No Drugs at “KJo Party Video”, Say FSL Investigators. Are Bollywood’s Woes Finally Over?


No Drugs at “KJo Party Video”, Say FSL Investigators. Are Bollywood’s Woes Finally Over?

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

After the actor Sushant Singh Rajput committed suicide earlier this year, the controversy following his death saw accusations of rampant drug use being levelled at the Hindi film industry. In the media and on the internet, a flood of unsubstantiated rumours were reported as facts to vilify personalities like Karan Johar, Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, and others, and to paint Bollywood as a drug haven. But just like the conspiracy theories about Rajput’s suicide actually being a murder, these drug use allegations have not held up to scrutiny by investigating agencies. The latest exoneration comes for the notorious “KJo party video”, which saw a group of Bollywood stars appearing inebriated at producer Karan Johar’s house. An investigation by Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) has given a clean chit to the video, saying there is no evidence of drug use in the footage.

The FSL announcing that the “KJo party video” is benign is a blow to those who were hoping that the bad press that Bollywood began receiving when Rajput died would lead to the downfall of the current industry leaders. Even before the FSL results were out, the Narcotics Control Bureau had already declined to investigate the video, as it found no evidence of wrongdoing at Johar’s house in the footage. Now, the FSL has also said that the white lines on a table, which were supposedly cocaine, were merely the reflections of tubelights on the table’s glass surface.

Of course, the news was not well received by everyone. The conspiracy theorists who have reared their head ever since Rajput’s death remain convinced that any agency that makes findings contrary to their beliefs has sold out. They reacted to the news that FSL had given the video a clean chit by trending the hashtag #NCBSoldOut. Targeting NCB when FSL conducted the investigation is also proof that their comprehension skills are slightly lacking.

Does Bollywood deserve an apology for all the negative publicity it received after Johar’s video went viral? It’s unlikely that one will be forthcoming either way.