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Veteran theatre and film actor Sulabha Deshpande dies

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Sulabha Deshpande died at her Mumbai residence after a prolonged illness, family sources said.

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Sulabha Deshpande, who had acted in numerous Marathi and Hindi films, died at her Mumbai residence after a prolonged illness, family sources said.

Sulabha Deshpande, one of the finest actors of Indian theatre and cinema, passed away at her Mumbai residence Saturday after a prolonged illness. The veteran actor, considered to be one of the pioneers of the experimental theatre movement that swept Bombay in the 1970s, was 79. Her funeral will be held at the Dadar crematorium at 5.30 pm on Sunday.

Veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal described her as “one of the great figures of Marathi cinema”. According to him, she was equally well-known for her work in Hindi movies as well as in Marathi and Hindi theatre. “She was a wonderful actor, very disciplined and always a team person. She never had any airs about her and was always helpful to the actors that she worked with. I particularly remember her work in Bhumika (1977),” Benegal said.

She had also acted in memorable roles in movies like Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan (1978), Gaman (1978), Bazaar (1982) and Ijaazat (1987). Among the recent movies, she had appeared in the Gauri Shinde-directed English Vinglish (2012).

But it is Deshpande’s contribution to theatre that remains of paramount importance. She started her career in theatre by directing plays for the students of Chhabildas Girl’s High School. She was associated with Rangayan, a leading Marathi experimental theatre group of Mumbai. In 1971, she co-founded the theatre group Awishkar with her husband Arvind Deshpande and Arun Kakade. “In 1971, when Arvind and Sulabha started Awishkar, little did the two know that it would become the starting point of the iconic Chhabildas movement… It ended up shaping what Marathi theatre is today. I doubt they were aware of it at the time,” said Kakade.

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Ekta Kapoor remembers Manav of ‘Pavitra Rishta’ on Sushant’s birth anniversary

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Producer Ekta Kapoor remembered late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput on his 35th birth anniversary on Thursday.

Ekta shared a video on Instagram, which is made of a collage of several scenes from her daily soap Pavitra Rishta, which had made Sushant an overnight sensation.

In the video shared by Ekta Kapoor, the words “Remembering our Manav, now and forever” appear on screen towards the end.

“Sushi forever ! Shining bright like a star! Love n light wherever u r! Happie birth on earth day!” Ekta captioned her video.

Sushant began his career as a television actor before venturing into Bollywood. Ekta had launched Sushant as an actor in the Balaji daily soap Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil. He later became popular as Manav Deshmukh in the Balaji soap, Pavitra Rishta, before venturing into Bollywood.

Pavitra Rishta also featured Sushant Singh Rajput’s ex-girlfriend, actress Ankita Lokhande, opposite him.

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Sidharth Malhotra begins shoot for ‘Thank God’

Sidharth took to Twitter to share the announcement. “Excited for this new journey. #ThankGod for it. Shoot begins today,” he wrote along with photos of the team, including director Indra Kumar.

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Sidharth Malhotra

 Actor Sidharth Malhotra has started shooting for his upcoming film Thank God here on Thursday.

Sidharth took to Twitter to share the announcement. “Excited for this new journey. #ThankGod for it. Shoot begins today,” he wrote along with photos of the team, including director Indra Kumar.

Thank God, which also stars Ajay Devgn and Rakul Preet Singh, is pitched as a slice of life comedy with a message.

Ajay is expected to join the team later though he tweeted: “Lights. Camera. Action. The shoot for #ThankGod begins today in Mumbai!”

Rakul is also missing in the mahurat shot photo. Still, she tweeted: “#ThankGod shoot begins today !! Super thrilled to bring to all of you this slice of life comedy. Trust me we will have you in splits.”

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BJP preventing ‘moksha’ for Sushant’s soul: Congress

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Sushant Singh Rajput No More
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On the 35th birthday of Sushant Singh Rajput, the Maharashtra Congress on Thursday slammed the opposition BJP, alleging that because of its machinations, the late Bollywood actor’s soul is deprived of ‘moksha’ (salvation).

Paying homage to the memory of Sushant, Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said in his death on June 14, 2020, the film industry lost a highly talented and upcoming star and his loss would be felt for long.

Despite a period of eight months, the real reasons behind his death have not been revealed to the people of the country although three central agencies like CBI, Enforcement Directorate and Narcotics Control Bureau have been deployed for the probe, he said.

“However, this is also a time to remember how the BJP blatantly exploited his death for its dirty politics in Maharashtra and Bihar and gaining on other fronts. They used the incident to destabilise the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in Maharashtra and misused his name to corner votes in the Bihar election last year,” Sawant alleged.

Blaming the BJP for “preventing ‘moksha’ for Sushant’s soul”, he alleged that the saffron party tried to manipulate his death to defame the Maharashtra government of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and misrepresented it to the masses in the Bihar election.

“For its political designs, the BJP has deployed CBI, ED and NCB, but nothing has come out their probes so far We have been repeatedly demanding that the CBI should table the facts before the country on what has emerged from its probe. Nothing has come out even in the investigations by ED, NCB,” Sawant pointed out.

He demanded to know why the CBI is silent on the circumstances leading to Sushant’s reported suicide, why the BJP politicised his death and attempted to portray it as a ‘murder’, what was the outcome of the ED-NCB probe which were brought into the case and other aspects.

Sawant rued that owing to the BJP, Sushant’s sou’ has not been allowed to “rest in peace” and he has also been deprived of the respect and honour due to him after his death.

Earlier, the ruling allies, Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party, and Congress have consistently demanded that the CBI should reveal its findings in the case to clear the doubts in the minds of the people.

On its part, the CBI has responded by saying that it has not closed the Sushant death probe case and investigations still continue.

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