The untimely demise of Sushant Singh Rajput reignited the debate over the pervasive nepotism that afflicts Bollywood. Many laid the blame of his suicide on prominent individuals like Karan Johar and Alia Bhatt for perpetuating the culture of nepotism in the industry and being responsible for shunting out the talented “outsiders”, forcing them to take the extreme step of giving up their lives.
While Karan Johar has been widely criticized for being accountable for Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, filmmaker Hansal Mehta, who had earlier taken up the cudgels for Shaheen Bagh protests, in a bizarre request, signed an online petition requesting Amitabh Bachchan to unfollow KRK on Twitter for his rude and mean tweets against the Kai Po Che actor.
Petition filed by Hansal Mehta asking Amitabh Bachchan to unfollow KRK on Twitter
The petition floated by Mehta said that being an iconic actor, role model and respected public figure with a huge fan following, it does not behove Amitabh Bachchan to follow someone like Kamaal R Khan alias KRK, who is a self-proclaimed actor, critic and a social media influencer, known for making derogatory and vulgar remarks against films, actors, directors and producers.
Mehta draws a distinction between the two personalities, exalting Amitabh Bachchan as a public figure who embodies dignity, empathy and humility while debasing KRK as a churlish individual, notorious for his abusive tweets and videos and who has made a “business out of trolling, abuse and mental harassment”.
“It is therefore very disturbing that somebody of Mr Bachchan’s stature actually follows this toxic social media presence. By following him alone Mr. Bachchan provides indirect endorsement for the hate and abuse unleashed by KRK on hapless industry persons through his ‘reviews’ and slanderous tweets. Case in point is the young Sushant Singh Rajput who tragically passed away a few weeks ago. For the past 3 years or so KRK had made it a point to target and post highly offensive material on the late actor,” the online petition read.
Mehta also highlighted the prevailing toxicity that besets the film and entertainment industry. “A lot is toxic in the times we live in. Some of that toxicity exists within the film industry and entertainment media too. Blind items, vicious bashing and a lot of trash masquerading as news adorn tabloids. It has to be fought. Not with whataboutery. One step at a time,” Mehta said in a tweet following his request to sign the online petition asking Amitabh Bachchan to unfollow KRK.
KRK tries to take advantage of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death
Kamaal R Khan, popularly known as KRK, is a self-proclaimed actor, critic, who prides himself in making derogatory and spiteful videos against popular actors, directors and producers, in a bid to gain cheap publicity, tried to ride on the sympathy wave that rose following the demise of Sushant Singh Rajput.
In the wake of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, Kamaal R Khan, who had been severely critical of the actor in past, tried to profit off the tragedy by posting eulogising tweets and videos in solidarity with Sushant Singh Rajput, against those who have been perpetuating the culture of nepotism in Bollywood.
While in the latest video, KRK mourns the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, in his earlier videos, he was seen asking producers like Ekta Kapoor, Sajid Nadiadwala and others to not patronize Sushant, claiming he was a terrible actor. The self-proclaimed critic had posted particularly nasty tweets against the actor while he was alive, a collage of which was also shared along with the petition floated by Hansal Mehta. Consequently, the disparaging tweets against Sushant Singh Rajput, mentioned in the collage have been deleted by KRK.
Hansal Mehta takes up the cudgel for Shaheen Bagh protesters
While Mehta tries to draw attention towards the hatred that exists in the film industry, it is worth noting that Mehta had been one of those Bollywood filmmakers who had come in defence of the Shaheen Bagh protests that eventually culminated into full-blown anti-Hindu riots in the national city in the last week of February this year.
In response to Vivek Agnihotri’s incisive tweet claiming that the Shaheen Bagh had transformed into an Islamic conversion centre and a hideout for all kinds of criminals, Mehta quickly came into the defence of the thuggish protesters at Shaheen Bagh, asking Vivek to embrace Islam to understand what the religion stands for.
Unfortunately twitter has become a haven for hate-mongering cowards like you. I sincerely hope you get converted to Islam and you get to understand what the religion really stands for. In fact i wish you’d first understand Hinduism so that you do not continue tarnishing it. https://t.co/W6LxflODUf— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) January 31, 2020
“Unfortunately twitter has become a haven for hate-mongering cowards like you. I sincerely hope you get converted to Islam and you get to understand what the religion really stands for. In fact, I wish you’d first understand Hinduism so that you do not continue tarnishing it,” Mehta tweeted.
Significantly, Mehta defended the Shaheen Bagh protests, which had been the plank from where the deadly anti-Hindu riots engulfing the national capital were engineered.