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Bollywood is the new JNU and Deepika Padukone the new opium of distraction

Even selfies with Prime Minister Narendra Modi are no longer a shield for Bollywood stars and filmmakers.

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If one were to look at what is occupying TV news channels and social media, it would seem India’s tanking GDP and rising job losses, and tensions with China in Ladakh are less important than exactly what time actor Deepika Padukone reached Mumbai from Goa after being summoned for questioning by the Narcotics Control Bureau for some hash she allegedly wanted in 2017.

For the last three months, Bollywood has been used by government-friendly TV channels as political distraction. Bollywood is the new JNU. What was demonised as the Tukde Tukde Gang is now the Nashedi Gang. Bollywood has always been the opium of a large section of Indian masses. Now, its salacious WhatsApp secrets are tumbling out, and the voyeuristic masses are transfixed. Indians have a new public enemy No.1. Just the way Umar Khalid and Kanhaiya Kumar were once. The names change, but the chant remains the same – ‘lock them up’.

Also read: Living in CBI-NIA’s shadows for long, NCB now enjoying newfound spotlight

A selfie with the PM won’t protect anyone

In the breathless coverage of Deepika Padukone since her name cropped up in the NCB probe, senior reporters from news channels were sent to follow her car to the airport. We have seen close-ups of her airport look, and we have been told, in what are apparently breaking news alerts, that her husband was part of a conference call with her lawyers.

And of course, we know the most vital information of all – what does Kangana Ranaut think of all of this, because she’s the go-to Bollywood deep throat for TV channels.

In January 2019, when a group of Bollywood actors and filmmakers took a group selfie with PM Modi, it became a huge deal, a marker of the PM’s successful co-opting of the film industry, and by extension, of India. Little matter that one-and-a-half years later, selfie-taker Ranveer Singh’s wife Deepika Padukone is the latest to be at the centre of Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) drug probe. Eight months ago, she was at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), standing in silent solidarity with students who had been physically attacked during protests. Coincidence, of course. Even selfies with Prime Minister Narendra Modi are no longer a kavach (shield) for Bollywood stars and filmmakers.

Also read: Why India needs to re-look at messy drug laws, and not go for ‘Bollywood clean-up’

All the different gangs

Funnily, before that one moment at JNU, Deepika Padukone had never really been known to stick her neck out on political issues. Neither, for that matter, do Rakul Preet Singh, Sara Ali Khan or Shraddha Kapoor. They have always remained completely apolitical, unlike Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan, who did try to speak out against the growing atmosphere of intolerance a few years ago, but received major backlash. (The latter has received fresh criticism for meeting the Turkish President’s wife, proving people are still not over his ‘betrayal’.)

Yet, these largely apolitical actors now find themselves at the centre of a massive political storm.

This is “a signal to others to stay quiet or things will get even worse”, says Rasheed Kidwai, author of a recent book titled Neta Abhineta: Bollywood Star Power in Indian Politics. He adds that earlier, even though there were actors who took the plunge into active politics, such as Vinod Khanna and Shatrughan Sinha, there was a dignified bonhomie and cordiality between them. Now, there is an atmosphere of ‘divide and rule’, of ‘with India or against India’ in Bollywood.

Again, this is not surprising, given the narrative of distraction that has taken shape in the last few years, about all the different ‘gangs’ attempting to allegedly destroy the nation. We have the Tukde Gang, the Khan Market Gang, the Award Wapsi Gang, the Nepo Gang and now, of course, the Nashedi Gang. The last is especially dangerous because it’s a gang made up entirely, it would seem, of women more on that later.

Also read: Kangana, Raveena Tandon want Swachh drug-free Bollywood — they should start with its lyrics

Bollywood has always been political

That Hindi cinema is India’s most pervasive messaging tool is no secret, so for it to be used as a political tool to distract attention is hardly surprising. Politicians right from the time of Jawaharlal Nehru have understood the power of movies to sway public opinion – and that was in an age when there was no 24-hour media or social media. So, it is not new for politicians to use Bollywood – as Kidwai says, “The easiest way to control the thought process of India is to control Bollywood.” But the difference is in what they use it for.

In his book, Kidwai writes of Nehru’s friendship with cinema titan Prithviraj Kapoor and his astonishment — on a tour of Russia — that Stalin kept asking him about Raj Kapoor’s film Awara.

Nehru’s interest in the movies stemmed first and foremost from his own personal interest in them, and it was the same decades later with Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was known for his love of movies. When Dilip Kumar was at the receiving end of backlash because Pakistan wanted to honour him with the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, it was Vajpayee who told him to ignore the critics and go ahead and accept it.

Back in the day, maybe Indira Gandhi could use the one existing TV channel, national broadcaster Doordarshan, to try and prevent people from attending Jayprakash Narayan’s rally by getting the channel to air the smash hit Bobby at the same time, but now, there are so many private players that the nexus between politics and media is far wider. Additionally, because of the nature of social media, everything a celebrity posts and everything they don’t post about becomes political.

Also read: Indians are done with Arnab, Rajdeep and Anjana. Prefer MSD, Kohli and IPL over TV news drug

Do only women in Bollywood use drugs?

Last year, during the kanwar yatra, I went to visit a number of shivirs (camps for the kanwariyas to rest) and chatted with several of them about, among other things, their marijuana use. They, in fact, openly smoked joints while being interviewed, and talked about how it is ‘Bhole ka prasad’. Kanwariyas and sadhus are known to use cannabis, and in fact, a retired police officer has even gone on record to say a sadhu’s chillum would have more drugs than the 59 grams that Rhea Chakraborty was arrested for.

But summoning religious folk for questioning, that too men, obviously spreads an inconvenient message. Apart from the obviously convenient timing of the NCB probe into Bollywood’s drug use is the fact that the only people in Bollywood the agency has so far seemed interested in investigating are women.

This is also not the first time a Bollywood actor has been accused of drug use – Fardeen Khan was accused of attempting to buy cocaine almost 20 years ago, but it was never blown up to the extent that it obliterated all other news, because “a pretty woman is seen as an audience getter, no one cares if a guy is on screen” rues Kidwai.

Kidwai calls it “the packaging of a state-sponsored distraction” — the way the endless media coverage of the NCB probe is salaciously accompanied with pictures of these women in revealing clothes, to feed into the misogyny that already exists. There will be a still from Deepika’s film Cocktail, in which she wore bikinis and drank alcohol, but “you won’t see the news channels showing stills from Chhapaak (her most recent film, in which she played an acid attack survivor), because that doesn’t feed into their narrative and it isn’t glamorous.”

In all this, who do we blame? India’s Pied Pipers or the believing masses that so easily forgotten Sushant Singh Rajput’s death? Therein lies a message for democracy.

Views are personal.

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  1. The article could not be more on point. SSR’s death has become a passé, we have moved on to more distracting things searching for newer villain. It is so much so a farce that in the case Rhea is under arrest, SSR would have been the prime accused and deserving of a stricter sentence. So much so for #justicetoSSR. Deepika is going to be hounded and targeted for her stand in support of students of JNU who got beaten, who’s culprits are at large even today, when some of them have been completely exposed in social media. India has gone to the D0gs..

  2. Who are u to direct us? Freedom of expression is not limited up to u , everyone has got that . Neither u have got all the brain nor everybody is a fool. Why do u want us to mimic ur actions and thoughts ? When u are not get listened u shout out loud “it’s 21st century ” and when time comes for u to listen , “we are liberals ,we know much more than others bla bla bla …” what the difference today’s world has got ? Still the habbit of imposing thoughts on others is trending ,still “follow me “tagged minds are strolling ,be it 21st century or 18th, doesn’t matter as the standards remains the same , “people following us are good those who doesn’t are fools” ,is this u call modernization. Like this right-wing and leftist are just synonymous, just blotting each other ,doing nothing playin sole politics….huh..

  3. Really 2008 Mumbai attack in the garb of Hindu terrorism . Reveal in a book after 12 years. Terrorism is no religion but hindus are terrorist ( by Congress MP ) .Now bhagat Singh is Marxist. Racism is not eliminated why? Your government eliminate it. Garibi hatao the slogan given by Indra Gandhi . Is your government eliminate it . Education system …..

  4. Is the wider audience so insanely stupid or has free time or paid idioits? THE PRINT is liberal and leftist. All the comments are rightwing idiotic notions. Go read Swaraj & Republic or opindia. Quora is filled with these idiots. Dont waste your time here. Let Print write for us. While I agree no one shows be above law…. such reality has never existed in a hierarchical Indian society. And those who are lesser evils are framed by the biggest evils in the history of Free Independent India. Now the current Indian people can join the Sadhus for chillam… there will be no money to hire police too.

    • How does one learn if one doesn’t read? As someone who identifies as a liberal, I have to say we have to show more tolerance. Ultimately, there is hope only if we learn from each other’s point of view and come to the most reasonable conclusion. Granted that the right is acerbic many a times, we just have to be more mature and use the power of reason to sway them to our side. Mud slinging and exclusiveness will not take us far.

    • Are u the president or the pm of india to direct us? Listen, keep ur frustration up to u, let everyone have the freedom of expression which u shout loud for…

  5. humse ye bollywood hai.. tumse hum nhi.. the time they understand it.. entertainment world completely rely on audience.. they cant fool us in today’s time as ample information is available on internet about them.. people can share their experiences without delay and fear.. request this journalist dont favour such druggists.. people follow them.. we should not follow such weak characteristics actors.. they applaud pakistanis bcoz of their business to grow in pakistan without thinking much about indians feeling.. they mock Indian army.. they do everything to please Pakistanis and feel proud.. dont think n act as a new normal.. proud of being Indian and respect our cultural values.. they also mock antihindu materials.. we can judge their characters from their mentality.. dnt examine our patience by sharing such blogs in trying to save druggists.. we completely boycott bollywood.. ye thodi si mehnat karke itna kamate hai.. isliye ye aise hai.. inse jyada hmare fauji mehnat karte hai.. ye unke character par bahut jaldi swal uthate hai.. khud ka character inhe pata nhi hai.. roles lene ke liye ye log kuch bhi kar sakte hai.. inko inki aukat batao.. isse jyada mehnat S. Nehwal jaise khiladi karte hai.. itni mehnat.. fir bhi inse kam kamate hai.. hum logo ne hi inko itni value deke inko itna amir banaya hai.. is feild me itna paisa hona hi nhi chahiye.. better we all together boycott bollywood.. dnt watch their movies on any platform..

  6. How much does they pay please do tell me ? Cos it either takes a load of shit in brain or too much money to publish this kind of article,so write something that matters,like you’re saying those news channel are covering this drug case but then what about you? Are you any different…. Bloody libarandus and now people be commenting death of democracy,death of democracy . Listen to me you privileged bastards if it had been death of democracy you wouldn’t be commenting shit in the comments you would be in Jail. So shut the hell up and rather ask for more meaningful article. Surprise bitches… Peace out!

  7. बहन, तू इसी तरह खबरों की दलाली करती रह।
    तेरी दुकान चल रही है ना, तू खुश रह।

  8. In these dark and dystopian times, where collective IQ and journalistic ethics are at an all time low, I just want to say thank you for showing a spine against the toxicity prevailing all around. Hopefully truth will prevail in the long run and the society would have learnt a few lessons on manipulative tactics of those who build the narrative of the day. To the people who vehemently believe the narrative that is being built, please please make an effort to read opinions outside of what you feel you know for sure. It is about the only way to grow intellectually. If you consider yourself a patriot, there is no better way you will be able to contribute to the growth of the nation. Please remember it’s uncritical minds which have led Pakistan in the position that it is in today.

  9. And I naively thought you, Samira Sood, wrote only about cinema, music, and stuff. You do a fabulous job in that sphere. But your heart seems to bleed at the supposed overreach of the Executive. To push your point you brought in all kinds of unrelated examples. Sad. If taking a selfie doesn’t protect an actor from questioning by NCB, that should reassure an ordinary Indian – any official agency can summon a person on the basis of information. If he/she is innocent, the person will walk free. And honourably. Relax and do what suits you better.

  10. Look at this bullshit crap full of seditious comments left right and center…. Presenting kanhaiya ,khalid and the tukde tukde comments are pro indian comments and lastly the audacity to even utter the word TOLERANT here…

  11. Absolute crap this article is….. If you are actor or star, are you above any country’s law??? Why do you post such a biased article?? If you have money and stardom means you can dope or murder… But one thing you have to make sure, you are anti-government and you are speaking against Modi…. If you hate Modi means, you have to prove that by anti-national slogans and then journalists like you will protect them by writing this kind of rubbish articles…. Great

  12. The articles seems more of a frustration rather than some insightful comment or reporting. As it seems the writer thinks that the slogans raised at JNU or the drug consumption by our loved actors are correct in the sense because it is some sort of obsession by few of us well educated class to see the world from the eyes of the culture which brew during the communist rule of Bengal.While we bully and demean others but when the tide turns you feel cheated and shout aloud from the terrace and intimidate the world that everything is breaking apart.It is also true that Media is managed by many today which was earlier managed by few.So we as the audience should take not everything with so much of seriousness.There are a lot many things being written repeatedly about the present government however there is nothing real changes taking place in media.The Media should first bring in the desired changes within self and stop criticism of everything. The media be it print or electronic has become more of a television serial with all sorts of conspiracies happening all around.

  13. Am amazed to see the comment section, right-wing gangs jumped here altogether they can’t absorbed the facts. Anyway time will show the hope. But, we’ve understood one thing if you won’t speak up you would be kept like a slave if you speak you would be kept like a prisoner we’re back in the same era how our forefathers use to face against the British. It’s upon us how we wanna be here

  14. In India, cinema, IPL, cricket generally, gossip about the celebrities is the best tool for keeping the public attention from more burning issues. So, drug abuse by Bollywood is serving the same purpose. But, don’t compare this Bimbo with JNU. In fact, she took Rs.5 lakhs for showing her face in the JNU campus in support of student’s agitation. Money is her godess, not any ideology.

  15. Trying to distract aren’t you ….man/woman….this/that…….cheap journalism. …what logic…….chillum done by sadhus & joints smoked by Bollywood are not in the same league…..guess this is paid journalism……is Kwan paying for these articles…..tch tch

  16. Well she asked for it. Film industry people should not meddle in politics. Hobnobbing with the government of the day a la Ranaut or becoming urban naxal prior to the film release a la Padukone or being an outright high pitch nincompoop a la Bhaskar/Pannu – will only result in current state. Be a good actor, enhance your craft and get worldwide praise and keep the eff out of politics. But when you aren’t talented enough you try to stay in the news by hook or by crook, mostly latter.

    • Didn’t we decide to become a democracy so that everyone had some say in the government of the day? Thank god constitution wasn’t framed by narrow minded people like you. By that same logic, you shouldn’t comment on politics either and just concentrate on whatever you call your job, unless you are a mindless troll, in which case your comment makes perfect sense.

  17. True lol I stop watching news… They are liars and false prophet… They are the law …now they decide who is the culprit..

  18. This is all an attempt to distract public attention from the actual problems facing people like unemployment, falling GDP and failing economy.

  19. Biased article. Not to attach any importance to it. The writer is only interested in highlighting that she can write such long posts on unnecessary issues.

  20. Hahaha, We know how much the writer of this post is paid by drug mafia.Is the life of youth, less important than GDP ? The drug money is used in terror funding.

    • I don’t even blame the media. They’re just doing what the government wants them to do. It’s the dismal state of affairs of the people who sit down glued to their television screens watching all this tamasha while anti-farmer bills are being passed in Parliament, students and activists are being arrested & Covid is still ravaging the country. Shocked that it is so easy to disillusion an entire population of crores of people with a staged drugs racket and endless hours of mindless shouting.

  21. The tide has turned because( 1) The actors started peddling in everyone’s affairs like in satyamev jayate Amir Khan tries to deliver sermons to every professional eg doctors, engineers as if though he was doing these things for free
    Film heroes started keeping quiet on all security issues, never said a word in terror attacks but when BJP comes to power their families become unsafe
    UNFORTUNATELY they start promoting Pakistan heroes & singers just to keep their products floating in Pakistan
    Now suddenly they become sacred monks and start preaching modern day ethics by going to JNU and all antinational ideas

  22. Really insightful article…all of you haters and naysayers…wait when modi turns india into pakistan, and put you all in lock up….by 2024…u guys will be praying from God to save you all from this government

    • What a waste of time. These are the things why gdp might be falling. These are the reasons why people are killed, and the numbers are hidden. Ever wondered why these numbers are coming out now? The same day when Sushant was killed, had taken the lives of 2 guards and a little girl who was saving herself from the rich human traffickers. I am sure, you would never right this, if you 6yr old daughter would have been that murdered girl. Stop covering up. And if you have guts, become and Indian media and show what people want to see. You cant change anything about GDP. Its lock down time, and everyone’s getting back to work. It will change when it has to change. May be come back about this topic in the end of next quarter.

      And those writing that India will get converted to Pakistan in 2024, please be proud of it, because you are ones who have always loved Pakistan. And Modi will be back again. Because he serves for the betterment of nation at its roots. Not just shows up with one month profit.

    • Really 2008 Mumbai attack in the garb of Hindu terrorism . Reveal in a book after 12 years. Terrorism is no religion but hindus are terrorist ( by Congress MP ) .Now bhagat Singh is Marxist. Racism is not eliminated why? Your government eliminate it. Garibi hatao the slogan given by Indra Gandhi . Is your government eliminate it . Education system …..

  23. मुझे पता था कि दीपिका एक ड्रग एडिक्ट है, जिसे मैंने सुना है कि वह राहुल को पीएम के रूप में देखना चाहती हैं।

  24. What a nonsense article is this. Not only actresses but actors are also in Que. There are 100s of people in the list. Almost 90℅ of so called Bollywood. Such a huge mass is involved in drugs and drugs consuming is never been good to health. Cannabis are medicinal plants & it’s a fact that when your’re ill then only you consume medicine. But if you are consuming as a habit then obviously it will harm your body. And talking about Lord shiva, writer of this article should do more research on this rather than posting half-truth…..

    • If the writer had the capacity to retain more than few iota of information in her brain she would not have written this article.

      She will ofcourse gloss over the facts that scores of people on the list including males. She wanted to play the antagonised female card.

      Complete Nincompoop. As per her logic a selfie with Prime Minister should be enough to save someone from being investigated by the Police. Thankfully these idiots are in a minority and limited to news sites which do not have mass followings.

      I think our education system must have failed her. People like this need to be given remedial classes and courses. As we say in Hindi Ishwar inko sadbhuddhi de.

  25. Ok we admit your point and it’s dark side of the Indian politics. But what about the dark side of the Bollywood. Even if it’s going under any grudge but I think it’s right. I would like to ask you why do you write on these social issues when they are limelighted by political. What’s your responsibility. Media is called as fourth Piller of democracy but unfortunately here in India it is the killer of democracy….

  26. You didn’t notice, but bollywood stars were the opium always. Nothing has changed. The coin flip both ways – if Deepika is a celebrity she will get noticed. She cannot complain when it doesn’t favors her.
    Very convenient – Journos like you had lauded her for her moral high ground for visiting JNU (and supporting Congress). She chose to be accountable. Now that she is caught drugging she will have to face the same limelight.

  27. Basically the auhor believes : Bharat tere Tukde Honge is freedom of speech and Umar Khalid is freedom fighter. No wonder these losers have moved from Modi hatred to India hatred.

  28. Looks like taking drugs is ok as long as you are supporting anti government rallies at JNU…..Weird logic by amateur journalists. It’s clear that the ONLY AGENDA this publication has is attack a POPULARLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT and its leader on every possible issue……SICKENING JOURNALISM.

  29. Absolute crap and nonsense article! The Print media is a hypocritic news agency. This article supports a druggist and terror activist who is a Bollywood cheap actor and does everything for money!

  30. Wtf is wrong with you guys!! Stop feeding people with conspiracy and imagination!! Just because your fav actor is flashed doesn’t mean you should circulate fake info. What about rest of actors who is flashed in same drug? Participated in politics? Such a sunb narrative. If you still spread such nonsense, go and dig your own grave, fit for nothing humans.

  31. you have just wasted my precious time and one more thing everything is not about misogyny so stop bullshiting people with such articles

  32. “Maut ki godh mein, akad kam hoti dikh rahi hai”.

    Print ko toh Mirchi lagna lazmi hai.
    November tak 70% Karachiwood jail ke andar hoga..
    Print, jo ukhaadna hai ukhaad lo.

  33. Rubbish article without any sense, would you like to eulogize drugs in our country? Big stars like Depika Padukone earns crores of money from Brand advertisement, she is not aware of criminal offense by using of banned drugs in her chat. Her father was legendary star in game of Badminton. She can’t ignore this fact drugs addiction affect you considerbly.

  34. This Writer is utterly foolish.
    Kanganas family daughter survived life aftr acid attack. You ought to drink water aftr washing their feet.

    So, what shud i do, give you writer a nobel prize for deep throating writeup.
    Pagal samjh rakha hai delhiwalon ko

  35. Try to be neutral yourself first and then expect from others. You people are biased and also report on favour of a particular community or a party. So it’s necessary for you to be neutral and speak or publish the truth.

  36. Print cant even able to handle the truth …. people in india got smarter ….they are not fools to buy ur false narrative …. neoliberal gang is getting exposed and i m loving it

  37. This article is totally mockey which try to save the faces of so called neoliberal bollywood stars ..and author was totally biased . Print is known to write crap against current govt all the time but people get smarter so they are not buying ur crappy bullshit anymore

  38. Nobody is going buyingthis crap which try to save the faces of so called neoliberal bollywood stars ..and author was totally biased . Print is known to write crap against current govt all the time but people get smarter so they are not buying ur crappy bullshit anymore

  39. It’s more of a charade to keep masses away from the real issues. I fail to understand why a large portion of the population is not able to see the game.

  40. Very well written article. It’s the death of democracy. Our news reporters are better jokers than actual ones. There are so so many important issues to address in our nation but our politicians and public are interested in busting marijuana. Our government is just wasting time and money. If someone will raise a finger against these so called sadhus, there will be riots in our country. Our country is in a very sad state.

  41. It is such articles and the mindset behind it that have made the law breakers invincible and parade themselves as role models. Bollywood is vile. unfortunately those few good ones have to coexist in this filth.

  42. Bollywood is no doubt a gutter so stop worshipping it all quality is gone. That too sunny leone entering bollywood what kind of nonsense is that poor taste poor quality. Please avoid bollywood till true quality comes in.

  43. the article looks an act of desparation. Now nobody planned this drug investigation but it turned out the many of the bollywood personality are deep in drugs. there is no distraction as authir is thinking.

  44. Bang on point! It’s heartening to read that all is not lost in this country and people are able connect the dots. Of the previous 6 comments, those opposing the view have gone personal. Clearly they cudnt support their views by logic and reasoning.

    • Has anything been proved? Has a case been filed? Do you even know if the chats are real? If the law is same, then why is a celebrity being proclaimed guilty wven before getting charged?

  45. These so called journalists and elites don’t have proper R&D about drugs lol ? rhea ain’t just arrested for marijuana but for DEALING of MDMA which is a CHEMICAL drug.. better watch Breaking Bad to increase your level of knowledge and you’ll have a doze of entertainment alongwith.. and Dw soon actors will be summoned too if NCB is Genuinely interested in cleaning up this Bollywood and drug nexus.

  46. The most upsetting thing is that, how the media get the list of the questions that would be asked by the NCB, from the so called ” The criminals “, even the name of the officer who would question them at what time. During the investigation all the questions, and whatever they have disclosed, who’s names they have disclosed, about their Whatsapp chats, are out to the media within minutes, and also on the TV screens for next 24 hours. Media cover up all the movements of ” Bollywood criminals ” to and from their home to NCB office. What a journalism of the modern Indian media.

  47. Why are they going after Bollywood?

    Apart from diversionary tactics to cover its abject all round failures, BJP wishes to demolish every cultural bastion of liberalism.

    For all its faults, the Mumbai film industry has stood as a bulwark of secular and socialist narratives where people of all castes, religions and regions worked in harmony.

    It is this secular and socialist warp and weft of influence that right wing wants to tear down. It cannot do so without promoting one side – its own side of Akshay Kumars and Kangana Ranauts – as nationalists making it easy for them polarise the “other” as a secular brigade of characterless, debauched drug addicts.

    The desire is to arm-twist bollywood to make only the kind of cinema the emperor wants to see, one kind of ideology the emperor wants to show. The one cinema that promotes ideas of the ruling class. My fear is that this attack against drugs and nepotism by Kangana Ranaut is a subterfuge for destroying every vestige, every cultural institution that promotes even a feeble and faltering vision of togetherness. The attempt is to sanitize the film world like Stalin, Goebbles and Mccarthy would. There shall henceforth be only one kind of cinema produced in Bollywood, the one determined by the rulers through the stars and directors amenable to their marauders. Deepa Mehta’s dystopian vision in Leila is closer to reality than ever before.

    • But no one is talking about the kind of movies being made. issue is the drug culture in Bollywood. “…. the Mumbai film industry has stood as a bulwark of secular and socialist narratives…” this is true only of some low-budget movies, not the mainstream movies.

  48. What about shraddha, Sara & Rakul?
    They weren’t at JNU but still are suspect in this ongoing drug investigation. Stop misleading the readers and why should taking a selfie with PM save any one from any kind of investigation in which they are at fault.

  49. Rubbish & biased whitewash article published by The Print (as expected). These guys are asking for our subscription fees – why? Isn’t the funding from China & Pakistan not providing for your lifestyles?

    • There are enough right minded indians who think the same way the author does and will subscribe to media that isn’t compromised by the mediocre school of thought that you subscribe to. There are many India’s in terms of schools of thought. Dont think yours is the only one.

  50. The people in the comments fail to understand that the main thing about this post is that the ncb stuff is all a distraction . Sure show it on the news but only for some hours . I would like to know how my country is , how the people are , not how Kangana Ranaut reacts or bollywood reacts .

  51. Note that Feroze Khan accepted Fardeen Khan had drugs and he did a crime which is wrong. As a human being he condemned that but also said that as a father, I have to fight for him. Can anyone from this Nepo Gang is able to take such stand ??
    Why liberals are having double standards or so selective approach to stand behind Rhea and not to support Kangana when her office was demolished by BMC ?
    Be neutral so the common people can “SUPPORT THE JOURNALISM”.

  52. Team Kangana and team Arnab’s hysterics at the death of one son of Bihar (SSR) is understandable but their silence at the death of so many migrant labourers belonging to UP n Bihar during the lockdown speaks volumes about their self adopted role of moral policing.

  53. Very well written article this media will only focus on stupid issues ignoring important issues likes farmers deaths jobless people GDP totally down and godi media doesn’t seems to be care about it and they more focused on Bollywood issue pity on them

  54. Why hide the facts The Print ? I agree that whatever Govt. is doing or has done, people might dislike it .
    But can we hide such serious issues of Drug consumption & peddling just in the name of Feminism?
    Have you ever realised millions of Indian youth idolise these filmstars? What impact they have upon masses is tremendous.
    Can we leave our youth to be continuously destroyed by those people who themselves aren’t able to handle their lives ( the filmstars).

  55. ? what a rubbish, didn’t expected this from thePrint. Please stop shitting on internet in the name of Feminism?.
    Print has its own reputation please don’t ruin it.
    These propositions of yours ☝️☝️ are 100% biased ?.
    Shame on you!

  56. Bullshit Article. All attempts being made to defame an institution like JNU, which has never failed to secure the University top rankings.

  57. Trump and his supporters tirade against Hollywood had a reason because some biggies were openly against him. Here except some relatively small fry ,nobody made any noise. It looks unfair to target a whole industry for distraction purposes. But middle classes who lost their jobs are happy to see the stars in distress.

  58. The author is quite clever in leaving out the names of the channels that were following Smt Padukone. Leading the pack was India Today, whose chief anchor, Shri Rajdeep Sardesai was advising everyone that there were issues beyond SSR. But the moment he got an interview with Smt Rhea Chakraborty , he has been going on this topic as if his TRPs depended on it.

  59. If only female actors are being summoned by NCB based on admissions and chat records of Rhea Chakraborty The Print, The Wire, Scroll, Caravan, The Hindu and NDTV should ask the question to Ms Chakraborty as to why is she taking the names of women only. Is she jealous of the women acquaintances of her dead ex boyfriend? Or clearing her path in Bollywood by putting the same filth on other female actors which is on her? This is not against women but certainly those who wore crime with pride. Bollywood deserved this. In fact sedition charges on Amir Khan by NIA for meeting wife of Turkish President would be much deserving.

  60. Novice journalists who have just started on their career are doling out messages on democracy to Indians.
    Its quite obvious that the turn the NCB investigations have taken in the Sushant suicide/murder case are not to their liking. The fact that top actors are being issued summons is hurting a lot. And why this sudden love for such actors? Well, some of them supported the JNU comrades in their nefarious activities. Some of them were also present in Shaheen Bagh and lent moral support to rioters in the North-east Delhi riots.
    Its not hard to imagine why the hearts of the liberal/secular cabal are bleeding. Also, the movement against nepotism has also rubbed them the wrong way as they were and are the primary beneficiaries of nepotism.
    They rake up GDP, unemployment, etc. not because they are genuinely interested in these issues. Its just that it gives them a convenient opportunity to get away with what they have done. Truth be told, I do not know any member of this liberal/secular elite who is jobless because of this downturn in GDP. The elite classes are by their very nature well shielded from such exigencies.
    And then there are young reporters always willing to do their bidding and earn their “secular” stripes.

    • Your analysis is true and i understand one thing the benign styled reporters with hidden agendas and interests are trying to malice the effort of Govt to clean our system. Who knows, may be they are trying to politically polarise people against the correct institutional approaches. Tretors and treacherous people take rhe most benign look to influence people. We understand this dirty journalism and its herbingers…

  61. This is a nonsense article. Don’t turn tide towards feminism to cloud facts of drug peddling. You are such a coward woman.

  62. Yea in few years time Cricket will become new JNU. One after another they will distroy whatever India success story been post independence.

  63. I knew Deepika was a drug addict the second I heard say she would like to see Rahul as the PM!

    Hope she gets help and dry out.

    • Rubbish article without any sense, would you like to eulogize drugs in our country? Big stars like Depika Padukone earns crores of money from Brand advertisement, she is not aware of criminal offense by using of banned drugs in her chat. Her father was legendary star in game of Badminton. She can’t ignore this fact drugs addiction affect you considerbly.

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