THE arrest of businessman Raj Kundra, husband of actor Shilpa Shetty, in a case relating to the alleged production of adult films, has come as a shock. Kundra was arrested on Monday night on charges of creating pornographic content and publishing the same through mobile applications. While Kundra has denied any wrongdoing and is seeking anticipatory bail, a thorough investigation is needed to ascertain how the business was run, especially in view of its overseas link. No stranger to controversies, the entrepreneur has earlier been linked to betting and match-fixing row during the IPL, besides cases of cheating and money-laundering and now allegations of approaching YouTubers for his mobile app, through which pornographic content was reportedly streamed.
The film industry in India is known to have produced some of the finest talents in the business, but the name and fame that come with it also bring along pitfalls in the shape of controversies despite the onus of being circumspect in dealings, being a public figure. Actors like Sanjay Dutt have found themselves embroiled in controversies and had to fight legal battles to come out of it. Shiney Ahuja and Madhur Bhandarkar faced allegations of indecent conduct, lending substance to the charge of the casting couch in the film industry. And of late, Bollywood has seen a spate of suicides, the most notable among them being of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, which led to a media trial.
The pandemic and the lockdown have also cast a shadow on the entertainment industry that is witnessing a transformation. For the stakeholders, the pressure to keep head above water in the face of economic losses is immense. But then, that should be no reason for adopting unscrupulous methods and plying banned trade. With the growing use of online technology and mobile phones, chances of misuse cannot be ruled out with a competitive video streaming environment increasing its probability. The probe should not only determine culpability, but also suggest ways to stop exploitation of struggling junior artists.
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