Sanjay Dutt, Fardeen and now Vijay Raaz

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 16, 2005 10:42 hrs

After Fardeen Khan and the cocaine scandal, it’s Vijay Raaz and the marijuana scandal in Dubai.

Not too many people would find this story glamorous enough. Raaz rose to reasonable fame with Ram Gopal Varma’s Jungle. After that Raaz became famous as the wedding arranger in Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding. More recently he played the lead in Rajat Kapoor’s Raghu Romeo.

His alleged involvement in a drug bust in Dubai has left all his friends and relatives in a state of shock. Close friend and associate Saurabh Shukla who directed Vijay Raaz in Mudda is incredulous. “I can’t believe Vijay has beeen accused of such a thing. His wife must be devastated. His career had begun to look up. They recently bought a house and were so happy together. As far as I know he has never consumed any drug of any sort. Just how they found marijuana on him is a mystery to me. Vijay Raaz and I started our acting career in the same theatre group `Saakshi` in Delhi. He then moved to the National School of Drama in Delhi while he came to Mumbai. He’s a good actor and a fine humanbeing. I can’t believe he’s got into such trouble!”

It isn’t very clear right now what Vijay Raaz intends to do to extricate himself from the grave charge. He seems to be the latest in Bollywood’s relationship with hard drugs. The first star who made history by coming out of the drugged closet and then coming clean is Sanjay Dutt. He went to a drug rehabilitation centre and started his life and career afresh.

It isn’t known which way Vijay Raaz is heading. Kamal Haasan who directed Raaz in his new film Mumbai Express is shocked. “I can’t claim to know Vijay Raaz well. But whatever I know of him during Mumbai Express was extremely positive. He’s a good actor and a pleasant person. Not once did I feel he was on any drug. Acting seemed to be his big high. That he should be caught on the wrong foot in a place like Dubai is very unfortunate. Whether it’s you, me or Vijay Raaz…the law must take its course."