We are all deeply affected by whatever our B-town celebrities say. Be it intolerance or censorship, the year 2015 saw a lot of controversies finding their way into the limelight..!!
Be it Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan’s remarks on intolerance or Salman Khan’s open disapproval of terrorist Yakub Memon’s death sentence, controversies walked hand in hand with Bollywood stars in the year gone by.
When Aamir said he was alarmed by the recent incidents of violence in the country and his wife Kiran Rao even suggested that they should leave the country, the superstar came under fire from the members of the ruling party, his own colleagues some celebrities and fans.
All social networking sites had videos and spoofs about his statement. He even released a statement in his defence stating that his words were misunderstood but he stands by everything that he had said. Surprising!
Adding fuel to the fire was Shahrukh who evoked similar reactions when on his 50th birthday, he said there was extreme intolerance in the country. His comments soon became a political debate and finally he got tagged as a Pakistani agent and was compared to criminals like Hafiz Saeed by some. Shahrukh, later, claimed he never said India was intolerant and his words were misconstrued.
A lot of drama was seen after the appointment of television actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as president of the FTII Society and chairman of its Governing Council. The actor was openly criticized and the students of The Film and Television Institute of India went on an indefinite strike from June 12. Anupam Kher, whose wife Kirron is a BJP MP, even went to the extent of leading a tolerance march in the national capital to oppose the other voices.
The Censor Board was another institution, which upset many in Bollywood and fans of cinema across the country. First by proposing a list of 28 ‘banned’ words and later demanding cuts in films like NH 10, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, James Bond film Spectre and Angry Indian Goddesses. Its chief Pahalaj Nihalani received backlash after the Board shortened the length of a kiss in Spectre.
Salman Khan’s Tweets and hit-and-run case
Salman Khan has always been very outspoken. His tweets on Tiger Memon enraged the entire country and he had a very strong back lash. The reaction to these tweets was so strong that police had to be deployed outside Salman’s house. Following this, Salman withdrew the tweets and apologised. The 49-year-old actor was in controversy yet again when the Sessions Court held him guilty in a hit-and-run case, while the High Court acquitted him of the charges. The verdict surely brought relief and happiness to Salman, his family and fans, but its authenticity was also questioned by many.
Bollywood and Maggi
Amitabh Bachchan was criticized for promoting a brand that was not fit for consumption. Amitabh had been endorsing Maggi along with other celebrities like Madhuri Dixit Nene and Priety Zinta. Notices were slapped onto them by the Tamil Nadu consumer forum on a petition seeking a direction to them not to promote Maggi noodles on false representations about quality and safety.
Jiah Khan suicide case
Sooraj Pancholi, launched by Salman Khan this year with Hero, was caught up in the suicide case of girlfriend Jiah Khan. Sooraj was arrested and later released on bail by Mumbai police. The case was transferred to CBI which after investigation concluded that it was a case of suicide and not homicidal death as alleged by Jiah’s mother Rabia Khan. The CBI charged Sooraj with abetment of suicide and questioned him during its investigations.