Shekhar Suman about Sharmins Performance in Heeramandi

Sharmin Segal, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s niece, has come under fire for her performance in the Netflix series Heeramandi. Despite the show’s success, online trolls have targeted Sharmin, leading to a wave of criticism.

Shekhar Suman Defends Sharmin Segal

Heeramandi, which also features Shekhar Suman as Nawab Zulfikar, has received praise for Suman’s acting skills. In contrast, Sharmin Segal has faced harsh critiques. Shekhar Suman, in an interview with ETimes, defended Sharmin, emphasizing that critics have been overly severe. He highlighted that Bhansali’s decision to cast Sharmin was not taken lightly, stating, “She just happens to be his niece and has done movies earlier. The world has been too harsh on the poor little thing. She’s a young girl, and the criticism can destroy her. People can go a little easy instead of calling her names where she was forced to disable her comments.”

The Plot and Setting of Heeramandi

Heeramandi is set in the red-light district of Heera Mandi in Lahore during the pre-partition era. The series depicts the lives of courtesans and their relationships with Nawabs from the 1920s to the 1940s. The backdrop of the story is India’s independence revolution against British colonialism. The show boasts a star-studded cast, including Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sanjeeda Sheikh, Farida Jalal, Adhyayan Suman, Shruti Sharma, Pratibha Ranta, and Fardeen Khan, each playing crucial roles.

Sharmin Segal’s Background and Career

Sharmin Segal has an extensive background in the film industry, having assisted Sanjay Leela Bhansali in several notable projects such as Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013), Bajirao Mastani (2015), and Gangubai Kathiawadi (2022). She also worked as an assistant director on the Priyanka Chopra-starrer sports biopic Mary Kom. Sharmin made her Bollywood debut with the romantic drama Malaal opposite Meezaan Jafri.

The Impact of Online Criticism

The intense criticism has had a significant impact on Sharmin Segal, with the young actress disabling her social media comments due to the backlash. Shekhar Suman urged the public to be more considerate, noting that Sharmin auditioned 16 times for her role in Heeramandi. He called for a fairer assessment of her performance, emphasizing that Bhansali’s casting decisions are made with careful consideration.


Heeramandi, currently the most-watched Indian show globally, continues to captivate audiences with its rich narrative and strong performances. While Sharmin Segal faces criticism, support from industry veterans like Shekhar Suman highlights the need for a more balanced and empathetic approach to evaluating young talent. As the series progresses, viewers are encouraged to appreciate the collective effort and talent that bring such epic stories to life.


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