Amid the simmering controversy over drug use in the film industry, Samajwadi Party MP and veteran actor Jaya Bachchan on Tuesday slammed all those who have derisively dismissed the tinsel town as a "gutter".
‘‘People who made their name in the industry have called it a gutter. I completely disagree. I dissociate myself and I hope that the government will tell these people to stop using such language," Jaya said, taking a swipe at actor and BJP MP from Gorakhpur Ravi Kishan, but without taking his name.
Then, she added for effect, "Jis thaali me khate hai, usi me ched karte hai." A nonplussed Kishan momentarily held his tongue but there was no holding back Kangana Ranaut outside the House. It mattered little to the latter that it was her senior Jaya Bachchan at the other end and she tersely countered: Would you have said the same thing if your children were involved in such nefarious activity?
"Jayaji, would you say the same thing if in my place it was your daughter Shweta who was beaten up, drugged and molested as a teen; would you say the same thing if Abhishek complained about bullying and constant harassment and was found hanging from the ceiling one day? Show compassion for us also," Kangana said.
Previously, too, Kangana had rubbished the film industry as a "gutter" and alleged that 99 per cent of its denizens have been exposed to drugs. Going off the tangent, Kangana further tweeted: "Like a famous choreographer once said, "Rape kiya toh kya hua, roti toh di na! Is that what you implying? There are no HR departments in production houses where women can complain, there is no safety or insurance for those who risk their lives every day; no 8-hour shift regulations."
"This mentality, that gareeb ko roti mile toh that's enough,’ needs to change; gareeb ko roti ke saath samman aur payaar bhi chahiye, I have a full list of reforms I would like the Union government to usher in for workers and junior artists; someday, if I meet the honourable Prime Minister, I will discuss the matter," the actress added.
In no time, the Bachchan family was being trolled online. Since Tuesday morning, the buzzword "Bachchans" started trending on Twitter along with #JayaBachchan, Jaya Ji, ‘Gutter’ and #istandwithravikishan as netizens slammed the veteran actress and the rest of her family, for remaining silent on major issues like lynching of Palghar sadhus and Sushant Singh Rajput's death, among others.’’
"Jaya madam, where were you when Amitabh ji hid his money to evade taxes, as revealed by the Panama expose? Wasn't that also an example of "biting the hand that feeds you", asked another user.
Jaya, however, found support among several Bollywood celebrities. Sharing a video clip of her speech on Twitter, actress Taapsee Pannu tweeted from her verified account: "For we have always stood by the initiatives, causes and awareness campaigns. It's time for payback. Hitting the nail on its head and how! Yet again a woman from the industry spoke up #Respect."
"Respect. She has always stood up to be counted when it mattered. #JayaBachchan," tweeted actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar.
Filmmaker Anubhav Sinha tweeted in Hindi which translated to: "I send my best regards to Jaya Ji. Those who don't know, please see this is how the spinal cord looks."
Actress Sonam Kapoor piped in: "I want to be like her when I grow up."