Ever since a second season of ‘Pavitra Rishta’ was announced, social media has been witnessing a major outcry. While the first season starred Ankita Lokhande and Sushant Singh Rajput, the second season features Ankita and Shaheer Sheikh in the roles of Manav and Archana. 

Following the reports, #BoycottPavitraRishta2 created the buzz as one of the top trends on the Internet. This came as many social media users felt that the makers of the web-series were enchashing on the memory of Sushant Singh Rajput, who passed away on June 14, 2021. They urged people to boycott the second season where Shaheer Sheikh plays the character that was originally played by Sushant Singh Rajput. 

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Some users also took it out on Lokhande for agreeing to be a part of Season 2.

Ankita Lokhande told Firstpost, “Yes, Pavitra Rishta has been Sushant and Ankita’s show originally but Sushant left after working on it for two-and-a-half years, whereas, I continued till the end, for five-and-a-half years. Hiten and Karan have also played Manav in Sushant’s absence. Replacement is not easy, and replacing Sushant is not possible,” says the actress.”

She continued, “But I feel that I and Shaheer can create a different kind of magic together. As an actor, it is my job to romance even a plant or a tree and make people believe in that. After Sushant, somebody who can play Manav is Shaheer.”`

Earlier, Shaheer Sheikh had opened up on Instagram about being hesitant to play the role initially. He shared a heartfelt note saying, “When I was first approached for Pavitra Rishta, I was taken aback. Who in their right frame of mind, would dare to play a character immortalised by Sushant Singh Rajput..I too was reluctant. Then I thought, knowing Sushant he was one to take every challenge head on. And so I decided that while it is scary to step into his shoes & live upto audience expectations… it is scarier to NOT even try.”

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He added, "And so I did what I felt he would do, if he was in my position. I took the challenge. When the team told me they wanted someone who was earnest so that we could all tell a story that was a fitting homage to Sushant’s legacy… I decided to give it my all and leave the rest to the audiences and to The All Mighty...Sushant, you will always be Manav. Nothing can change that & no one can replace that. I may not be as good, and I may not do justice to it like you did, but I promise to give it my ALL.”

Pavitra Rishta 2.0 began airing on September 15, 2021 on Zee 5. It is an 8-episode web series.