“I don’t enjoy the society we have become. The vilification and the way a person is portrayed in the media is sad,” says actor Saqib Saleem talking about the investigation of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.
“I have lost faith in news channels as everyone has their own version about the case. They show point of view. The job of news channels is to report facts not to give a narrative to the audiences. I am upset. It is unfortunate that a young promising actor like Sushant is no more. No one knows what happened and the CBI, NCB, ED are investigating his death. We all want justice for Sushant and Rhea (Chakraborty, actor and Sushant’s girl friend),” he says. Saleem wants a fair investigation but is also quite disappointed at how things have played out. “It is heart-breaking as Rhea is a friend of mine and as a friend, it is my responsibility to stand by her and her family at this time. Having said that, the case is in court and I hope and pray that the Indian judiciary gives a fair result of what happened. We all want to know what has happened,” he emphasises.
The Rangbaaz actor is also taken aback by the “hatred on social media”. He is sad that while social media was created to connect people, now it’s about people writing “rubbish” and getting away with it. “Actors become soft targets. We can’t fight everyone online. The industry’s image is being tarnished but the industry is not just the actors but technicians, directors, creative talent and Bollywood generates a lot of revenue through films. Rather than talking about generalising the whole industry, people point out individuals who have done anything wrong. Moreover, most of the stuff being said is propaganda. Truth will come out soon,” he says.
He adds that the hatred was the reason he left Twitter two months ago. “It was getting too much for no reason. I didn’t want to wake up to negativity every day. If I put up a post, which someone doesn’t like, not only do I get abused but my sister and mother do too. How is that fair? Tomorrow, when I have children I wouldn’t want them to be abused because their father is an actor,” he says.
The actor will be seen in a web show Crackdown soon. After doing an action oriented show, Rangbaaz, he is excited about donning another action role in this thriller. “I started acting in 2011 and last year, people would say I look like a bachcha. They would suggest I do the boy-next-door roles but I wanted to do intense and action-based roles. When I did Rangbaaz, I enjoyed the intensity of the story and characters. It was a great experience. Now, the experience of working on Crackdown with my friend-director Apoorva Lakhia has been mind-blowing. He has created a world of espionage with RAW officers, how the secret service works without getting credit. There are an interesting bunch of actors and it was an interesting role so I couldn’t say no,” he says.