Drug tales are the new highs of the Bollywood movies

Mumbai, April 22, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Kreation Guru) It seems to become a trend nowadays in Bollywood to frequently show drug abuse through movies. The hippie culture of the 1970s had taken the country by storm with foreigners coming to India in great numbers moving about involved with smoking pot and high on drugs.

Dev Anand’s movie ’Hare Rama Hare Krishna’ in the year 1971 was based on the hippie culture and their free use of drugs and trade. Lately, several movies of Bollywood namely ‘7 Khoon Maaf’, ‘Traffic Signal’, ‘No Smoking’, ‘Fashion’, ‘Kaminey’, ‘Pankh’ and  ‘Dev D’ have depicted this culture and highlighted the narcotics abuse. To add to the list is the latest movie, the thriller ‘Dum Maro Dum’ (DMD); its title is derived from the theme song of Hare Rama Hare Krishna.

According to Rohan Sippy, the director and producer of DMD, the movie does not show an outright use of drugs in the scenes where their use is much subdued. He says the drug use and its trade is not the theme of the movie and is shown only because it is crucial for the story and the plot of the movie to build up.

In the movie ‘7Khoon Maaf’ by Vishal Bharadwaj, the actor John Abraham is shown to be high on drugs and an addict. In his movie, ‘Kaminey’, Vishal brought in Shahid Kapoor to act in a role involved with drug abuse and trade. The movie ‘Fashion’ shows the involvement of the supermodels (Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut) in the use of hashish to ward off their depression. In ‘Dev D’, Abhay Deol, the hero in the film, is seen to pacify his disappointment and depression by use of drugs when he his love is rejected.

Kartik Chaudhry, a filmmaker of Bollywood in the making, has touched upon this issue of scenes of drug abuse and trade in the recent films. According to him, this changing trend in the movies towards drug dealings and abuse shows the change that is overtaking the society in the recent times. 50 years back, the rock ‘n’ roll, drugs and sex had taken over the Western lifestyle and was brought to India by the hippies affecting the good values of the country. In the ‘80s and the ‘90s such lifestyle got subdued for a period and, therefore, was not depicted in the movies also. The same lifestyle is now back and once again influencing the world, affecting India as well. Now, the new generation of moviemakers is aware of the consumption of drugs and their trade, rampant amongst the masses of the country, and so they do not fall short to show the reality of life which exists in secret.

According to Rohan Sippy, the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) says that as long as the movies are certified as ‘A’ before their release, the censor board will not interfere because the audience is sufficiently mature. He says that he did not make DMD with the intention of discouraging the drug-users from the abuse of drugs.