Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sarah Ali Khan reached the NCB office on 26th September. While the Padmavat actress accepted the chat allegations, the latter two denied taking any drugs. But is it really about it? Or something massive is taking shape behind the curtains?
It’s 5 in the evening. The entire family is sitting before the TV screen, father switches to a news channel while sipping tea with one hand and holding the remote in another. A news reporter hosting a debate with some politicians and eminent personalities from Bollywood in the panel. The headline flashes ‘Deepika Padukone, Sarah Ali Khan, and Shraddha Kapoor reach NCB office on 26th September to be interrogated’. Married couples fix their gaze on the tv screen while grumbling about Bollywood celebs buying marijuana with their own money. Their children, one pursuing her graduation and the other working with an MNC, share an exasperating stare. Once the family disperses to their rooms, the siblings will go to the terrace and smoke up while discussing the sudden ambush against Bollywood.
In another world a famer died and 17 other farmers were injured while returning from a protest against government’s ordinance in Badal village of Punjab. GDP of the country hit historic low. Government violates its own GST law and diverts Rs. 42,272 crore which was to be used for state compensation. A freelance journalist spends a month in jail for a tweet in Uttar Pradesh state. MSME Ministry informs Rajya Sabha that it has no data of the number of small and medium businesses that closed due to covid-19. And a lot more, the list can continue on and on.
But the only headline that reaches the Indian houses through news channels is about Bollywood consuming drugs and directors allegedly being accused of rape.
The most peculiar thing is, it happens all the time. The system chooses a scapegoat, melts it into a narrative and injects it into the hearts and veins of people. TV news channels and mass media are the executive body of the strategy, mobilizing it to the masses.
This time, the scapegoat is Bollywood.
But in order to divert the masses from the real issues that actually govern their life, and spread propaganda, the major prerequisite is —
Presence of media that supports the system
While majority TV news channels overtly worship Narendra Modi and his government, there is still something that the regime would love to get a tight grip on. And somehow, it is not able to succeed in its mission, completely. That something is Bollywood.
After all, unless you are on their side, you are the problem.
Not the fault in Bollywood’s stars but fault in fascist regime
Whoever controls the media, controls the minds.
Look closely and you will find how the Modi government toiled hard to win the support and recognition from Bollywood. And it won’t be wrong to say that it did win it to some extent. Never before has any sitting prime minister hosted a meet up together with Bollywood celebrities or refused to give interviews to news channels but talks about mangoes with Akshay Kumar. There is a drastic upsurge in the number of right wing sentiment movies being created in Bollywood, every time the current government carries out a successful operation, there is a famous director or actor ready to make a movie on it.
Uri, a movie evoking high nationalist sentiments, glorifying the surgical strike by the Modi government in 2016, was released right before 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Was it a coincidence? Or a well planned tool for propaganda to win over the emotions of a gullible country.
But there is another side to Bollywood as well which, instead of succumbing to the lures of government, chooses to openly speak against what is wrong.
Sushant Singh Rajput’s death was the least expected occurrence for the system and the people but when it happened, the Modi government didn’t miss the chance to paint it saffron.
Deepika Padukone, Anurag Kashyap, Richa Chaddha, all are the recognised names of film fraternity who boldly stood against the regime when the country was falling apart. And here they are, being charged and defamed for drug probe and rape.
And if you say that this is coincidence, then the entire tenure of the Modi government has been sailing on the waves of coincidences.
When it’s not my way, it’s the highway. And this is what is happening with not the entire, but some part of bollywood. Akshay Kumar and now, the newest and star addition to the team, Kangana Ranaut, need not to worry.
Kangana Ranaut— The Tool That The Government Exactly Needed
If we are talking about coincidences, let’s talk about another. No one seemed to be as agitated with Bollywood’s conduct to Sushant as much as Kangana.
Here we also need to appreciate the pace at which Kangana Ranaut blamed first, the leading actors, then the leading directors and finally Shiv Sena for the suicide of an actor she never worked with.
More fascinating is Kangana’s analogy of connecting the demolition of her house in Mumbai to the atrocities faced by Kashmiri Pandits. She didn’t stop there but went on talking about how she will make a movie on Kashmiri Pandits and Ram Mandir (now this analogy is a little difficult for even us to crack) because Shiv Sena demolished her property.
While there is no second opinion about what BMC did was wrong, what Kangana has been doing since the beginning of the events is an absolute example of propaganda.
Capturing the supreme Hindu sentiments and sparking a passion to align with BJP’s vision is at the core of the entire media narrative that’s been running naked in India. And Manikarnika actress is audaciously taking it to new heights.
Actors are the role models that millions of youth imitate. What they say, wear, how they talk, what they think, you can often witness the reflection of them in the boy or girl next door. And there is no better medium to indoctrinate a nation with certain ideology than movies. Even better than 24×7 TV news channels. And when these role models refuse to carry forward the baton of sponsored narratives, there comes a price.
Deepika Padukone and others are paying it.