Actor's suicide sparks debate about insularity in Bollywood film industry

By Shilpa Jamkhandikar
MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian police will investigate whether an aspiring Bollywood actor who committed suicide at the weekend was depressed due in part to "professional rivalry" in a big-name, accused film industry.
Sushant Singh Rajput, a 34-year-old actor who received recognition and fans for his roles in several top-draw films, came from a middle-class family with no Bollywood connections - a relative rarity in the industry.
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Rajput was found dead in his residence in Mumbai on Sunday.
"There are media reports that he allegedly suffered from clinical depression due to professional rivalry. @MumbaiPolice will also examine this perspective," tweeted the Interior Minister in Maharashtra, which also includes the film capital Mumbai, late Monday.
Several Rajput friends in the industry have written about his breakthrough battles, while social media and some culture commentators criticized the supposedly closed culture in Bollywood, where some families have dominated for up to four generations.
Rajput's family has not said anything yet.
At least half a dozen reports from Rajput's industry peers suggested that Bollywood's clique-drive culture had outlawed him, although no one provided specific details and it wasn't immediately clear who they were talking about.
"I knew the pain you were going through. I knew the story of the people who let you down so much that you cried on my shoulder," said Shekhar Kapur, who was supposed to direct Rajput in a film that eventually was discontinued. wrote in a tweet on Monday.
Kapur did not immediately respond to a request for further details.
In a separate tweet, actress Swara Bhasker described allegations against Bollywood personalities as the "culmination of idiocy".
"We don't know what he (Rajput) went through. We don't know the cause. Stop eliminating your frustration with the pain of a disturbed person ... let him have his peace and family privacy," she tweeted on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; editing by Alexandra Ulmer and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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