What the recent suicide of a popular entertainer has taught us

A recent demise in Indian cinema has taken the nation by storm ; and has shaken the very fabrics of the entertainment industry.

Actor Sushant Singh Rajput, age 34, committed suicide on June 14 in his Mumbai residance. The actor left no note behind indicating any motive to take the big step, and the officials are still investigating.

One thing, however, is certain, is that the actor was not facing any form of physical health issues – he was physically fit, with no history of physical illnesses whatsoever. He was also at the steady growth in his career, portraying outstanding performance on screen, signing up new deals, and making his way in the hearts of millions of fans.

However, what most of us missed out was – no matter where you stand in your career progression, no matter the fame, glam and success, your mental health can narrate a whole different story. Sushant took a massive step; one that no one would have anticipated.

This step has led to a massive outbreak in the country, with each person having their opinion and ‘theory’ behind the suicide. Some assume it’s due to relationship issues with a loved one, while some say it’s due to the unfair treatment he faced from the entertainment industry.

In the midst of these ‘conspiracy theories’, we are failing to realise a few important things:

Let us not make judgement whether the act was justified or not

  • Irrespective of the scale of the problem, committing suicide is not an act that can be quantified or justified.
  • An individual goes through a tremendous range of emotions before taking such a step, and it’s very complex to identify or narrow it down to one single factor.
  • We, as a community, should instead focus on prevention of such acts in the future for our loved ones, by lending them an ear, and being generous.

 Do not pity him. He was not a victim

  • A victim is defined as ‘a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action’. When the harm or injury is inflicted upon oneself, it cannot be labelled as victimization.
  • We all face our set of challenges each day, with highs & lows, pressure situations, and turmoil. However, it’s also upto us how we face these challenges – and we should not blame anyone else for the actions we take.
  • Hence, it is justified to mourn over the loss of someone, but do not ‘victimize’ a person until evidence states otherwise.

Do not identify him as someone who committed suicide. He was a human and a multi- talented individual, who made the most of his life

  • Sushant was an extremely talented individual. Not only was he known for his versatility on screen, but also for his intellects in the field of science. His progression from engineering to small screen entertainment to big screen entertainment is inspirational.
  • Let us remember him for the man he was, and the impact he made. Let us remember him for the good and happiness he brought into the world. This is how he would want to be remembered anyway.

What we do need to do is pick up on a few important lessons from this incident

  1. Remember: Life has many options, and many things to live for. Usually when we think that all doors around us are closing, all we need to do is be patient, and seek for the doors that have always been open – eg. our family, friends, and the legacy we have created. You have come so far, and no matter how grave the situation, there is always going to be a way out.
  2. The responsibility of your life is in your hands only. Like it’s popularly said ‘You are your own pilot’, it’s you who has to take the final call and action. Aspects like your career progression, people’s opinion, finances etc. does not define you, but rather your ability to hold on and move on in life.

The nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 is putting us all to test. Spending more time indoors with a lack of change & physical socializing is challenging our mental sanity. Responsibilities towards job, family & health are increasing, putting us under more pressure. 

The lockdown may push us to our hardest, but it is up to us to rise above it. Take some time out, take to your loved ones, and know that it’s just a phase; it’s not here to stay.

Look forward to a brighter, better tomorrow.