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The City Of Patna Boycotts Salman Khan Over Actor’s Suicide



Salman Khan

Patna-born  Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput  has attained a much larger stardom after his sudden and  shocking suicide on June 14, than before.

While his death has triggered  off a massive outrage  against the  spirit of nepotism that  prevails in  Mumbai’s film industry, the  ramifications of  the  tragedy can be felt and heard  far and wide  across India. In Patna, the capital  city  of  Bihar  where Rajput was born, the  people  have taken  a vow to  ban superstar Salman Khan,filmmaker Karan Johar and  actress Alia Bhatt as  these are  seen to be emblems of the  clannish  culture in  Mumbai that  prevented Sushant Singh Rajput from realizing his full potential in  Hindi cinema.

Since Sunday Bihar  has been  plunged  into a state of  relentless  grief and anger over the death of their  star-son Rajput who  ended his  life at the age  of 34, allegedly because of   what has come to be  known as  the ‘nepo(tism) gang’ in Mumbai.

On Thursday  hordes of young Rajput  fans in Patna  marched  to Salman Khan’s Being Human clothes store(the Superstar owns a chain of  branded clothes’  store across India) and  forced the  manager to shut shop.

One of  the protestors Salil Mishra ,   a  diehard  fan of  Sushant Singh Rajput says, “We will not  allow anything to do with Salman Khan  in  Bihar. The  Being Human  clothes won’t be sold in this state. No film starring  Salman Khan will be  released in Bihar.”

The  ire against  Salman Khan stems  from an old video gone viral where Salman when quizzed about working with Sushant Singh  Rajput counter-questions, “Sushant who?”

Bihar sees  Salman as the  embodiment  of  all that  ails Bollywood and took  young Rajput’s life.

Roshan Singh a major film exhibitor in  Patna says the  mood is  volatile and against  the Khans. “The people of Bihar are mourning the death  of their  son. In Sushant Singh Rajput’s death Patna and Bihar see  the  crass discrimination that  is practised  against migrants in Mumbai.”

The renowned  actor from Bihar  Pankaj Tripathy last seen giving a winsome  performance in the Netflix series Sacred Games says  the existence  of  nepotism and favouritism cannot be denied in  the Mumbai film industry. “I had  to struggle for 18 years in Mumbai, sleep on the pavements  eat onre meal  a day, before I found  acceptance  in Bollywood. Mumbai and the Hindi film industry is not an easy  place for migrants  specially from  a  backwater  state like  Bihar. Initially I  was  ridiculed  and offered  bit parts  where I had to play a taxidriver or a watchman. These are the  jobs Biharis are seen  doing in Mumbai.”

However  superstar-politician Shatrughan Sinha   who started his career in 1968 with  walk-on parts in  Bollywood and  then went  on  to become one of  Hindi cinema’s biggest stars  says struggle is a part  of   the  process of stardom.  “Right now  Bihar is  angry . They have a  lost a beloved son and they  hold powerful  people in Bollywood like Salman  Khan and  Karan Johar responsible for Sushant’s death.But  after they calm down, they will see  the irrationality of  blaming top names in Bollywood . The people of Bihar love Salman. They  cannot do  without him  for long.”

Patna-based television journalist Manish Jha sees the  boycott as a temporary emotional reaction. “The  people   of Bihar love Salman Khan. The entertainment he  provides in films like Tiger Zinda  Hai cannot be replicated by any other star. Besides he  also does plenty of charity work for humanitarian causes. But yes, big producers  like  Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra have to be very careful about  not letting careers suffer because of their clannish tendencies.”

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