It was suicide

AIIMS report rules out murder or foul play in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. Let’s admit that he had a mental health issue

Finally, the nation may get closure over the sudden death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and his family may find peace with confirmation that he did, indeed, commit suicide. An AIIMS panel led by Dr Sudhir Gupta, which has re-evaluated the actor’s post-mortem report, has ruled out murder and has submitted its findings to the CBI. According to the experts, there were no injuries on the actor’s body other than those caused by hanging and there were no marks of struggle or scuffle on the body and clothes to indicate that somebody had forced him into the act. So we have to accept that for all his outer success, he was a deeply troubled and broken personality who couldn’t handle the pressures of living very well and tragically chose to give up on life. Hopefully, we can accept his frailties with as much grace and dignity he deserves as his success. Hopefully, we can honour his work as an actor/social entrepreneur. Hopefully, we can respect his memory enough and not milk it for ruthless politicisation, blame games, running pointless news cycles and spinning conspiracy theories. Most importantly, we need to stop beating around the bush and look at facts as they are — that he had a history of severe depression and though a “hero” in public perception, was too fragile, vulnerable and weak inside. One that made him take an anti-hero plunge into death. This should have been the real conversation all along, that of mental health issue becoming a new pandemic of our times and unsparing in its grip on individuals, from the ordinary to the extraordinary. His death should also open up a debate on performance pressure in the entertainment industry where a slew of actors took the extreme step as they ran into financial difficulties during the lockdown. In fact, the post-millennials are more prone to depression given they are facing the worst doom and gloom of our lifetime. We need a dedicated mental health policy and must think about healing and coping mechanisms in our societal structures. 

What was initially reported as suicide — and duly confirmed by the autopsy report given by qualified doctors who are expected to know what they are doing — quickly turned into a murder conspiracy involving the actor’s family, embezzled money, black magic, an allegedly exploitative live-in partner, a political bigwig, Bollywood mafia and nepotism, insider-outsider debate, a media circus and what not. But above all, this tragedy was weaponised by political parties to settle scores among themselves, using his starry aura. For Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has a severe image deficit, the case of a “son of the soil” exploited in faraway Mumbai couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Since the aam Bihari considers Sushant his “hero”, Sushant was iconised as “the pride of Bihar” though none of these politicians are known to have had an association with him. As for the BJP in Maharashtra, it spares no effort to pull down the Shiv Sena-led alliance Government on some pretext or the other. In Sushant’s case, its troll army played up an alleged association his girlfriend had with Sena scion Aaditya Thackeray, raking up more muck than proof. And finally, we must stop the witch-hunt against his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty for pushing him over the edge. Let us accept that Sushant may have been a recreational drug user like others in the industry and though her confession and complicity in procuring drugs for Sushant may help trace the drug racket in the industry, there is no need for further character assassination. Let us stop the venom and instead focus on the devil in our minds.

Source: The Pioneer