Bhojpuri Actress Anupama Pathak Dies by Suicide. What’s Going on in India’s Entertainment Industry?


Bhojpuri Actress Anupama Pathak Dies by Suicide. What’s Going on in India’s Entertainment Industry?

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

Bhojpuri film actress Anupama Pathak was found hanging at her residence in Dahisar. The 40-year-old actress reportedly died by suicide on August 2. A day before her death, Anupama went live on Facebook and spoke about feeling cheated and not being able to trust anyone. Another day, another tragic death. It has made everyone ask – what is going on in the entertainment industry?

“If you confide in someone that you are going through some problems and feel suicidal, that person, no matter how good a friend he or she is, will immediately ask you to keep them away from your problems so that they don’t get into trouble after you die,” Pathak had said in the video, speaking in Hindi. “Also people will make fun of you and disrespect you in front of others. So never share your problems with anyone and never consider anyone your friend. Be the person whom everybody can trust but never trust anyone. I have learnt this in my life. People are very selfish and don’t care for others.”

Anupama Pathak hailed from Bihar’s Purnia district and lived in Mumbai for work. She was seen in several Bhojpuri films and TV shows. Reports state that a suicide note has been recovered where the actress has written about investing Rs 10,000 in a company and not getting it back even after maturity date in December 2019. A complaint has been registered with the police and investigation is underway.

Pathak’s death comes at a time when the industry is still trying to come to terms with the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, who was found hanging in his apartment in Bandra on June 14. The CBI is now investigating the case.

A week before Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise, his former manager Disha Salian had jumped from a high-rise building in Mumbai. Disha’s father had written to Mumbai Police, seeking action against those “maligning her” with baseless theories and conspiracy events.

Sameer Sharma, of Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke fame allegedly died by suicide in his Malad home on Thursday. According to reports, Sameer was found hanging in his kitchen. “Looking at the body’s condition, it is suspected that he died by suicide two days back,” the police said in Mumbai Mirror report. No suicide note was found at the spot.

A string of suicides have rocked the entertainment industry of late. Actor Ashutosh Bhakre, best known for his work in Marathi cinema, had allegedly committed suicide at his house in Nanded a couple of weeks back. Prior to that, TV actors Manmeet Grewal and Preksha Mehta had also allegedly taken their lives.

The deaths of actors from TV and film have generated a much-needed conversation around mental health. The issue has also been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, which has had a massive effect on economic outcomes and social life, leaving many people, including “stars”, lonely, with no help around. As a society, we must have more honest conversations around these issues, and try to take away all the stigma from it.