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Friday, April 16, 2021

India’s TV and Film Industry becoming a Suicidal Hub, Tamil Actor VJ Chitra being the latest Victim

The death of VJ Chitra has sparked the debate on whether or not the Indian TV and Film Industry is becoming a suicidal hub.

The number of suicide rates increased in the TV and film industry is shocking and worrisome. The 28-year-old Tamil TV actress VJ Chitra is the most-recent one. She played the role of Mullai in the popular show Pandian Stores. On the 9th of December, VJ Chitra was found hanging at a five-star hotel in Chennai’s Nazrathpet.

This year we witness a number of deaths by suicide by people from the entertainment industry. It certainly raises some serious questions about the industry. Whether it’s their work culture, environment, or social dynamics, it all reflects toxic and worrisome filth of fame and glam.

Based on the news reports, VJ Chitra was suffering from depression. In November, it was 53-year-old actor Asif Basra, who was found dead in his home in Mcleodganj in Dharamshala. In August, it was TV actor and model Sameer Sharma, of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, who took his own life in Mumbai. In the same month, Bhojpuri actress Anupama Pathak was found hanging in her residence. Her reason for committing suicide was that she felt “cheated and couldn’t trust anyone”.

And the most controversial case which shook the entire Film industry and the nation was that of Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput in June this year. Just a week before Sushant committed suicide, his former manager Disha Salian had jumped from a high-rise building in Mumbai. Both the suicide cases (Sushant and his former manager Disha Salian) are still under investigation. Around the same time and because of same reason (Depression) Marathi Actor Ashutosh Bhakre, best known for his Marathi movies had also committed suicide at his house in Nanded. Further, In May, TV actors Manmeet Grewal and Preksha Mehta had also taken their lives citing the same reason of depression and mental health.


In an article published in Outlook India, psychologist and professor Rajat Mitra narrated a conversation he had with an actor. The actor empathized on the part that ‘they always try to be someone else for the fame and recognition they desire of.

“I can’t go back now looking for that original me. Even though we are all false, it is our identity. The actor’s identity is too alluring. We are surrounded by people like us. None of your emotions are genuine. They are all plastic.” Then he had added, “You can leave it only through committing suicide or through psychotherapy.”

When asked whether celebrities are more at risk to suffer from mental health issues, Dr Prakriti Poddar, in an interview to Times Now pointed out,

“In the entertainment industry, there is a lot of pressure to perform, not only on-screen but off-screen too by making right friends, being in news in the right manner, and being in touch with the right people. We have lost too many young and promising people in the entertainment industry to mental health issues. There are sporadic attempts to create a healthy atmosphere for people in the industry to talk about what’s troubling them, but we are still struggling.”


Such cases of mental health and suicides could only fall off if a healthy work environment is created in the entertainment industry. Work culture plays an important role in our mental health. Also, the stigma around discussing mental health issues and seeking help from experts should also be erased. If one is suffering from any kind of mental health issue, he or she should come forward and seek help instead of hiding it and trying to escape from the aftermath. These little-little steps could go a long way in order to tackle mental health pandemic.

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Mayuresh Patil
My Instagram says I am silent-ink, My Facebook says I am a Newsy Guy. And My Gmail says I am an Utter Chaos. To sum up, a combination of Creativity + Simplicity. Also, never underestimate the power of words.

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