Big, bad Bollywood is a myth: there are a zillion people who do not take a drop of alcohol, forget drugs

Bollywood is not a junkies’ paradise. The film industry is not filled with doped dudes and stoned sirens. Whoever believes this knows nothing about the film industry

Big, bad Bollywood is a myth: there are a zillion people who do not take a drop of alcohol, forget drugs
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Subhash K Jha

Bollywood is not a junkies’ paradise. The film industry is not filled with doped dudes and stoned sirens. Whoever believes this knows nothing about the film industry.

Years ago I remember having lunch with Twinkle Khanna. My daughter was with me. And the hostees and I were exchanging notes on parenting. Akshay was out of town. Their son Aarav was toddling around and we started talking about the problem of parenthood when a child reaches his or her teens.

“If my son took drugs I’d kill him, or kill myself,” Twinkle said. The Mother India kind of remark revisited me as I saw a picture of Aarav turn 18. He is a fine lad, with healthy habits like his father, such as getting up early, eating frugally, exercising rigorously and thinking positively.

Drugs? I don’t know of a single star-kid who consumes drugs. Most of the current generation of actors don’t even smoke cigarettes, so where is the question of drugs?

I am not saying Bollywood is a monastery. Or that Vicky Kaushal is a priest and Katrina Kaif a nun. No. I am sure they have their share of illicit fun. I have seen actors get drunk during parties, and that’s okay because they were totally in control. I’ve also seen Salman Khan get drunk and lose control. That’s not okay. But it’s also not such a shocking example of debauchery. Drunken disorderly behavior is not a rule, it is an exception. And not peculiar to the entertainment industry. Only more visible. If a techie got drunk and misbehaved you won’t see his picture go viral.

For those baying for Bollywood’s blood for debauchery, let me ask how many of you know any of the stars before casting aspersions on their nature? Who is your source of information about Bollywood’s drug habits? Kangana Ranaut? How closely does she know Bollywood? Does she know that many of the top actors are teetotalers:

Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan…these are some of the actors who never touch a drop of alcohol? Drugs? As Shah Rukh once told me, “I’m high on life. I don’t need stimulants.”

Then who are the actors guilty of substance abuse? You will be surprised to know that some of those who are pointing fingers at Bollywood are the biggest substance abusers in Bollywood. And if Rhea Chakraborty is naming (and shaming) her colleagues for drug consumption, she could be doing it to win brownie points with the law enforcement agencies.

I repeat, this is not to say that Ravi Kishan is entirely wrong in calling out Bollywood for drug consumption. But he is way off the mark in painting the entire industry with the same brush strokes.

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