When Gate-keepers become the Advocates of Gate-breakers

first_imgJaya Bachchan’s statement in the Rajya Sabha on September 15, 2020, is at odds with and do not reflect the reality of today’s Bollywood which now is much different than what it used to be in Jaya’s heydays when she acted in films as a young actor.The hair on her head was jet black at that time but now they have grown fully grey. Much water has flown in the Ganges below the bridge since she acted in films in her prime youth. The Ganges of Bollywood is no longer the Ganges of early Sixties or Seventies. It is a dirty river (rather a ‘ganda nala’) where vices like drug-taking, malafide insider vs. outsider considerations, casting couch, sexual exploitation of young aspiring girls joining the world of glamour, award fixing, nepotism, etc., have gripped the industry.With what purpose Jaya Bachchan (whom I greatly admired for her charm and brilliant acting in films) has said all this? Who is she trying to defend and whom is she targeting? She ought to realize that the healthy survival of the film industry today is at stake. The film industry is not a holy cow that it cannot be touched. Kangana Ranaut has drawn the attention of the people in general against the malaise of drugs, etc that is widely prevalent in the Indian film industry and also toward the bias and vindictiveness of a Government, the political party and the (un)civic bodies which act at the behest of the political bosses, causing discriminatory, unjustified and immense damage/harm to an individual and his/her property (and that too when the incumbent is out of the station and hence not present).Jaya’s remarks: “kuchh log jis thali mein khate hain, usi  thali mein ched karte hain” are, unfortunately, misplaced and out of point. First of all, the film industry as a whole is not a company or employer of Kangana, it is a pluralistic entity. Other than some who are born with a silver spoon in their mouths, the rest have to work hard to make their own thalis’.So, her remarks are misconceived and not appropriate. Kangana has made her place in the film world by dint of her hard work and talent. She is a bold, courageous woman of substance who has earned a respectful place in Bollywood. Second, there can be no cleansing of an entity, organization or industry unless there are some brave hearts as whistleblowers who act as catalysts for cleansing the rot that has set in the industry at such a scale that it cannot be left to chance or heavenly intervention. The case of Sushant Singh Rajput, the burly talented young actor of promise who became a victim of Industry’s drug conundrum is a case in point. Indian filmdom today stands at crossroads.The problem with some people is that they do not/cannot see the light of the day or dark of the night. Kangana, with her bold statements, in a sense, has acted as a whistleblower and has done a useful service to the film industry. She, in fact, should be lauded for her efforts and the sacrifice all that involves. When the veterans of the film industry who are supposed to be gatekeepers of healthy practices and values of the Indian cine-world become advocates of gate breakers, directly or indirectly, God knows what can happen.last_img read more

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