Now Gunning for Top Dogs: Sushant Singh Rajput Fans Turn on Salman & Shah Rukh Khan


Now Gunning for Top Dogs: Sushant Singh Rajput Fans Turn on Salman & Shah Rukh Khan

Bollywood has had a rough 2020, even by 2020 standards. The death of Sushant Singh Rajput triggered a massive debate around the “Bollywood mafia”, nepotism, favouritism, outsiders and power centres within the industry. The wrath has been felt by stars online, with hashtags being trended to target them or dislike records being broken on YouTube for their newer films, as was the case with the Sadak 2 trailer. In a new development, the teaser for Bigg Boss 14 was released, with Salman Khan once again roped in as the host. “Ab scene paltega, kyunki Bigg Boss denge 2020 ko jawab,” Salman says in the teaser.

But he must’ve not expected the scene to “palat” the way it actually did on social media, with fans seeking a “Salman Khan boycott” and demanding a new host for Bigg Boss 14.

There has been a continuous movement on social media over the past few months to boycott movies and shows, acted in or directed by star kids or those wielding power and unjustly destroying careers in the industry. Salman Khan, Mahesh Bhatt and Karan Johar have been at the receiving end of much of this criticism.

Calls to boycott these filmmakers have been quite popular, with many claiming that “they haven’t spoken up for Sushant Singh Rajput” and are part of the “problem” in the industry. In the case of Salman Khan, his treatment of Arijit Singh, interference in the Jiah Khan case and getting away in the hit-and-run case is referenced frequently.

“Salman doesn’t respect anyone, he thinks of himself as the God of all,” tweeted one user.

Nuance has been lost in the debate and the anger for some in the industry has spilled over to others, who have themselves been outsiders and a victim of this system, from Shah Rukh Khan to Taapsee Pannu. Calls to boycott them have also grown louder.

Even Kapil Sharma has not been spared, as Salman Khan is the producer of the show. Everyone associated with these filmmakers has been targeted.

Whether it is the action in his films or song videos from the farm, Salman has often been a target of trolling and ridicule. But this time around, the circumstances are different. The trolling has taken the form of anger and hate instead of mere mockery. The punchlines aren’t reduced to how he is a bad actor or the script makes no sense, it is around foul play and using power to influence careers. Fans want fundamental changes in the industry, and one hopes these stars are listening, for it is eventually fans who make or break superstars.