Apparently, Only Bollywood’s Women Have a Drug Problem: Deepika, Sara & Shraddha Summoned by NCB


Apparently, Only Bollywood’s Women Have a Drug Problem: Deepika, Sara & Shraddha Summoned by NCB

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.