Not all publicity is good publicity, and Sooraj Pancholi, son of actors Aditya Pancholi and Zarina Wahab, is finding that out the hard way. Sooraj was just about to embark on an acting career, with a film to be produced by Salman Khan.
However, he is now deeply embroiled in the Jiah Khan case, for allegedly abetting her suicide at her Juhu residence on June 3. Sooraj was arrested on June 10, following Jiah’s mother Rabiya Khan claiming that his torture made Jiah end her life. His fate is now uncertain, as he has reportedly been remanded in judicial custody till June 27 by a Mumbai court.
We track his nascent career and see what the industry says.
In the twilight phase Sooraj had taken baby steps into the industry. The 22-year-old started as an assistant director to Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Guzaarish (2010), and later also worked with Kabir Khan in the Salman-Katrina Kaif starrer Ek Tha Tiger (2012). He was apparently set to debut as an actor with Suniel Shetty’s daughter Athiya Shetty in Salman’s yet-untitled production.
Will he rise and shine?
Industry trade pundits are uncertain about his career. “There are so many uncertainties—if at all the film is made, who will make it? What would be the subject? It’s too premature to forecast his career,” says trade analyst Taran Adarsh.
Another trade analyst, Amod Mehra, shares the same sentiments and says, “We’ll have to wait and watch how things unfold when he comes out. It was a rumour that Salman was to launch him. So when he hasn’t even started his career, it’s difficult to say whether it would take off.”
And will he be able to put the present issues behind him and move on?
“If he gets good support, not only from his family but also from his friends, and if he has integrity, he will survive this crisis,” says psychiatrist Harish Shetty.
Kabir Khan: It all depends on the outcome of what’s happening now. Everything is just an allegation or a suspicion. He is young and has got enough time on his hand. I know the boy personally, and I think he will get past this.
Ramesh Taurani: He is quite young and these things keep happening with youngsters. That doesn’t decide his entire life.
Mahesh Bhatt: It’s a saying that when God loves someone, he puts him in tough times. I think if he keeps his heart and mind together, and he braves this crisis, he will excel in his career.