Saif Ali Khan is angry about the film industry’s sudden outpouring of love for Sushant Singh Rajput after his death on Sunday. He feels that a day of silence would be more appropriate than the ‘hypocrisy’ of pretending to care.
In an interview with The Times of India, Saif called the news of Sushant’s death ‘just awful’, but hit out at those ‘talking rubbish’ in the wake of the tragedy. “There are so many people who’ve made comments so quickly. And it just seems to me that people are somewhere gaining some mileage from this poor fellow’s tragedy, you know, whether it’s to show compassion or to show interest or to show some political stance. So many people are talking rubbish in this nonstop kind of barrage on social media and it’s just embarrassing, really, I think,” he said.
“Out of respect for him, for Sushant’s tragedy, maybe a day of silence or introspection would be a little more becoming than this outpouring of love – an outpouring of love from people who obviously didn’t care about him and people who famously don’t care about anybody else,” he said.
Saif said that the film industry was famously competitive and the pretense of caring for Sushant was an ‘insult’ to him. “I mean, we don’t care about anybody. You know, it’s a very cutthroat line of work. But to pretend that you do care is like the ultimate hypocrisy and I think that’s an insult to the dead, you know, it’s an insult to the soul that’s gone,” he said.
The sudden display of love for Sushant is ‘a little much to digest’ for Saif, who admitted that though ‘nobody really cares in this town’, they want to come across as empathetic to their fans. He added that people writing lengthy social media posts are unlikely to show the same level of love and compassion in real life.
“We live in an age where people write 10 lines for you on Twitter and will walk past you on the street – won’t even touch you or shake your hand. You know, you get wished for your birthday, but people don’t actually call you. There’s no contact,” he said.
There has been talk of Sushant being failed by bigwigs of the film industry. Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur had tweeted after his demise: “I knew the pain you were going through. I knew the story of the people that let you down so bad that you would weep on my shoulder…” Kangana Ranaut shared an angry video, in which she said that the late actor was not given his due as he was an outsider, and was constantly told that he was ‘worthless’.
However, Saif does not completely agree with this. “People are failing people constantly. Everyone talking about him, even those saying who failed you or didn’t fail you is, I think, somewhat exploiting his name. To take any stand at the moment, apart from just sorrow, and just saying that I’m really sad that he had no way out except this – any other comment is somewhere manipulating the situation, I feel. You have come across this as an opportunity to take a shot at somebody, and you’re taking a shot,” he said.
When asked about Bollywood camps having an impact on an actor’s career, Saif said, “These are the wrong comments to make now. I mean, you can say, listen, it’s just really bad, what happened. It’s really sad that this is the only way he could see out. But to blame anybody or to you know, draw these camps out, this is pathetic. I think it’s a function of lockdown plus social media. And it’s sad that film people can’t think beyond films. We will all assume that this terrible thing happened to him because of his films. There is more to life. Maybe he was upset about other things in his life. Maybe it was a personal reason. Maybe it’s nothing to do with films. If you can’t see beyond that, you will put everything on that – the movies you do.”
Saif’s daughter Sara Ali Khan, who made her Bollywood debut opposite Sushant in Kedarnath, was shocked and ‘very, very, very upset’ by the news. “She liked him very much. She was quite impressed with certain aspects of his personality. She told me he was very intelligent, that he could discuss, you know, Jean-Paul Sartre and he could discuss various aspects of philosophy and engineering and that he had learned how to shoot with a bow and arrow left handed, and he was very fit as well as very hard-working, and a good actor,” Saif said, adding that she always talked of him as ‘being a really remarkable person’.
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