Migration

Sonu Sood, ‘Messiah of migrants’, tackles taxpayer accusations


He idolizes Sylvester Stallone, teams up with Jackie Chan and a die-hard fan of Amitabh Bachchan, boasts about sixty multilingual films on his resume and has an eye-catching look – but actor Sonu Sood has achieved more worldwide popularity. for its charities than its cinemas.

It helped 48-year-old Sonu Sood – technically a “migrant” to Mumbai himself – achieve cult status among his fans, and helped set an example for many of his fellow human beings to follow suit.

In mid-2020, with the Covid-19 pandemic at its first peak, with the nationwide strict lockdown in effect, Sood took to the streets to help the stranded masses and became the messiah of migrant workers, the most affected class.

The actor got to work, organizing buses, trains and even a few flights to help displaced and anxious people reach their destinations, and rose to the top of several popularity charts.

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Her home in Juhu became a rest home for the poor, hungry and penniless who hoped to have a “lifeline” to survive and return home to their separated relatives. And, he tried to meet their high expectations.

Something seems to have gone politically wrong somewhere, even though he claims to have “politely declined” offers of Rajya Sabha membership from two parties.

A few days ago, he had some unexpected and uninvited “guests” – in the form of income tax detectives – who carried out a series of searches to look for his alleged tax evasions, irregularities in the books, dubious source of funding, embezzlement and more, allegedly to the tune of over Rs 250 crore, according to an official statement.

Social media is teeming with debates that Sood, who has been seen rubbing shoulders with many high and powerful in Indian politics, may have unwittingly penetrated the bad books of the ruling Center party.

Sood recently agreed to become the brand ambassador for the Delhi government mentorship program led by Aam Aadmi Party for Desh ka Mentor students after a high level meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The media have even speculated that the AAP could field Sood for the next Assembly polls in Punjab. The national tax investigation in 28 locations came days after the above incident.

Read also | Sonu Sood escaped Rs 20 crore in tax, according to IT department

“Every rupee in my foundation is waiting its turn to save precious life and reach the needy. In addition, on many occasions, I have encouraged brands to also donate my sponsorship costs to humanitarian causes, which allows us to continue, ”said Sood after being in secret for a few days.

Sood comes from an ordinary middle class family in Punjab. Born July 30, 1973 in Moga to Shakti Sagar Sood, owner of Bombay Cloth House and teacher Saroj Sood, with his two sisters Monika and Malvika Sachar, he had humble beginnings.

His inspiration for social work and charity were his own parents. His father ran langars in his hometown and his mother taught poor children. With her beauty and perfect physique, inspired by Rambo posters, Sood decided to pursue her dreams.

He arrived in Mumbai in the late 1990s, armed with an engineering degree from Yeshwantrao Chavan College of Engineering, Nagpur, with money of around Rs 5,000 in his pocket.

His first ID card for the Mumbai commuter train is dated July 8, 1997, which marks the start of his rocky life journey to stardom. Just a few years later, in 1999, he got his first big breakthrough in a Tamil film Kallazhagar, and in 2000 he got his chance in a Telugu film.

Married to Sonali, he rose through the ranks of success in the South Indian film industry (Tamil and Telugu), primarily trying out the role of antagonist. He took a hiatus in 2002, with Shaheed-e-Azam, where he played freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. Mani Ratnam’s Yuva made him famous and the Telugu movie Super practically catapulted him to stardom. There has been no turning back since then.

Read also | Been busy taking care of guests: Sonu Sood after computer raids

He went global as Randall, with Jackie Chan’s second biggest film in China, Kung Fu Yoga, and then launched a film company Shakti Sagar Productions. He owns a hotel in Juhu and founded the Sood Charity Foundation last year.

During the lockdown, he collaborated with childhood friend and restaurateur Neeti Goel to help those stranded.

Nonetheless, computer detectives have raised uncomfortable questions about the source of its funds used for charitable work for migrants. Currently, Sood is defending himself and promises to come out of the crisis unscathed.


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