Raimohan’s suicide reopens the debate; is COVID a silent killer for Indian celebrities!

The suicide of Odisha’s very own ‘Badboy’ Raimohan Parida has thrown open the debate for people to make arguments and counter-arguments for the probable cause of his death.

Raimohan Parida

All is not well behind the glitz and glamour of showbiz. The death of Raimohan Parida has again put the spotlight on the recent spurt in suicides by celebrities both in Bollywood and Ollywood.

From South siren Silk Smitha to Bollywood heartthrob Sushant Singh Rajput, there are numerous instances of celebrities ending their lives. And though the exact cause of their deaths is still shrouded under mystery, the most probable cause that could be attributed to their deaths is depression.

Ollywood is no exception. The suicide of Odisha’s very own ‘Bad boy’ Raimohan Parida has thrown open the debate for people to make arguments and counter-arguments for the probable cause of his death. With his neighbours and close friends indicating that he was under tremendous stress, probably under depression for some time, the question of survival of the fittest in this dog-eat-dog glamour industry has taken the centre stage again.

Television actress Rashmirekha’s body was found hanging in her rented house at Bhubaneswar just a week back. The police are still investigating her death, a suspected suicide. Similarly, the suicides of Odia album actor Papu in 2008 and actor Raja in 2016 had sent ripples across the State.

Another death, suicide of actress Nikita from Cuttack in 2019 has brought the depression of celebrities to the fore again.

Actor and Secretary of Odisha Cine Actor’s Association, Sritam Das said, “Actors are going through tremendous stress these days. They are increasingly becoming lonely and they are overreacting in small issues.”

Pertinent to mention here that the suicidal tendency among celebrities has risen considerably after the Coronavirus pandemic has hurt the market, particularly the showbiz sector.

A report by the National Library of Medicines in the United States stated, “Between 2002 and 2019, 16 such cases of celebrity suicide have been reported in the media. Moreover, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, seven cases of suicide among celebrities working in the Indian entertainment industry were also retrieved from media reports.”

“The incidence of reported suicides appeared to increase during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the report said.

The study further said, “Depression was reported to be the most common cause of celebrity suicides both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the increased incidence of celebrity suicides during the ongoing pandemic suggests a possible association between COVID-19-related restrictions and the exacerbation of preexisting mental health conditions such as depression that increases the risk of suicidality among Indian celebrities.”

While the study did not take Odia celebrities into account, a similar pattern can be observed in the Odia cine industry as well.

Senior artist, Ilu Bannerjee said, “COVID has hit us hard. Theatres, cinema halls, jatra everything was shut down in last two years. The artists who are completely dependent on the cinema industry had to suffer hard.”

However, in Raimohan’s case, finance was never a cause to send him into depression because as per sources, he had a good, if not great, bank balance with him. Psychiatrist, Dr Samrat Kar elaborated the issue to some extent. According to him, “For super stars like him, money is never a matter of concern. Rather the audience, their claps on stage and their love is what they probably missed due to COVID lockdown. And that is sufficient for a star to go into depression.”

As per Dr Kar, people should not think that this is the end of the world. If a person searches for a solution to their problem, they will definitely get it. Ending their lives is not a solution at all.