Even as Bollywood reels under an onslaught of nepotism allegations, there has emerged an even more concerning discussion on social media platforms. People have now alleged that the film industry has links to Pakistan and the ISI.
For a large part of Wednesday, "#BollywoodPakISILink" was trending on Twitter, as many posted photos and other "evidence". Tweeting about the same earlier in the day, National Vice President and spokesperson of the BJP, Baijayant Panda urged "patriotic Bollywoodies" to renounce such people.
"Came across shocking threads documenting personal and business links of some Bollywood personalities with certain Pakistanis and NRIs with undeniable track record encouraging violence in Jammu and Kashmir, who have verifiable links to ISI and Pakistan army," he had tweeted.
While many have taken it upon themselves to provide "photographic evidence" of actors and cinema icons with people who are in turn photographed with Pakistani officials and leaders, we remain uncertain about the veracity of the same. Additionally, the images may have been taken out of context. In the absence of any word from official channels, or from those being lambasted by social media users, this continues to remain a speculative topic.
Many have however cited Panda's post to call for further investigation. Others wondered why the BJP -- being the ruling party -- did not call for an investigation. Others still sought the link to the thread he had mentioned.
An ANI report adds that an individual named Tony Ashai (also known as Aziz Ashai), whose son Bilal Ashai recently graduated from Los Angeles with a Master's degree, has been provoking Kashmiri youth to pick-up stones and guns. Reportedly, he has had apparent business links with a leading Bollywood actor in the past. A video has also gone viral of Tony Ashai's brother Arthur in which he is seen badly bullying an Indian. Reportedly, Aziz Ashai has been seen in photographs conversing with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Panda is not alone. IAS officer Sanjay Dixit posted a chat screenshot claiming that actor Shah Rukh Khan was "so thick with the ISI terror conduit" that he had funded Ashai's projects.
We could not verify the authenticity of the allegation or the screengrab.
(With inputs from ANI)