divas of Bollywood so silent on the unnatural death and probably murder of one of their fellow artists, when there is clear and disturbing evidence that the perpetrators have deep links to Bollywood? Are these stars really worth the love, admiration and money that common citizens of India have been showering on them for so long? Does their silence imply complicity to the crime? Is Bollywood collectively hiding something? Is Sushant's death the latest in a trend of silencing those that in some way pose a threat to the Bollywood ecosystem? What kind of an ecosystem is that? Is Bollywood in some way engaged in activities that are in profound violation of India's laws or compromise its national security?

The common man in India is deeply pained by the fact that Sushant Singh Rajput was not allowed to live out his dreams, and fulfill his true potential. But, what is more painful for citizens of the largest democracy in the world is the silence of people in power, the façade of justice being put up by a corrupt Police force working under the patronage of the highest office in the state of Maharashtra.

to be continued

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1 Comment


khalood zizo
khalood zizo
Apr 05, 2023

Just for your pigface too! Go to your country bitch! India is not your country

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