From Sonu Sood to Sushant Singh Rajput, here are Indian celebrities who have piqued the curiosity of the netizens.
10. Allu Arjun
Telugu superstar Allu Arjun has impressed his fans in movies like ‘Parugu’, ‘Arya’, and ‘Rudhramadevi’ among many others. The actor recently seemed to have irked netizens and forest officials after visiting the Kunatala Waterfalls in Adilabad, which became a hot topic of debate on the internet as his fans gathered there on a large scale.
Because of this, the actor got criticised on social media as the fans didn't follow any norms of social distancing amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The actor’s visit to the closed tourist place raised questions in an Right To Information activist's mind, as he recently filed a petition at Neradigonda police station.
On the work front, Allu Arjun has started shooting for his next film ‘Pushpa’.
9. Anurag Kashyap
In the wake of the ‘Mee Too’ movement that shook Bollywood as much as it did Hollywood, actor Payal Ghosh came out with sexual assault allegations against director Anurag Kashyap.
While many celebrities, including his ex-wife Kalki Koechlin, were vocal about their support for the ace director, Kashyap in October, was called in by Mumbai police for an 8-hour interrogation regarding the FIR filed against him by Ghosh. While Anurag has denied all allegations, he has a long ongoing legal battle geared up for the accuser.
8. Sonu Sood
Despite playing the antagonist in most movies he has starred in, Sonu Sood became the hero that everyone yearned for in 2020. The actor catapulted to national spotlight for helping migrants reach their homes during the COVID-19 lockdown and arranging transport facilities for migrant labourers stuck in various places to their homes. His humanitarian work during 2020 has been highly appreciated. He also helped people by giving them face shields, food, mobile phones and more.
Hailing from the Moga district of Punjab, the actor has recently been appointed as state icon of Punjab by the Election Commission of India. Sood was also honored with the prestigious SDG Special Humanitarian Action Award by the Department of Planning of the Government of Punjab for his humanitarian work during the pandemic.
His autobiography, I Am No Messiah, which recounts his experience of helping migrants during the lockdown, is rumoured to be out in December.
7. S. P. Balasubramaniam (4 June 1946 – 25 September 2020)
The whole of India mourned when the veteran singer, actor and music composer passed away due to cardiac respiratory attack, after testing positive for Coronavirus, at the age of 74.
The ‘singing moon’, as he was fondly known, has recorded over 40,000 songs in 16 languages, over a period of five decades.
6. Rishi Kapoor (4 September 1952 – 30 April 2020)
Since his ‘Bobby’ days, Rishi Kapoor has been in the hearts of millions of fans. His debut film ‘Mera Naam Joker’ won him a National Award in 1970. With more than 100 films under his belt, there was a wave of disbelief when the news of his passing away hit everyone.
The actor was suffering from leukemia and went to New York in 2018 to get it treated. He returned back to Mumbai the following year and resumed work. In April 2020, he was rushed to the hospital owing to breathing issues, which he succumbed to.
His death followed the demise of actor Irrfan Khan, who had passed away less than 24-hours prior to ‘Chintu Ji’.
5. Irrfan Khan (7 January 1967 – 29 April 2020)
The world lost one of the finest actors of our times in April 2020. In March 2018, Khan tweeted that he had been diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor, for which he sought treatment in the UK for a year and returned to India in 2019.
In April 2020, the actor was admitted to a hospital for colon infection, which he succumbed to four days after the death of his 93-year-old mother.
In a career that spanned over 30 years, the actor won numerous accolades and awards for his work, including National Film Award, Asian Film Award, Filmfare Award and even a Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour.
4. Salman Khan
It is not possible to not have ‘Bhai’ on this list, as he was, and still remains, one of the most popular stars in Hindi film industry. From being controversy’s favourite child to the highest paid host on television, Salman has always been in the news, for good and bad reasons.
In 2020, after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, ‘Dabangg’ director Abhinav Singh Kashyap accused Salman, his brothers Sohail and Arbaaz, and their father Salim for sabotaging the director’s career.
3. Akshay Kumar
Akshay Kumar’s highly anticipated film ‘Laxmi Bomb’ had a rocky road to start with. Firstly, the movie release got pushed due to the pandemic.
Secondly, it failed to release on the big screen and went directly to OTT streaming platform.
Thirdly, the makers of the movie received a legal notice from Shri Rajput Karni Sena for being "derogatory" and "offensive" towards Goddess Lakshmi. The title was promptly changed to ‘Laxmii’.
Fourthly, while in numbers it had the highest premiere viewership, the film failed to impress the audience, especially the LGBTQ community who called for a ban of the movie due for perpetuating vile stereotypes.
In November, the actor served a Rs 500-crore defamation suit against a YouTuber named Rashid Siddiqui for spreading fake news about him in the Sushant Singh Rajput case.
2. Amitabh Bachchan
Completing 51 years in the Hindi film industry, the legendary actor returned to the small screen with the 12th season of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’. Apart from being one of the most active celebrities on social media, Big B also has a number of movies lined up, including Ajay Devgn directorial ‘Mayday’ and ‘Jhund’.
‘Jhund’, based on the life of the founder of NGO Slum Soccer Vijay Barse has been in quite some trouble. Hyderabad-based filmmaker Nandi Chinni Kumar had filed a case against the makers over alleged copyright infringement.
The actor also had a health scare earlier in the year when he and his entire family was declared Covid-19 positive.
1. Sushant Singh Rajput (21 January 1986 – 14 June 2020)
2020 has no doubt been a tragic year, which only got worse after the highly covered death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The actor was found dead by suicide in his Bandra home, at the age of 34. It has been reported that the ‘Kai Po Che’ actor showed signs of clinical depression and was suffering from bipolar disorder.
A lot has been said about his death and many have been accused of driving him to take his life. All said and done, I hope that we remember him as a dashing young actor whose smile lit up the screen and not the media circus his death led to.