The passing away of small-time actor Inder Kumar all of a sudden of a heart failure earlier this week was not mourned by many, though there were the mandatory ‘OMG!’ and ‘Can’t believe it!’ reactions on Twitter and some inconsequential mourners at his funeral.
Significantly Salman Khan who gave Inder a big boost initially by agreeing to work alongside the newcomer in a series of films beginning with Kahin Pyar Ho Na Jaaye in 2000 and ending with Wanted in 2008,did not even tweet about Inder’s death. Apparently the rape charge hurled at Inder in 2014 put Salman completely off Inder.
As the industry knows, when Bhai befriends a newcomer his or her career is made.But when he abandons a protégée all of Bhai’s “friends’(read” yes-men) are expected to abandon the sinking ship hastily.Or they are also abandoned.
After the rape allegation, Salman’s friends(which means practically the entire industry) completely blacklisted Inder. You see . Bhai doesn’t like men who disrespect women.And never mind if his own track record in this matter is dubious.
Inder found himself jobless, homeless as he was thrown out of his rented place after the rape charge.
(Yes , just an allegation of sexual assault can ruin entire careers and lives. Ask Madhur Bhandarkar. Critics continue to review him instead of his films).
For all practical purposes Inder Kumar was dead for the film industry for a very long time.And he was to blame for the mess in his life.Reports of misdemeanours were long in circulation. In 2002 primetime empress EktaKapoor had brought Inder in to play Mihir Virani in India’s longest-running soap Kyunki….Saas Bhu Kabhi BahuThi. Inder blew the chance with his obnoxious ways. He was sacked within months.
He was also known to rough up women. And his then-girlfriend(now happily married) had spoken of his violent ways. There were other allegations against this actor that killed his career.
Inder was a wild child before he could afford to be one. Bollywood forgives even embraces socially-unacceptable behaviour only if your are a successful star. That’s the difference between being Inder Kumar and Sanjay Dutt.
In the end Inder was left with just one friend, Dolly Bindra, known to be quite a social outcast herself.
A leading lady who worked with Inder in one of his films said to me, “He was a good well-behaved guy when he started out. But all the partying and violent company got to him. He lost his way .And when Salman stopped favouring him the rest of the film industry also shut him out.”