From the Padmavati dispute to the Kangana-Hrithik fracas, Bollywood was not without its share of the provocative and the plain stupid all this year!
Kangana ignited a merry war of words when she attacked Karan Johar on his chat show, calling him the “flag-bearer of nepotism,” someone who is “snooty and completely intolerant to outsiders” and accused him of running a “movie mafia”. Karan retaliated when talking at the London School of Economics, saying, “She was my guest and I had to hear what she had to say… When she says ‘Flag bearer of Nepotism’... I don’t think she has understood the entire meaning of the term.” He also added, “If she finds the Bollywood industry so bad, she might as well leave it.” At the end of the fracas, which included KJo, Saif and Varun Dhawan poking fun of Ranaut at an awards show, and tendering a further apology, B-town had learnt its ‘word of the year’!
Sonu Nigam hit the headlines for his comments on the use of loudspeakers for azaan (Muslim prayers). His tweets complaining of “forced religiousness” were slammed. The singer even shaved off his head in defiance of a 'fatwa'. Drama unlimited!
Nawazuddin Siddiqui drew a lot of flak for revealing personal details about his “passionate” affairs with his past girlfriends in his autobiography. They, in turn, accused him of “exploiting and disrespecting” women to sell his memoirs. Threats of court cases loomed. And the actor was compelled to issue an apology for “hurting the sentiments” of women whose names he had mentioned. The book was withdrawn…after all the juicy portions had been sucked dry!
Suited and Shamed
Fatima Sana Shaikh was shamed on social media for posting pictures of herself in a swimsuit on the beach in Malta, where she was filming Thugs Of Hindostan. While some objected to the actress wearing disrespectful clothing during Ramzan; others dubbed it 'besharmi' to be seen in beachwear on the beach.
Mira Rajput’s quotes on motherhood from Koffee with Karan set the cat among the pigeons. “I don't want to spend an hour with her (Misha) and then rush to work…You don't have to compromise on traditions and ideals to be modern. Why did I have her? She is not a puppy, you know. I want to be there for her as a mother; seeing her grow up cannot be quantified,” she had said. It irked all the thousands of mothers out there juggling work and home and doing a darn good job of it.
Rishi Kapoor’s tweet in which he joked about wanting a repeat of former Indian Cricket captain Saurav Ganguly’s memorable shirtless celebration at the Women’s World Cup final, was met with widespread disdain. His weak response to all the trolling: that he wanted Sourav to repeat his feat, and not a female player. Ha. Ha.
Abhay Deol’s sarcastic Facebook posts, aimed at stars like Shah Rukh, Deepika, and Shahid Kapoor endorsing fairness creams, had the nation applauding. Calling their ad campaigns "demeaning, false, and racist," Abhay mocked their promises of a fair skin, and received an overwhelming response, in return.
Lipstick Under My Burkha grappled with the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC), which simply refused to certify this ‘lady-oriented’ film! It was accused of being laced with sexual scenes and abusive words, apart from other things. It was finally awarded an adult certificate after certification was ordered by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT).
A section of the media ran stories about how Salman Khan had commented on the Indo-Pak relationship and urged the government to stop waging a war against the neighbouring country. This spiralled into a row where Salman’s patriotism was questioned. Till the truth emerged, that he had said nothing of the sort, other than pointing out, “Whoever orders wars, they should be given guns and sent first to fight the war.”
Voices were raised against Akshay Kumar winning the National Award for Best Actor in Rustom. Certain sections felt it was unfair. The actor responded urged those criticising his win to “take it back” if they felt he did not deserve it.
Amidst anger and accusations, Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees hit the screens on the same day as Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil. Despite negotiations between the producers, the clash was not averted and expectedly, both films ate into each other’s business, setting an example for other films to definitely not follow!
Padmavati bore the brunt of violence by angry protestors. If director Bhansali was slapped and assaulted by members of the Karni Sena at Jaigarh fort in Jaipur, who also damaged cameras and other shooting equipment, the film sets were burned down in Kolhapur. Freedom of expression? Not in this country, buddy.
Lowness sank to new depths as Right-wing groups, incensed by the rumoured depiction of a romantic dream sequence involving a mythical Hindu queen and an invading Muslim sultan, sent out death threats. A bounty of 100 million rupees was offered to anyone who beheaded the lead actor, Deepika Padukone, and the director Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Hello Taliban, we are no different from you…
The images of resident heart-throb Ranbir Kapoor papped having an intimate smoke with Pakistani hottie Mahira Khan on a street in New York, went viral in a blink. This secret rendezvous drew ire for everything from Ranbir’s lack of morals to Mahira’s bold dressing and bolder habits. Envy is a tough mistress!
Priyanka Chopra was trolled mercilessly for the ‘unforgivable sin’ of wearing a dress – modest, though it might have been – to her meeting with Prime Minister Modi. She retorted to those trolls by Instagramming a picture with her mother — in which their legs played an even more major starring role!
Secret Superstar actress Zaira Wasim had accused a fellow-flier of molestation during their flight to Mumbai. He had allegedly placed his feet on her armrest and ran them over her back, neck and shoulders as she struggled to document the violation and draw the attention of the crew. Ironically, even as he was arrested, young Zaira was accused of doing it for publicity!
In the run-up to her release, Simran, Kangana decided it was time to revive her war with alleged ex, Hrithik Roshan. She made some revelations about her relationship with HR that left everyone in shock. With not a single day going by without yet another interview, tweet, or court case, tedium finally set in. Finally, the two have decided to take it off the public domain and allow the law to take its course. It has been their best decision yet!