By Arré Bench Sep. 23, 2020
Over the coming days, actresses Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, and Rakul Preet Singh have all been summoned by the NCB for questioning. Like it or not, this will probably be the news story that gets the most coverage, despite the host of other issues that currently beset the country.
As if the Opposition boycotting the Monsoon Session of Parliament, farmers protesting in the thousands, and a continuing pandemic were mere trifles, the main focus of many Indian TV news channels continued to be the Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) clampdown on Bollywood film stars alleged drug habits. Over the coming days, actresses Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, and Rakul Preet Singh have all been summoned by the NCB for questioning. Like it or not, this will probably be the news story that gets the most coverage, despite the host of other issues that currently beset the country.
— NDTV (@ndtv) September 23, 2020
As the NCB’s investigation has taken its own course, a curious similarity has emerged between the celebrities to come under its scanner. Starting with Rhea Chakraborty and continuing to today’s list of summoned names, all the individuals the NCB has investigated have been women.
This is despite the fact that the drug use of many male actors in Bollywood is also an open secret, including Sushant Singh Rajput, whose death led to the current investigation being launched. However, it is only the women who are being tarred with the “druggie” brush. Many commenters on Twitter have called out the apparent double standards being followed by the NCB in this investigation.
Thought the whole thing started with Sushant singh – whether it was murder or suicide. Now it has become a merry go round on drugs and clearly only Bollywood women and certain women do drugs. What a farce!!!!
— sarika grover (@sarikagrover) September 23, 2020
In Padukone’s case, some have claimed that it was her attendance at a protest in solidarity with students of Jawaharlal Nehru University that attracted the ire of the central government. In turn, the NCB, a central agency, has called her in for summoning over WhatsApp messages believed to be three years old.
Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan Summoned In Drugs Probe – NDTV https://t.co/lQR1XtlaWy Now let’s start distracting the nation from the real issues of minus 23.9% and settle scores with @deepikapadukone for daring to show solidarity with JNU students
— Karti P Chidambaram (@KartiPC) September 23, 2020
To pretend that only women in Bollywood are doing drugs, and that any men also involved must have been misled by these women, smacks of sexism. However, going by the way the investigation is being covered on national television, Bollywood’s men must be naïve little children and the women are wicked witches.
Well, if the NCB remand copy in Rhea case is anything to go by, then it’s tragically Sushant who was at the heart of the drug consumption culture. But how can a departed hero who we seek justice for be an accused? So let’s get the women:they ‘corrupt’ the helpless men you see!🙏 https://t.co/5OVwJteJ7c
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) September 23, 2020
Who knows what fresh horrors the last few months of 2020 will have in store for us, but at least we can rest easy knowing that some actresses won’t be getting high in their free time. And that’s clearly what this nation really needs.