Actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise on June 14 last year left the country in shock. Many fans were heartbroken and there have been endless speculations regarding the reason behind his death. On top of this, the investigation into the manner of Sushant’s death highlighted the alleged drug nexus in Bollywood which is being investigated by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
The NCB had filed a charge-sheet before a special court in Mumbai, naming 33 accused, including actress and girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty in Sushant Singh Rajput case. Sushant Singh Rajput's death is being investigated by three premier agencies of the country – the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), NCB and Enforcement Directorate (ED) respectively. The 11,700-page charge-sheet has full details of drugs seizures, collection of various evidence and investigation done so far. It was filed before the special court set up under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
The NCB had in August last year registered two cases related to drugs in connection with the death of Sushant. The NCB arrested Sushant's live-in partner and girlfriend Rhea and his brother Showik in connection with the case, along with several other people in September last year. They are currently out on bail. According to reports, the federal agency has so far arrested a total of 33 people, also including Sushant's former manager and staff, and several drug peddlers, in connection with the case.
During the investigation, a substantial quantity of narcotics drugs (charas, ganja, LSD, ecstasy) and psychotropic substances (alprazolam and clonazepam), covered under the provisions of sections 20(b), 22, 23 of the NDPS Act, were seized, as per reports. The NCB began probing the alleged use of drugs in some quarters in Bollywood after the late actor's sudden demise. The agency came into action after some WhatsApp chats with reference to drugs surfaced online. The NCB had launched an investigation after it received official communication from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), in which there were various chats related to drug consumption, procurement, usage and transportation.
Rhea Chakraborty made some serious accusations about Sushant's addiction to drugs in her charge sheet. Last year, after Sushant’s death, his family filed a case of abetment to suicide and more against his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty. But Sushant Singh Rajput was addicted to drugs even before he met her, reportedly declares Rhea Chakraborty in chargesheet. Rhea Chakraborty reportedly made shocking allegations against late Sushant Singh Rajput's family, Sara Ali Khan, in a statement to NCB.
After that, Kangana Ranaut came into the picture and shockingly alleged that 99 per cent of Bollywood consume drugs. She said, “if they are mighty and powerful, how can I harm them? Then why do they want to put me behind bars? They know that I know these secrets so they tried to discredit me, termed me bipolar, or get me killed."
She also claimed that an actor whom she initially met after entering Bollywood would spike her drinks and even mistreated her by becoming violent. Kangana further added that how some people in the Industry flaunt the use of drugs and make it sound like a very normal thing. She said that the government should intervene and take some strict action against such people. Taking a dig at actors Ranveer Singh, Vicky Kaushal and Ranbir Kapoor, the actress said that their blood tests should be done.
Actress Kangana Ranaut, who has been very vocal against Bollywood mafia after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, made yet another shocking allegation on a ‘top star’ who had a drug overdose and tried to get her jailed. Kangana said that she has witnessed a ‘top star’ consuming drugs on the sets of a film. Talking about a shoot in Las Vegas she said, "At that time, his girlfriend, who was a foreigner, used to be there with him. Every night there used to be parties and drugs used to flow like water. Drugs like lsd, cocaine, and ecstasy pills they’d even consume during the day."She even revealed that the actor got admitted to Kokilaben hospital after drug overdose. "He got a reaction into his lungs I think, however, the hospital won’t reveal it and the matter was done and dusted there itself," she said. According to the actress the ‘top star’ tried to get her behind the bars as she knew these secrets.
“All these brands establish who are the youth icons. Our Government should frame proper rules and regulations for all national and international brands. The criteria to hire an actor should not be whether the person is a nationalist or not. They often say we don’t hire you if you are a nationalist. There should be criteria on whether their blood test is clean or not. It is money power in Bollywood. Get blood tests done for all the young heroes too. They are endorsing 20 brands, the government should decide if they deserve to be the face of the youth,” said Kangana.
After the drug angle came under the scanner against Rhea Chakraborty in Sushant Singh Rajput case, actor Kangana Ranaut made shocking allegations against Bollywood A-listers and has claimed that of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) starts their investigation, many Bollywood actors will end up behind bars. Taking to Twitter, she tweeted, “If Narcotics Control Bureau enters Bullywood, many A listers will be behind bars, if blood tests are conducted many shocking revelations will happen. Hope @PMOIndia under Swatchh Bharat mission cleanses the gutter called Bullywood, she said”.
Kangana’s shocking revelations started becoming true, when everyday a newname of Bollywood actor started popping up in detailed investigations made. The list was becoming endless, with every new name appearing to be more shocking than the previous one. Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh were interrogated at the NCB SIT office in Mumbai about their role in the drug nexus that seems to have consumed the film industry. They were named by Rhea Chakraborty, the prime accused in Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput's mysterious death, during her interrogation by the NCB. While Sara Ali Khan was summoned based on Rhea's testimony that she consumed drugs along with actor Rakul Preet Singh, Shraddha Kapoor was expected to clarify her chats with Jaya Saha, Rhea's ex-manager.
In the last year and a half, since the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, NCB has aggressively probed the connection between Bollywood and drugs, showcasing the dark underbelly of tinsel town. Though Bollywood’s relationship with drugs may sound new to some, but the fact is that it traces back to history too. The connection between entertainment world and substance abuse is old. In India, among the first actors to be held with drugs was Sanjay Dutt. Even before the 1993 bomb blast case, he spent five months in jail in 1982 after he was caught in the possession of illegal substances. Since then, several celebrities have been arrested in drug related cases.
In December 2020, NCB had issued a notice to director Karan Johar over a video of a party that he had organised in 2019, where several Bollywood personalities were present. The viral video featured celebrities including Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal, Varun Dhawan, Arjun Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Ayan Mukherjee, Zoya Akhtar, and Malaika Arora
Sanjay Dutt has opened up about his encounter with drugs in his several interviews. The actor had said that he has tried every drug available at that time. The star called that phase '9 years of hell', and that was the most highlighted issue at that time. Fardeen Khan was arrested in 2001 after he was reportedly caught with 9gm of cocaine. In the same year, the actor decided to undergo a detoxification course and got rid of his addiction. Actress Mamta Kulkarni was named as an accused in a big drug racket in June 2018. Thane Police seized 20 tonnes of ephedrine. Reportedly, drugs of Rs 2,000 crore were confiscated by the cops during the raid conducted.
In an earlier interview, Ranbir Kapoor had mentioned that he smoked his share of weed during his time at film school. He also revealed that he used it again during the shoot of Rockstar as it helped him get into the character. Prateik Babbar opened up about his battle with drugs and had said, "There was a part of my life that people didn't know about. All these years, people, fans and admirers saw me in a certain way as a good actor, a happy guy. But that wasn't the case. I wasn't happy, I wasn't being good to myself. I was a heavy addict. It was a huge problem." There were also reports in 2014 that famous rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh, who had isolated himself from the world, for more than a year, was in a Chandigarh rehab.
Vijay Raaz is another actor who was reportedly detained in UAE in 2005 for possessing narcotic drugs. He had gone there to shoot a film. According to another report, DJ Aqeel, too, was caught with the drug ecstasy in his bag at the Dubai international airport, but later discharged. Actor Armaan Kohli was arrested in a drug seizure case. The NCB arrested him after they found 1.2 gm cocaine in his house. His bail plea was rejected.
Comedian Bharti Singh and her husband Harsh Limbachiyaa were arrested by NCB in November, following the alleged seizure of ganja from their house. The NCB had said that a search operation at the Versova home of the couple had allegedly led them to a bag with 65 grams of ganja and another 21.5 grams of cannabis from another residence.
In December 2020, NCB had issued a notice to director Karan Johar over a video of a party that he had organised in 2019, where several Bollywood personalities were present. The viral video featured celebrities including Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal, Varun Dhawan, Arjun Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Ayan Mukherjee, Zoya Akhtar, and Malaika Arora. The clip allegedly features the top stars flaunting a "drugged look". In short, the list is endless, but unfortunately only few cases come into the limelight, rest all have been hidden in dark shadows till date.
Following the arrest of Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan for alleged possession of banned drugs and substance abuse, the buzz around drug consumption among Bollywood personalities has revived once again.
On October 2, 2021, a NCB team busted a drugs party on the Cordelia Cruise ship which was on its way to Goa at mid-sea. Eight persons, including Aryan Khan, were detained for questioning by the NCB allegedly in connection with the drug seizure on the cruise ship. All the eight people detained from the Mumbai cruise were arrested by Mumbai police later. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) charged him under laws "related to possession, consumption and sale of illegal substances". Aryan Khan's lawyers approached the Mumbai High Court after a special court which hears narcotics cases rejected his bail multiple times in October.
Vijay Raaz is another actor who was reportedly detained in UAE in 2005 for possessing narcotic drugs. He had gone there to shoot a film. According to another report, DJ Aqeel, too, was caught with the drug ecstasy in his bag at the Dubai international airport, but later discharged. Actor Armaan Kohli was arrested in a drug seizure case. The NCB arrested him after they found 1.2 gm cocaine in his house. His bail plea was rejected
The high court heard the matter for over two days as both sides presented their arguments. In an earlier hearing, the prosecution had argued that it was necessary to take a "serious view" of drug use among youngsters. It also argued that Aryan Khan could not be treated differently from the 17 others accused in the case and should therefore not be released on bail.Officials from NCB, who raided the cruise ship on 2 October, said they had been tipped off that there were drugs on board. Aryan Khan was searched and interrogated before he boarded the ship, and eventually taken into custody by the NCB.
Later on, screenshots of the Aryan’s WhatsApp conversation with Ananya Panday has been leaked. Special court in Mumbai that rejected Aryan’s bail plea earlier had said that, his WhatsApp chats indicated "he is dealing in illicit drug activities of narcotic substances on a regular basis".Bollywood actor Ananya Panday, who was summoned by the NCB in connection with the Mumbai cruise raid case, has denied the allegations of supplying and consuming drugs, but the investigation is still going on. The probe agency has conducted six raids or searches in Mumbai and nearby areas in the last two days in connection with the cruise drugs case, according to sources.
After the investigation started, it was reported that Aryan and Ananya were discussing drugs on chat. Ananya was grilled by the NCB officers and was questioned for hours because her name appeared in WhatsApp chats with Aryan. The NCB showed her the chats with Aryan where he had asked her if arrangements for drugs could be made. When confronted, Ananya said she was just joking with Aryan. The NCB also claimed that Ananya and Aryan regularly talked about drugs on chats. However, Ananya has denied all allegations about using and procuring contraband substances. One of the reports also suggested that Ananya deleted chats before submitting her gadgets to the agency. The NCB is suspecting that parts of Ananya’s many chats including mobile chats, photos, voice notes have been most likely deleted. NCB is in no mood to take this case lightly or to show any ignorance towards it, for now.
Drugs consumption is an illegal act, so it is not justified in any case, but it becomes more crucial and sensitive when it comes to Bollywood Stars. The reason is simple. They are considered as ‘Heroes’ by their fans, and thus their actions should be responsible and ethical both. The Idols cannot be indulged in immoral practices, because people tend to follow them. And if retaining their Iconic Image as shown on screen is so difficult, then they should stop giving lectures or messages on Ethics, Culture & Values in their films. Because, they should not preach what they cannot practice, with themselves, with their family members or with their kids.
Another aspect of this Drug addiction is the actual mental and physical state of Bollywood’s artists. The Isolation behind the Crowd of Fans, the Silence behind the Loud Music, the Stillness behind the Dance & Action Moves, the Dullness behind the Bright Costumes, the Ugliness behind the Loud Make ups, the Sadness behind the Comic Dialogues, the Futility behind the Philosophical and Romantic Songs and above all the Darkness behind the Limelight, is what define their lives, and lead them to the way of Drugs. Now it is high time for common people to think, that whether such celebrities are worth becoming Icons or Idols!