Free Press Journal

Digging deep into Bollywood controversies


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When it comes to creating controversies, or adding fuel to fire, some Bollywood stars are always at the forefront. SHUBHARNA MUKERJI SHU delves deep into this matter of the cine world

Politically correct, non-scandalous actors are tedious. They ruin the thrill they create onscreen by being staid off-screen. But every once in a while, we have someone who forgets their facade and speaks their hearts before their minds wake up. These few and far between instances of course, cannot be forgotten. While they whipped a nice scandal, they also let out many of industry’s badly kept secrets.

Priyanka Chopra’s brown jacket

Priyanka Chopra’s brown jacket fetish is once again in news. When it stood almost forgotten. PeeCee decided to bring it along on a talk show and proclaim it to everyone, especially those on this side of the globe that it belonged to her ex-boyfriend. Who she refers to as “MF”. Given there were too many speculations about Shah Rukh Khan wearing the same jacket et al, it was an indirect blow calling him MF? Makes us remember the time when Shah Rukh’s good friend Karan Johar tried to put Priyanka in place by tweeting: “Using their hired PR machinery and hiding behind so-called friends to get news into tabloids is nothing but spineless and lame.”

Talking about exes, nothing could ever beat Kangana Ranaut calling Hrithik her ‘silly ex’, the industry is still reeling under the domino effect of that one statement. While Hrithik did keep quiet through most of this battle of the exes, his good friend Karan Johar did his utmost to shift the focus to her statements on his show ‘Koffee With Karan’.So much so that the topic of exes shifted to nepotism and no one even bat an eyelid. Except of course Karan Kohar, because he found it too unfair. “I am done with Kangana playing the victim card!” Karan had proclaimed. Of course, this verbal-combat went on till Hrithik was sure he wanted to come out with a statement of his own. If these were all planned gimmicks, everyone should be up for therapy.

Talking about therapy, they say pet dogs are therapeutic, but sometimes pets help in roughing up the feathers too. Remember Aamir Khan’s pet comment? “Shahrukh is licking my feet and I am feeding him biscuits every now and then. What more can I ask for? Now, before you jump in to any conclusions let me add that Shahrukh is the name of our dog.” Of course, SRK retaliated with loads of emotional drama. But Aamir likes to roughen feathers whenever possible, like constantly hassling his co-stars, asking Salman on a thousand interviews about his marriage and so on…So it went badly when it was him of all the people who couldn’t muster tolerance for intolerance in the country, he thought he should tell the world how his ‘wife suggested moving out of India!’ It backfired, badly, of course. And Shah Rukh was amongst the first to take a dig at him. Aamir taking a stand for the Narmada-issue, resulted in ‘Fanaa’ being banned in Gujarat!

AFP PHOTO/Sujit Jaiswal.

Khans love courting controversies…SRK for one has often found himself in political rows: “I sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India… I have been accused of bearing allegiance to our neighbouring nation rather than my own country…” The unrest he caused resulted in temporary ban on his films, but no one can pull him off his pedestal. His contemporary and current good friend Salman agrees, “Hamesha Shah Rukh mujhe vivadon mein phasa dete hain…woh bolke nikal jate hain…fir mujhe aana padta hai unko support karne ke liye.”

However, when it came to supporting Salman, there was no one who could bail him out on his ‘Sultan’ statement, “When I used to walk out of that ring, it used to be actually like a raped woman walking out.” Clearly, big movie stars too are not immune to foot-in-mouth syndromes.

Taking a dig at your contemporariesis something that is too tempting to let go. So we have Anushka Sharma’s subtle rebuke to Deepika Padukone for getting ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’. “There is no comparison between Deepika and me. Nothing links us. We do different kind of films. In fact, she has done more films. I’ve been choosy. I have not picked up just about any role that came my way…” Then there was, “A friend of Deepika had called up to say that she is doing ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’and not Anushka. My ‘friends’ don’t call, do they? I am Kashyap’s and Hirani’s choice. She is Ayan’s and whosoever’s. I never pull anybody down. That makes me nice, right?”

Of course, there are favourites in here too, as in people who are spared by no one. Amongst the men, there used to be Ranbir Kapoor, whose exes wanted to buy him a condom and stuff, amongst the ladies there was Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. “She worked with my father, so I should call her aunty, right?” asked Sonam Kapoor. Kareena too found her too old, “It is very unfair to compare us, we’re from two different generations.” Rani Mukerji, too thought giving some advice wouldn’t do Ash harm, “We, Indian women, get too carried away with our personal lives with rearing our children. We feel that we are the only mothers on the planet. And, we believe we have to leave everything to bring up our children. Actresses need to pull up their socks and keep looking great and working out… and keep looking younger than what we are.”

Not everyone is up in arms against Ash, some are for her, which landed them in a spot that should not have been touched. Like Ashutosh Gowariker’s “Priyanka, I love you. But I do not know how you got the award for best actress when Aishwarya was also nominated in the same category for ‘Jodhaa Akbar’.”

The crowning glory….

Sonam Kapoor is, of course, the top most when it comes to things people say thoughtlessly on public platforms. From calling Shoba De a fossil and herself an icon, Sonam has come a long way. Bungling up ‘misogynist’ to innocently letting it out that Malaika Arora Khan was piss drunk at a party… so much so that she asked helpful Ms. Kapoor to simply “Back Off!” Sonam’s random statements have often put her on the wrong footing with people within the industry, neither Salman Khan nor the Bachchans are extremely comfortable having her around when they are spilling their secrets, we are told, and be are inclined to believe the gossip.