Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap says he has a problem with actor and Member of Parliament Ravi Kishan’s recent statement about the ‘drug abuse problem’ in the film industry. Anurag says that Ravi himself used to smoke weed but he doesn’t judge him for it.
Earlier this week, Ravi praised the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for its probe into Sushant Singh Rajput death case and arrest of multiple persons in the drugs case, including actor Rhea Chakraborty. “We know the problem of drug trafficking and drug addiction is increasing. In this conspiracy, our neighbouring countries are involved… Drugs come to this country via China and Pakistan. Our film industry, too, is affected,” Ravi Kishan had said. “The Government should stop this conspiracy of neighbouring countries to destroy our youth,” he had added.
Anurag spoke to journalist Faye D’Souza about how Ravi’s stand irked him. “Ravi Kishan acted in my last film Mukkabaaz. Ravi Kishan starts his day by saying Jai Shiv Shankar, Jai Bam Bhole. Jai shiv Shambhu For the longest period of his time, he has been somebody who has used weed. It is life. Everybody knows it. The whole world knows. There’s not a single person who doesn’t know that Ravi Kishan does not smoke up. He might have quit now, that he has become a minister, he might have cleaned up.”
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“But do you include that in drugs? No. I am not judging Ravi, because I have never seen weed as a drug. ‘Abuse’ is not the word. He used to smoke up. He has always been functional, he has always done his job well, it did not make him dysfunctional, did not make him a monster. It did not do anything that people associate with drugs,” he added. “So when he talks about it, when he takes a self righteous stand, I have a problem with that,” he said.
Ravi Kishan has not yet responded to Anurag Kashyap’s statements. This report will be updated with his response as and when it arrives.
Ravi’s statement in the parliament was also criticised by Jaya Bachchan. “Just because of a few people, you cannot tarnish the whole industry… I was really embarrassed and ashamed that yesterday one of our members in the Lok Sabha, who is from the industry, spoke against the film industry. They bite the hands that feed them,” she had stated. Responding to her, Ravi said, “I expected Jaya ji to support what I said. Not everyone in the industry consumes drugs but those who do are part of a plan to finish the world’s largest film industry. When Jaya ji joined, the situation was not like this but now we need to protect the industry,” he added.
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In the interview, Anurag also talked about his own struggle with harder, chemical drugs between 2006-2008. Anurag said it was during a time when he was depressed after his film Black Friday got banned and his marriage with Aarti Bajaj had ended. He spoke about how he would source the drugs and the shame he felt when using them. He said that though he is called a ‘charsi’ on social media, he has never smoked marijuana ashe has allergic asthma to it. He rolls up his own cigarettes with tobacco which is why people assume he smokes weed.
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