On May 5, Kannada actress Shruti -- who is also the Chairperson of the Karnataka state Women and Child Welfare organisation and the leading campaigner for the BJP party -- put in her divorce papers against husband and Kannada film director S Mahendar.
The two phase elections to the Lok Sabha from Karnataka ended on April 30. Since Shruthi filed her divorce papers a couple of days later, it saved the BJP from the embarrassment of having its chief campaigners pitted against each other in the family court.
In an interesting development, Shruthi has now admitted that she will be wed Chandrachud, a former journalist-turned-film director. Chandrachud's first directorial venture is currently in the post production stage. He was earlier a columnist in the Bhanuvara periodical.
Shruti, who is currently in Tirupati with Chandrachud, does not deny the reports. "Yes, I have decided to marry Chandrachud," she says. "I have sought the blessings of Lord Venkateshwara. But that will be only after my [divorce] petition gets the nod from the court."
Shruthi and Mahendar were married in 1998. He is a well known film director of the Kannada film industry having directed over 20 films in Kannada. He has directed many films starring Shruthi, including blockbusters like Karpoorada Gombe and the award-winning film Gowdaru. Their closeness was visible even during the recent Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the Kannada film industry. She campaigned heavily for her husband, who was the BJP candidate from the Kollegal constituency in the last Assembly elections.
But she denied that she was a home-breaker and said that she took the decision to marry Chandrachud only after realising that his marital life was also facing serious problems. "Anyway, we cannot tie the knot until our respective divorce papers are decided by the court," she says.
"It [divorce] was the most painful decision in my life," Shruti says. "I was contemplating divorce for the past eight years. Though I tried my level best to save the marriage, things did not improve as I had anticipated. I tried to make many compromises, which did not help. I think I have taken the best decision in the circumstances and will be able to look after my child. I know this decision would hurt some people in my family but the long term benefits would be certainly a win-win situation for both Mahendar and me.
Sources said that Shruthi has listed Mahendar's reluctance to accept the responsibility of family life and his disinterest towards the child born out of wedlock as the prime reasons for taking this extreme step.