‘Operation Bollywood’ is designed to saffronise the industry and ensure it falls in line

The relentless campaign against a section of the entertainment industry by Income Tax, ED, CBI and now NCB, aided by TV channels, is designed to browbeat liberal sections into submission

‘Operation Bollywood’ is designed to saffronise the industry and ensure it falls in line

Zafar Agha

Bollywood is full of a bundle of vices and crowded with drugged actors and actresses who may appear glamourous from a distance but are essentially rogues and spoilt brats strutting about as stars. This is the impression one gets after watching news channels and the way Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has been busy summoning one popular film star after another these days. But is Bollywood really as devilish as it is being painted?

Nonsense. There is essentially a sinister conspiracy going on against Hindi film industry popularly referred as Bollywood. It is now quite evident that both the Modi government as well as the electronic media are in league to paint the Hindi film world as a den of drugs and devils. And, they have their own axe to grind.

The Modi government is in dire need to deflect peoples’ attention from their daily hardships. Indian economy is in a mess. Crores of young men and women have been thrown out of jobs. Farmers are out on the streets. Businesses are being shut down in hundreds every day. Which government would like the people to talk about these issues! So, give them the opium of sensation and scandal so that they can keep watching the the circus on the small screen, forgetting their own woes. Narcotics Control Bureau has been put on the job to provide enough headlines for the media so that the nation remains hooked to Bollywood tamasha and forget the BJP government’s blunders on the economy and on the border besides making a mess of the lockdown.

Bollywood is that opium that is being peddled through TV news shows to the people day in and day out these days. It helps TV owners and anchors as well. Who would not love to watch how Deepika Padukone and other stars are treated by the NCB when summoned! Naturally, lakhs of fresh viewers will watch the news shows. The higher the number of viewers, higher the TRP. And, as the TRP mounts, so do advertisements to these channels. Advertisements bring profit. Who cares if a few reputations are soiled and an entire industry is robbed of its dignity.

But think for a moment: do you sincerely believe that Bollywood is really like what it is painted on the small screen these days? Not really. It is the industry that entertains the entire country day in and day out. It makes us cry and makes us laugh when we sit in theatres and watch cinema.

Bollywood is not just entertainment. It is creative art too. It has given us towering figures like V Shantaram, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Amitabh Bachchan etc. Actresses like Nargis, Meena Kumari, Vaijayanti Mala, Hema Malini and dozens of others who have enacted roles on screen that we still remember. Can we imagine our lives without songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd. Rafi and Kishore Kumar? Musicians like Naushad and Shankar and Jai Kishan, lyricists like Kaifi, Sahir and Javed Akhtar are just a few names whose songs we still remember and hum.

Frankly, we cannot imagine India without Bollywood. Yet the same Bollywood has overnight been turned into a den of vices and drugged film stars. There ought to be some method in this madness that we have been watching on small screen. It is not just an attempt to deflect attention or push TRP. It is a much more serious conspiracy than what meets the eye.

We all understand that cinema is one of the most powerful media that can capture peoples’ heart and mind. The Sangh and the BJP believe in controlling all means of mass communication that can influence peoples’ thought process. They control news media and dominate social media. They have already captured the small screen both in news and entertainment segments. They are now out to control Bollywood that has been so far one of the most liberal medium of mass entertainment. So, control it too.

That is the long-term game plan that is going on through the NCB and news channels. There is a clear attempt to intimidate and terrorize all those in Bollywood who do not fall for BJP-RSS propaganda. Summon Deepika Padukone because she stood up with JNU students and tarnish the image of director Anurag Kashyap with molestation charges because he is liberal. Send the message to the entire Bollywood and the entertainment world to fall in line. Else, the NCB is watching you.

Bollywood is the last independent bastion of secular and liberal medium of mass entertainment that needs to be tamed like rest of the media.

The NCB has launched a war against Bollywood to pave the way for saffronization of Hindi cinema. Like one nation, one language and one leader, we will soon have one entertainment industry following one leader and one party. No prizes for guessing who.

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Published: 28 Sep 2020, 3:52 PM