Veteran actor and BJP MP Hema Malini feels that both Jaya Bachchan and Ravi Kishan did not want anyone to tarnish the reputation of the film industry. While she acknowledged that a ‘few people’ engaged in the use of drugs, she objected to the film industry being singled out and being portrayed as a ‘haven for drug addicts’.
In her speech in the Parliament on Tuesday, Jaya objected to a few members of the film industry labelling it a ‘gutter’ and maligning it. She was referring to Kangana Ranaut’s recent comments that Bollywood was a ‘gutter’ and 99% people engaged in the use of drugs. She also took issue with Ravi Kishan’s comments about drug addiction in the industry.
Hema told The Times of India that it was ‘unacceptable’ to single out and defame the film industry, as the menace of drug addiction was not restricted to Bollywood. However, she agreed with Ravi that it does exist in a ‘few people’ and that the industry must take steps to combat it.
“I agree with what Ravi Kishan has said, that there are few people and especially, the youngsters who are indulging in drugs. We, as an industry, should come together and stop this menace from spreading in the film industry,” she said.
Hema called the film industry ‘reputed’ and said, “There are such reputed people who work in the film industry, but some are trying to label it as a haven for drug addicts, which is not acceptable.” She also said that Jaya and Ravi had the same end goal, to preserve the reputation of the film industry. “In the end, the purpose of Ravi Kishan and Jayaji was to not allow people to tarnish the name of the film industry.”
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On Tuesday, Jaya said in her speech at the Rajya Sabha, “People in the entertainment industry are being flogged by social media. People who made their names in the industry have called it a gutter. I completely disagree. I hope that the government tells such people not to use this kind of language.”
“Just because there are some people, you can’t tarnish the image of the entire industry. I am ashamed that yesterday one of our members in Lok Sabha, who is from the film industry, spoke against it. It is a shame,” she added, referring to Ravi’s comments about the film industry’s ‘drug addiction’ on Monday.
Responding to Jaya’s speech, Ravi told ANI, “There is a conspiracy to finish our film industry by hollowing it out. As a responsible member of the film industry, it is not just my right but my duty to raise it in Parliament and Jaya ji should respect that. I am just a son of a priest who crawled his way up and has worked in 600 films.”
“I expected Jaya ji to support what I said. Not everyone in the industry consumes drugs but those who do are part of a plan to finish the world’s largest film industry. When Jaya ji joined, the situation was not like this but now we need to protect the industry,” he added.
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