Sushant Singh Rajput's untimely demise has reignited a heated debate about favouritism, lobbying culture and nepotism in Bollywood, with many calling out the film industry's "insiders" for favouring star kids over talented outsiders.
Several members of the film fraternity including Kangana Ranaut, Raveena Tandon, Hansal Mehta, Shekhar Kapoor, Manoj Bajpayee, Abhay Deol and Abhinav Kashyap also spoke out about many of these pressing issues following Sushant's death by suicide. However, actress Radhika Madan believes that if people want to talk about the practices of nepotism and lobbying culture in Bollywood then they should keep them as separate issues instead, and not discuss them in the context of Sushant's death.
"We really don't know what happened with Sushant. Everybody is just speculating it, and in some way, fulfilling their own agenda through him. Nobody knows what was going on in his head. It (speculation) might be the truth, it might not be the truth. But if you want to talk about biases and practices like nepotism and lobbying in Bollywood then let's keep it as a separate issue. Don't use Sushant as a medium to address these issues. These issues definitely exist in Bollywood and need to be addressed, but don't make him a tool to address them. I'm all in to debate on nepotism but I really want to leave Sushant out of this," Radhika told us.
Radhika, who made a successful transition from television to films with Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, said she took the plunge from the small screen with Sushant as inspiration.
"His death was a shock for all of us. It took me a week to actually realise what had happened. I didn't know him personally. I'd met him once or twice but I'd always looked up to him. When I was making a switch from TV to films, I was told multiple times that I would not be able to make it. Then, I would give Sushant's example to people. He was a great influence in the lives of so many actors like me because he made it look possible. So, I just want to remember him for the great work that he did and celebrate his life and whatever he achieved."
Meanwhile, Radhika recently collaborated with singer-songwriter Jasleen Royal to recreate Lata Mangeshkar's iconic track Lag ja gale. Jasleen has lent her voice to the new version, while Radhika has tried her hand at keyboard.
Talking about the collaboration, Radhika said, "So I had posted a few pictures of me playing keyboard on Instagram. And, Jasleen saw them and called up, asking if I want to do a collaboration with her. Also, we both love Lag ja gale. It's our all-time favourite, and hence we chose that song. Also, the situation around us has been so uncertain that we both resonated with the song a lot. Because it's about living in the present and not thinking about what happens tomorrow. So, that's how it happened."
Both Radhika and Jasleen shot for the music video from their respective homes. "It was really tough for me to shoot the video at home because I had only my house help with me. First of all, I was really nervous to play the keyboard as I've learnt playing it only recently. But thankfully, Jasleen was there on a video call with me and she was guiding me throughout. I'm also grateful to my house help. She only shot all my videos during the lockdown," Radhika added.
Check out the song here: