It is the kind of fib not very bright school children use to try and get out of trouble, and it is just as unlikely to be successful. Deepika Padukone and others have claimed that words like ‘maal’ and ‘weed’ used by them in WhatsApp chats actually meant particular kinds of cigarettes they wished to purchase. It’s like terrorists were to claim words like ‘bomb’ and ‘kill’ actually meant ‘happiness’ and ‘success’, proving them to be spiritual seekers. In fact, by collaborating in cooking up the alibi, Deepika and friends may end up facing charges of conspiring to deceive the public authorities! What they must immediately do is get better lawyers. At least their public relations managers ensured they went dressed as ‘decent desi’ girls for their interrogations, instead of aggravating the ‘uncles’ in the NCB with their ‘offensive’ dress code.
Charas and Ganja are in a particular grey area when it comes to recreational drugs. Around the world, the stigma associated with weed has long disappeared and, even where it is illegal, celebrities and common people, alike, acknowledge its use quite openly. Even Bill Clinton admitted he smoked it but didn’t inhale! Perhaps that should have been the way for Padukone to go! In fact, sub-cultures, much like chillum smoking sadhus in India, have developed around marijuana. Reggae singer Bob Marley, for instance, belonged to the Rastafarian ‘religion’ in which marijuana smoking is a ‘holy sacrament’. Snoop Dogg, the rapper, claims to be always high, and remains much loved for it. Marijuana’s medicinal uses are accepted in many countries that otherwise treat it as illegal, leading to the uncontrolled proliferation of ‘glaucoma patients’, among others.
It is about time the high-flyers of Bollywood overcome the hypocrisy surrounding their lifestyles. If they believe that walking the straight and narrow is good for their careers, they should abide by the rules. Otherwise, as is believed in the case of Sushant Singh Rajput, they can fall into various kinds of traps that might cause their lives to unravel. Addiction to liquor, soft and hard drugs, needs to be acknowledged in time for their own health. There are many Hollywood actors and some in Bollywood, too, who have had to undertake de-addiction programmes. However, by pretending drug use and abuse does not even exist is not good for personal health and that of the film industry. Sadly, none of those she stood by in JNU have come out in her support, as yet, admitting ‘She inhaled – so do we!’