On Tuesday, veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar said the Hindi cinema business is under scrutiny because of its “high profile” status, and that this is the “price” it must pay. The statement by the famous writer comes at a time when Bollywood and its celebrity culture are receiving fresh attention after superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan was detained in connection with an alleged narcotics seizure from a cruise liner.
On social media, there have been some who believe the prosecution against Aryan Khan is a premeditated attempt to harm the film business.
“This is the price the film business has to pay for having high profile,” Akhtar told reporters when asked if he believes Bollywood is often targeted by raids. People enjoy tearing you down and flinging mud at you when you have a big profile. Who has the time to throw stones at you if you’re a nobody?”
At the launch of the book “Changemakers,” written by Almas Virani and Sweta Samota, Akhtar spoke.
The 23-year-old was apprehended by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on a cruise liner off the coast of Mumbai on October 3.
Without naming names, Akhtar said that the superstar’s son’s case received more media coverage than a rumored “one billion dollar” narcotics bust at a port, referring to the seizure of 2,988 kg of heroin at Mundra Port in Gujarat’s Kutch state.
According to media sources, “you find cocaine worth Rs one billion dollar at a port, and somewhere else there were 1200 persons where ganja and a total value of Rs 1 lakh 30 thousand is found.”
“Now that this has become major national news,” he continued, “but I haven’t seen any headlines about the billion-dollar cocaine…”
When asked if he believes Shah Rukh Khan and Aryan Khan are being singled out, Akhtar remained tight-lipped.
Aryan Khan is currently imprisoned in Mumbai’s Arthur Road prison. His and two others’ bail pleas were posted last week in a special court for orders on October 20.