Bollywood in 2020: When fandom’s adoring gaze turned to harsh scrutiny


This was the 12 months Bollywood leapt from the leisure part to high of the nationwide information agenda with the grit and dirt of political acrimony and crime tarnishing the glitter of the glamour trade that by no means actually recovered from the suicide of one in every of its own- Sushant Singh Rajput.

From Deepika Padukone’s go to to JNU at the start of the 12 months and the traumatic fallout of Rajput’s loss of life to Kangana Ranaut’s run-in with the Maharashtra authorities and a bunch of stars being questioned for his or her alleged use of medicine, the problems got here flooding in. And the trade confronted the brunt of the general public’s harsh scrutiny relatively than the adoring gaze of fandom it was used to.

There had been no new movies because the coronavirus pandemic halted manufacturing and theatres closed down, however the Hindi movie trade and its stars remained beneath a relentless highlight that confirmed up its many faultlines.

As Bollywood seemed for greater help in its combat towards incessant vilification, actor-MP Jaya Bachchan spoke out in the Rajya Sabha in regards to the damaging highlight and stated she utterly disagreed with those that termed the leisure trade a gutter.

The information cycle began early in the 12 months when Union minister Piyush Goyal met Bollywood personalities on January 5 for a dialogue on the Citizenship Amendment Act. The assembly got here shut on the heels of main trade individuals, together with Anurag Kashyap and Zoya Akhtar, taking part in the nationwide protests towards the contentious act.

The very subsequent day, Deepika Padukone set off a firestorm with a shock go to to the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus in New Delhi to categorical solidarity with college students who had been attacked by a masked mob. She didn’t converse and stood silently behind scholar leaders, however the motion, the primary time she had taken a political stand led to requires the boycott of her movie Chhapaak.

Union minister Smriti Irani attacked Padukone and stated she selected to stand subsequent to individuals who needed the “destruction of India”. The ripple impact of the CAA debate continued, polarising the movie trade with acrimonious debates on Twitter and elsewhere.

Then got here Sushant Singh Rajput’s loss of life. On June 14, the M S Dhoni: The Untold Story star was discovered lifeless in his Bandra condo. The premature loss of life of the 34-year-old led to anguish after all, but additionally deep angst with questions on nepotism, Bollywood energy constructions and the gate-keeping perspective of the trade. Many viewers and even some in Bollywood believed Rajput was “targeted” for being an outsider.

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on June 15 tweeted that Mumbai Police would probe the angle of “professional rivalry”, which in accordance to stories, was the trigger for his alleged “clinical depression”.

Among these questioned had been Yash Raj Films’ high honcho Aditya Chopra, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Sushant Singh Rajput’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty. But that was solely the beginning of it. The case took a political flip when greater than a month later, on July 25, Rajput’s 74-year-old father Ok Ok Singh lodged an FIR towards Chakraborty and her household in Patna in connection together with his son’s loss of life.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar beneficial to the Central authorities that the FIR be transferred to CBI for a probe. A bitter political row between the governments in Maharashtra and Bihar ensued. The two police forces grew to become events in a case filed by Chakraborty in the Supreme Court.

Chakraborty and her brother had been subsequently arrested and political events throughout the spectrum acquired into the discourse too because the investigation started.

Premier authorities companies, together with the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate and the Narcotics Control Bureau, joined the investigation. Sushant Singh Rajput’s case grew to become the largest nationwide headline and remained so for months.

The NCB expanded its probe into an alleged use of medicine in the movie trade and questioned a number of Bollywood personalities, together with Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, Rakul Preet Singh.

As a piece of nationwide TV media termed Bollywood “immoral and unlawful”, its artistes, significantly the ladies, had been subjected to intense trolling on social media and outdoors too.

The trade discovered itself in a lonely battle towards high powers in the system, compelling the Producers Guild of India to problem an announcement slamming the media protection of Bollywood and the extraordinary trolling of its artistes.

The fraternity then took the authorized route, with main Bollywood producers, together with the three Khans Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir in addition to Karan Johar and Akshay Kumar approaching the Delhi High Court towards two TV channels and their editors for allegedly defaming the trade with phrases resembling “scum” and “druggies”.

The lawsuit, by 4 trade associations and 34 producers, sought the court docket’s route to TV channels in addition to social media platforms to chorus from making or publishing allegedly irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks towards the trade. It was a uncommon occasion of trade’s various members coming collectively.

As Bollywood was subsumed in conspiracy theories and allegations on Sushant Singh Rajput’s loss of life, the late actor’s household and followers discovered strong help in actor Kangana Ranaut, on the forefront of the “Justice for SSR” marketing campaign. She additionally spoke of alleged drug use in a piece of the movie trade and went on to criticise Bollywood and even Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his authorities.

Ranaut likened Mumbai to Pakistan occupied Kashmir and stated she feared Mumbai Police. She was given Y-plus class safety thereafter.

Days later, her office-bungalow confronted motion for “illegal” alterations by the Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which triggered additional uproar.

The 12 months that began with Bollywood’s help for intensified opposition to CAA is ending with backing for one more motion — the farmers’ protest.

A bunch of personalities resembling Hansal Mehta, Swara Bhaskar, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Richa Chadha have joined Punjabi stars Diljit Dosanjh, Guru Randhawa and Gurdas Mann to lend solidarity to the protest towards three farm payments.

And as soon as extra, there was a public spat involving Kangana Ranaut, recognized for her provocative statements. She acquired right into a Twitter row with Dosanjh, who took the actor to process for sharing a faux tweet and utilizing derogatory language to describe an aged feminine protester.

What adopted was a bitter trade with Ranaut calling Dosanjh filmmaker Karan Johar’s “pet”, a “bootlicker” and requested if he wasn’t ashamed of defending anyone who “instigated” the Delhi riots earlier this 12 months.

For most a part of 2020, tensions brewed between the trade and the highest state powers however there have been additionally makes an attempt to be a part of palms with the nation’s gentle energy.

Amid a sustained anti-Bollywood sentiment in the nation, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath rolled out an bold plan to arrange a movie metropolis in the state in September, at the same time as Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut stated it was not straightforward to shift Mumbai’s Film City elsewhere.


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