Social Media, Where Users Mourn Sushant Singh’s Suicide Due to Bullying By Wishing Death Upon Sonam Kapoor

Bollywood

Social Media, Where Users Mourn Sushant Singh’s Suicide Due to Bullying By Wishing Death Upon Sonam Kapoor

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

The suicide of the actor Sushant Singh Rajput last weekend rocked the Indian film industry and its fans. Not only was there an outpouring of grief for the loss of a talented star, but also a flood of toxicity and hate aimed at his peers, especially those coming from film families. Many were held responsible for his demise by fans on social media. Karan Johar was called out for creating Bollywood “camps’ and Alia Bhatt for being catty about Rajput on a talk show. Both have said who have lost followers on social media but that’s still no reason to complain. However, the online trolling after Rajput’s death has become truly virulent.

Sonam Kapoor, viewed by many as the beneficiary of nepotism due to her position as the daughter of Anil Kapoor, has been receiving constant hate. And after receiving a barrage of hate messages on Sunday from trolls, Kapoor put out a statement on Twitter about the abuse.

The messages that Kapoor has been receiving are nothing short of online bullying. Kapoor said that some have wished death on her future children and her family; a few trolls said that they wished she had died instead and some have allegedly issued rape threats.

In the wake of Rajput’s suicide, a conversation opened up about nepotism and how it affects people working in an industry where it thrives. However, like many debates which make their way to social media, this one quickly became toxic.

Kapoor also chose the occasion to defend her status as the daughter of a celebrity, which was a case of unfortunate timing. This led to people mocking her sense of grammar on top of her connections to the film industry, all because of a misplaced apostrophe. The relentless targeting of personalities like Kapoor by social media trolls is no better than the alleged ostracising of outsiders like Rajput by the film industry.

And she is not the only celebrity to speak out against this culture of fan-led bullying, which exists side by side with Bollywood’s nepotism. Several actors, including Sonakshi announced that they were disabling their social media profiles in the wake of relentless online trolling after Rajput’s death.

 

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Aag lage basti mein… mein apni masti mein! Bye Twitter 👋🏼

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Another topic that came to the fore alongside nepotism when Rajput died by suicide was mental health. Many posts were made by supposedly sympathetic people about being considerate to one another and creating a positive environment online. Industrialist Ratan Tata also appealed for “empathy”, saying the online community has been “hurtful to each other”.

 

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However, in the enthusiasm to target celebrities like Sonam Kapoor, that consideration has been forgotten.

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