TAB 200616 Abhinav Kashyap-1592293457986
Bollywood director Abhinav Singh Kashyap Image Credit: GN Archives

Two days after Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide, which made many question whether the self-made star was alienated by his colleagues and boycotted by the industry, director Abhinav Singh Kashyap of ‘Dabangg’ fame has publicly hit out at superstar Salman Khan and his family for bullying him relentlessly.

Director Anurag Kashyap’s brother claims that the Khan family orchestrated a deliberate attack to destroy his career following a fall-out after ‘Dabangg’s’ stupendous success. The film’s first instalment, starring Salman Khan, was directed by Singh Kashyap but he did not direct the sequels.

Rajput’s death has triggered debates on nepotism and the dynastic rule in Hindi cinema and how certain powerful directors destroy careers of outsiders based on their whims. The underbelly of Bollywood is being dissected following Rajput’s death.

“So here is my story 10 years after ‘Dabangg’. The reason I moved out of making ‘Dabangg 2’ ten years ago is because Arbaaz Khan in collusion with Sohail Khan and family was trying to take control of my career by bullying me,” revealed Kashyap in a lengthy Facebook post.

Salman Khan in Dabangg (2010)-1592293463808
Salman Khan in 'Dabangg', which was directed by Abhinav Singh Kashyap Image Credit: Supplied

Kashyap claims that Khan and his family have repeatedly threatened him. “My projects and creative endeavours have been sabotaged and I have been repeatedly threatened with life and rape threats given to/for the female members of my family. The sustained gaslighting and bullying destroyed my mental health and that of my family and led to my divorce and breaking up of my family in 2017,” said Kashyap.

When contacted by Gulf News, Khan’s team declined to comment on the allegations levelled by Kashyap.

The director has appealed to the government to launch a detailed investigation into Rajput’s death.

“The suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput brings to the forefront a much bigger problem of what many of us have been dealing with. Exactly what might compel a person to commit suicide?? I fear his death is just the tip of the iceberg just like the #metoo movement was for a much bigger malaise in Bollywood [sic],” said Kashyap.

The director also questioned the role of nefarious casting agents and agencies that dominate Bollywood.

“The death of Sushant Singh Rajput brings under scanner the role YRF talent Management Agency might have played in pushing him towards his suicide but that is for the authorities to investigate. These people don’t make careers. They ruin your career and life. Having suffered personally for a decade, I can confidently say every Talent Manager and all Talent Management Agencies of Bollywood are a potential death Trap for Artists,” he further wrote.

Gulf News has reached out to the YRF team for comment.

Sushant Singh Rajput
Sushant Singh Rajput Image Credit:

Kashyap also went on to blow the lid on the underbelly of Bollywood and now talent agencies entrap rising stars. He specifically named Yash Raj Talent agency, which has sculpted careers of Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh. Rajput was initially represented by Yash Raj Films before they parted ways.

Speaking further on the role of talent management companies, Kashyap continued: “Once the talent is signed up with the Talent management agency, they give up their right to exercise free choice and their discretion in any matter concerning career and they are made to work as bonded labour with very little money. Even if they are brave and manage to escape the clutches of their Talent Management agency somehow, they are systematically boycotted and their name smeared till they jump ship to another Agency in the hope of a better tomorrow."

The director of ‘Besharam’ also claimed that talents in the film industry are pushed to taking extreme steps.

“The talent is repeatedly broken till they either commit suicide or they succumb to Prostitution and escort services (Yes male escorts also) to feed the ego and sexual appetite of the rich and powerful, not just in Bollywood but also in Corporate world and politics,” claimed Kashyap in his post.

The director also revealed that this provocative post has made him fear for his life.

“Let it be known that they are Salim Khan, Salman Khan, Arbaaz Khan and Sohail Khan. There are many other small fry’s but Salman Khan’s family is the head of this venomous serpent. They use a clever mix of their ill-gotten money, political clout and connections with the underworld to intimidate anyone and everyone. Unfortunately, truth is on my side and I am not going to give up like Sushant Singh Rajput,” he said.