An Indian Air Force fighter jet flies over Ladakh on 6 September, amid prolonged India-China standoff in the region | PTI
An Indian Air Force fighter jet flies over Ladakh on 6 September, amid prolonged India-China standoff in the region | PTI
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New Delhi: Prime time on Monday went everywhere, from the LAC in Ladakh to Mumbai, where Bollywood is in the eye of a storm — first, the sexual assault allegations against filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and now, names of stars reportedly emerging in the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) probe on the industry’s drug links. Meanwhile, NewsX focused on the contentious farm bills whose passage led to chaos in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday, followed by the suspension of eight MPs on Monday.

First, to News18 India, where Kishore Ajwani proclaimed, “LAC par ab China ke sainik jab doorbin se dekhte hai toh unhe Ladakh ki chotiyon par apni maut nazar aati hai” (When the Chinese soldiers now look at the LAC with a telescope, they see their own death on Ladakh’s peaks). Okay, then.

Ajwani went on to give an elaborate explanation of how the arrival of Rafale fighter jets into India’s fleet has caused China tension. He said, “Earlier, China had expressed confidence that it will be able to counter the Rafale fighter jet.” But now, it has been revealed that Rafale “se bhidna Chinese ke bas ki baat nahi hai” (taking on the Rafale isn’t something the Chinese are capable of).

Meanwhile, Zee News’ Aditi Tyagi announced that Bollywood is currently witnessing a “gang war” over actor Payal Ghosh’s sexual assault allegations against Anurag Kashyap. Tyagi said rather dramatically, “Hum Bollywood ka batwara hote hue deke rahe hain” (We are witnessing the partition of Bollywood).

She claimed that on one side, actor Kangana Ranaut and actor-turned-politician Roopa Ganguly (a BJP Rajya Sabha MP) had expressed support for Ghosh, while actors Taapsee Panu and Richa Chadha had expressed support for director Anurag Kashyap. Richa Chadha has, in fact, taken legal action against Ghosh, but only for dragging her name into the case.

Tyagi said, “Yeh batwara chaunka dene wala hai kyunki Kathua case mein active mombatti gang ab khamosh hai” (This partition is surprising because those who were lighting candles during the Kathua rape case are silent now).

As several Hindi movie actors, including Deepika Padukone, are reportedly set to be summoned by the NCB for questioning after their names allegedly emerged in WhatsApp chats, Republic TV‘s Arnab Goswami asked, “A-listers named, big fish next?” And just in case one wasn’t sure of his feelings towards this development, the hashtag #BoycottBollywoodDruggies ran across the screen.

Actor and producer Mukesh Khanna said it is worrying that youth icons are “presenting such an image”. But film exhibitor Vishek Chauhan argued that not all in the industry do drugs, giving the example of Akshay Kumar, who, he claimed, doesn’t even drink tea.

Meanwhile, visuals of Padukone’s visit to JNU to express solidarity with students back in January were displayed on the screen.

Times Now‘s Navika Kumar had the same set of names and WhatsApp chats to “prove” the actor’s alleged involvement with hash. “Don’t you think it’s time Bollywood apologised to the media and came clean on its drug links? Maybe it’s just consumption but they know the peddlers!”

Actor Naseer Abdullah retorted, “Drugs are there, from North to South, from East to West. Everywhere… But why attack only Bollywood? It’s all over India.”

To this, the BJP’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra asked him why he is “exposing” himself. He added: “Please desist from coming to these debates because kisi din NCB wale dekh raho hon” (someday, the NCB might be watching”).

NewsX opted for a rather different topic. After the ruckus in Parliament Sunday during the passage of three farm laws, the channel’s Vineet Malhotra asked: Are we deviating from the issue?

When asked why minimum support price (MSP) has not been mentioned in any of the bills, BJP spokesperson Neha Joshi said the Modi government has increased the MSP on wheat, paddy, pulses and oil seeds. “If the bill doesn’t talk about it, then the MSP stays as it is”.

But Congress spokesperson Adil Singh Boparai asked if farmers owning two hectares of land will be in a position to “negotiate a price with Adanis or Reliance?” Therefore, the Congress demands that when a farmer is selling outside the mandi, a stipulation must be set that the price the farmer will get will not be below the MSP.

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