Jitendra Kumar: Let’s not blame the film industry for Sushant Singh Rajput’s death
Instead, he emphasised the importance of connection and an individual's responsibility for their mental health
Since Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, social media has become a platform for debate on nepotism in Bollywood, with many fellow Bollywood celebrities such as Kangana Ranaut joining in the conversation in support of reform. In a stand against what some perceive as nepotistic casting, it has also seen hate campaigns taken taken against actors such as Sonakshi Sinha who have family in the industry. While many seem to be certain Bollywood is to be blamed, actor Jitendra Kumar is questioning the narrative.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Jitendra said, “It’s not about the film industry, this is a problem everywhere. I feel the film industry is more visible and exposed, so it’s more out there. But, the problem is there in every industry.”
The Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan actor directs the discourse onto mental health and the importance of connecting with one another. “As an industry, we should take care of each other, look out for one another. If, in any case, we feel that something is off, we must share it. It’s all about connection and connectivity. We do neglect a lot of things in general — we don’t talk to family, friends or siblings. We must reach out.”
Kumar went on to express the individual’s duty in keeping themselves mentally healthy, “First comes health, both physical and mental. It’s important to involve people in your life and keep yourself happy. Help people and help yourself,” says the actor.
The actor, who attended IIT Kharagpur University, said that Bollywood should take a leaf from educational institutes who take steps to help mental health in their community. “When I was studying there, many cases of depression came to light. But, extreme actions were taken by the institutes, via campaigns, internal dialogue and channels to help students.”
Summing up his point Kumar said, “Mental health should not be a stigma. People coming out and seeking help is a great achievement in itself. If mental health is taken care of, everything else falls in place.”