Not one to mince words, Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut was as explosive as ever when she staked her Padma Shri title (fourth highest civilian honour in India) while dropping names in relation to Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.
Ranaut was speaking during an interview with Indian news channel Republic TV, where she dropped the names of producer-director Mahesh Bhatt, filmmakers Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra, along with movie critic Rajeev Masand. The actress stated these industry stalwarts should be summoned by Mumbai Police in relation to the Rajput investigation, but haven’t been called upon as yet.
During the interview with the news channel, the actress stated: “I am not saying that anyone wanted Sushant to die, but definitely doomed. These people are emotional vultures. They want to see people lynch themselves.”
Ranaut continued further: “To date, Mahesh Bhatt is selling Parveen Babi’s (yesteryear Bollywood actress who was reportedly diagnosed with schizophrenia) illness in so many versions through his films. Why is Mumbai Police not summoning — Aditya Chopra, Mahesh Bhatt, Karan Johar, Rajeev Masand? These four people. Why, because they are powerful? With this interview, I only have things to lose.”
Rajput, who died by suicide on June 14, has left Bollywood in turmoil, as fans have called out ‘nepotism gangs’ in the industry, which have left talented individuals with no connections, out in the cold. After repeated calls of a probe led by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation into the actor’s death, the Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh responded to calls in July 17, saying the Mumbai Police will be able to handle the case.
“I have seen the tweets and the campaign. But I don’t think that a CBI probe is required. The Mumbai Police is competent enough to handle such cases, and they are investigating every aspect of the case including professional rivalry. As of now, we do not see any foul play. Details of the investigation will be shared once it is completed,” Deshmukh told Indian newspaper Mid-Day.
However, Ranaut told Republic World that the investigation by Mumbai Police “a sham”. She further added: “Sushant’s family shouldn’t be harassed because these people are too powerful. These people aren’t even summoned. Mumbai Police investigation is a complete sham. I have said no to Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’ but he hasn’t done anything vengeful. He doesn’t gang up on anyone but he’s being summoned. Shekhar Kapur, a God-like figure in the industry is being summoned.”
Both, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Kapur, have been summoned by the cops over the past month to give their statements following Rajput’s suicide in his Mumbai home. While Bhansali stated he had offered the late actor four films, including ‘Ram Leela’, which the actor couldn’t take on due to contractual obligations, Kapur said that Rajput was left devastated when the Yash Raj Films produced film ‘Paani’ had been shelved. Rajput and Yash Raj Films soon parted ways.
In the interview, Ranaut further added that will return her Padma Shri award if she is unable to prove the claims she has made about Rajput’s suicide, adding that the late actor had faced pressure from Bollywood and the media, which spearheaded the writing of blind items on celebrities without taking names.
Ranaut also spoke about her police summons. “They (Mumbai Police) summoned me, and I asked them too, that I’m in Manali, that you can send somebody to take my statement, but I have not received anything after that. I am telling you, if I have said anything, which I can’t testify, which I can’t prove, and which is not in public domain, I will return my Padma Shri,” she said.
Before signing off, the actress also called out her contemporaries in Bollywood.
“Tomorrow, needy outsiders like Taapsee Pannu, Swara Bhasker will get up and say that they love this industry. I am only saying if you love this industry and if you love Karan Johar, then why are you not getting work like Alia or Ananya? Their whole existence is proof of nepotism. There will be articles that will make me look like a mad person after this, I know.”
As the investigation into Rajput’s death continues, Bollywood remains under scrutiny, while fans continue to demand just for the late actor.
Meanwhile, none of the celebrities named in the interview by Ranaut have issued a statement following her interview.