Bollywood actor Salman Khan, who had sought exemption from appearing in the Jodhpur court last…
As the year draws to a closure, here’s looking back at the biggest controversies of 2015…
Salman’s tweets on Yakub Memon
In July this year, Salman Khan tweeted saying that Yakub Memon, the brother of Tiger Memon, the main accused of the Mumbai blasts scheduled to be hanged on July 30, was paying for his brother’s crime. The Ek Tha Tiger star tweeted, “Kidhar chupa hai tiger? Hey koi tiger nahi hai hai hai billi aur hum ek billi ko nahi pakad sakteh. No one ever Address him as Tiger ever. Does not deserve that at all. Hang that………….. fill in the blanks. Salman added the wrong man was being hung for the crimes of his brother Tiger who he described as a ‘lomdi’ (fox) who ran away. He also wrote, “Get Tiger, hang him. Parade him not his brother.” Massive protests from political parties and social media he was forced to tender an apology but he maintained. “I had tweeted that Tiger Memon should hang for his crimes and I stand by it. What i also said is that Yakub Memon should not hang for him.”
Shah Rukh ‘intolerant’ remark
While speaking to NDTV on his 50th birthday talking about extreme intolerance in India. Shah Rukh Khan said,”There is intolerance, there is extreme intolerance… there is, I think… there is growing intolerance. It is stupid… It is stupid to be intolerant and this is our biggest issue, not just an issue… Religious intolerance, or intolerance of any kind, is the worst thing and will take us to the dark ages. Indians lose face over the questions that are asked. I don’t speak my mind often enough because I worry my film get into trouble. Whoever takes a stand against creative people will face a huge backlash.”
Aamir on insecurity
At a journalism awards ceremony, Aamir Khan said there was a growing sense of fear, insecurity and despondency in the country, and that when he discussed things with his filmmaker wife, Kiran Rao, she wondered whether the family should move out of India. “It is disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make to me. She fears for her child, what the atmosphere around us will be, she feels scared to open the newspaper every day. There is a growing sense of disquiet, and despondency. You feel depressed, you feel low. Why is this happening?” Aamir’s statement led to so much criticism that he had to release a statement which said, “All those people who had called me “anti-national” and shouted “obscenities at me for speaking my heart out, it saddens me to say you are only proving my point. Let me state categorically that neither I, nor my wife Kiran, have any intention of leaving the country. We never did, and nor would we like to in the future. “Anyone implying the opposite has either not seen my interview or is deliberately trying to distort what I have said. India is my country, I love it, I feel fortunate for being born here, and this is where I am staying.”
Kareena’s Love Jihad campaign
Love Jihad took another meaning when Kareena Kapoor Khan’s picture was morphed and used on the cover of Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s magazine Himalaya Dhwani, to issue a warning against love-jihad (a term given by religious outfits to a Muslim man marrying a Hindu woman). It shook the actress so much that she hired two bodyguards to accompany her to all events and shoots.
Shameful Anushka bashing for Virat’s poor performance
The second semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 between Australia and India saw Virat Kohli failing to contribute to the team’s chase of 329 runs. India received a major setback when Kohli was dismissed for just one run. His girlfriend Anushka Sharma was among the spectators. Instead of Kohli being the target of public outrage, Anushka had to bear the ire of cricket fans who blamed her Virat’s poor performance. she slammed her for being a distraction at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Virat scored just one run. An angry Virat lashed out at the critics for blaming his girlfriends for his failure. Anusha found support with her B-Town colleagues who pointed out how senseless it was to blame her.
Radhika Apte’s nude scene
When Radhika Apte’s full frontal nude scene from Anurag Kashyap’s short film was leaked she claimed that it was not her in the clip and that her face was morphed. But that was repudiated by Kashyap himself who said that it was his film and Radhika’s very minor partial nudity front shot for a film inspired by a true story, shot purely for the international market. While some alleged that it was the director who leaked the clip for publicity stunt, an enraged Kashyap denied the charge.
Aishwarya draws flak for jewelry ad
The politically correct Aishwarya Rai Bachchan found herself in the middle of a controversy when a jewelry print ad by Kalyan Jewellers featuring her drew brickbats for being ‘insidiously racist. The ad featured her reclining under a parasol held over her head by ‘a dark-skinned slave-boy’. Kalyan Jewellers withdrew the controversial ad immediately. And released a statement saying, “This ad you figure in is insidiously racist, the creative was intended to present the royalty, timeless beauty and elegance. However, if we have inadvertently hurt the sentiments of any individual or organization, we deeply regret the same.” Aishwarya’s publicist issued a statement saying the “final layout is the prerogative of the creative team of a brand.”
Big B and Deepika spat
When Deepika Padukone had a success party for Piku it was not attended by Amitabh Bachchan, her co-star and film’s producer. When quizzed about his absence, Bachchan had said that he was not invited. The party had been attended by most of her co-stars and filmmakers. Later Deepika clarified that his absence was a “major technical error” on her part and that she so embarrassed that didn’t have the courage to call him and explain, things remained cool between both till Deepika met the Big B at a party and they patched up. To prove that all was well she even attended his Diwali party this year.
Big B, Madhuri and Preity Zinta in Maggi soup
Brand ambassadors Amitabh Bachchan, Preity Zinta and Madhuri Dixit Maggi noodles were booked by the Tamil Nadu consumer forum for endorsing Maggi noodles, which was in the news for high lead content (17 times more than the stipulated limit). A Bihar court ordered registration of an FIR against Bachchan, Dixit and Zinta, who had featured in the Maggi advertisements, saying they could be arrested. The charge turned out to be false..Maggi was always safe. In November Nestle released a statement saying, “We have received results from all three laboratories mandated by the Bombay High Court to test newly-manufactured Maggi noodle samples. All samples of Maggi noodles masala have been cleared, with lead much below permissible limits.”
Pahlaj Nihalani and his many controversies
Soon after the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry appointed producer Pahlaj Nihalani as Censor Board’s chairperson things wennt downhill. Soon after he took the position, Nihalani banned the use of 27 “objectionable” and “abusive” cuss words in a controversial list circulated by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). The ban was withdrawn after a majority of members voted against it. Nihalani, a BJP supporter who has produced films like Ankhen, Shola Aur Shabnam made a six-minute campaign video for PM Narendra Modi titled Har Ha Modi Har Ghar Modi, singing praises of the PM. Nihalani was ridiculed on social media over and called the Sanskari James Bond when he made cuts to the length of the kissing scenes Spectre. This is not the end
Gajendra Chauhan’s FTII row
When Gajendra Chauhan, an Indian television and film actor (known for many sleazy B grade films) was appointed chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India, in June, it sparked huge protests by students at the institute and former students of the institute. They were supported by Anupam Kher who said the FTII) needed a much qualified person at the helm of affairs and also supported the idea of turning the government institute into an autonomous body. Since then FTII students have been boycotting classes and abandoning their studies in protest against Chauhan’s appointment, who stubbornly refused to quit. The strike was eventually called off.
Radhe Maa’s pure and pious act
In July 2015, Nikki Gupta of the Gupta family named Radhe Maa, her husband Nakul Gupta and five others in a dowry-related complaint. Nikki accused Radhe Maa of inciting her in-laws to demand more dowry, and of forcing her to work at the ashram, where she was physically assaulted. The Guptas dismissed the allegations as a result of a matrimonial dispute.[ On 6 August 2015, the Mumbai Police declared her to have absconded in this alleged case of dowry harassment, and issued a lookout notice against her. In August 2015, videos of Radhe Ma’s devotees carrying her around during satsangs went viral online. Activist-lawyer Falguni Brahmbhatt lodged a police complaint against her for obscenity, running a business disguised as religion, fraud and cheating.
Sooraj Pancholi chargesheeted over Jiah Khan’s death
Jiah Khan was found dead hanging in her Juhu home, in June 3, 2013. Khan was in a relationship with Aditya Pancholi’s son Sooraj (who debuted in Hero this year). A note recovered from Jiah’s apartment after her death had said how she had to undergo an abortion during the course of her relation with Pancholi. On December 9 this year, Sooraj was charged by the CBI with abetting the suicide of the actress, based on an alleged physical confrontation between the two on the day before her death. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) concluded that Jiah Khan had committed suicide. The 44-page chargesheet filed before a metropolitan magistrate’s court in Andheri on January 16 has statements of 36 witnesses. Sooraj’s father Aditya Pancholi was allegedly not happy that his son was close to Jiah. The CBI chargesheet said that Sooraj had made false promises to Jiah.