Barely 48 hours after the news channel India TV broke the story on Shakti Kapoor soliciting sex from a journalist posing as an aspiring starlet, the SMS jokes on the sleazy scandal have started.
A sample: Meteorology department has clarified that the tremor felt in Mumbai on Monday afternoon was NOT an earthquake. In fact it was Shakti Kapoor’s wife beating the s*** out of him.”
While the story has opened up what looks like a Pandora’s Box of perversity, with India TV’s top-honcho Rajat Sharma promising many more such exposes on other bigwigs of Bollywood, one aspect of the expose needs exposing.
The after-effects of Kapoor’s sleazy doings are being felt by the reel-life villain’s family. A family friend has this to say, “For the tv channel it was just a big story. But for Shakti Kapoor’s family it’s a matter of great shame. His wife Shivangi, his sister-in-law Padmini Kolhapure and his brother Pradeep Sharma come from a very respectable film family. The scandal has shaken them. Shakti Kapoor’s 18-year old son Siddhanth has stopped taking phone calls. He doesn’t even speak to his circle of close friends ever since the story broke out.”
No one knows how Kapoor intends to get out of the mess he has created in his life. The decision taken by Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai and Amit Khanna on behalf of the Film & TV Producers Guild Of India to ban Kapoor from being signed to do films further complicates the picture for the harried actor. It also raises question on journalistic ethics and boundaries.
Says Amit Khanna, “Frankly the larger issues about invasion of privacy and the casting couch don’t really concern us at this point of time. What we’re really concerned about is the way Shakti Kapoor cast aspersions on the morality of some of the most respected names in the industry. We can’t allow that to happen. It’s wrong and we’ve therefore asked members of our Guild to not work with him.”
Which means practically the whole film industry! Amit Khanna smiles, “You could say that! By damning such respected members of the industry Shakti Kapoor has alienated himself from the industry. He will have to tender a far more sincere apology than he has done so far. Regardless of Shakti Kapoor's conduct, Bollywood will survive. It can’t buckle under one man’s wrongdoings. But the industry should learn to be more careful about its public conduct. The paparazzi is here to stay. You never know when and where a camera is watching you.”
Should Kapoor have been ‘trapped’ into propositioning to the correspondent? Says Amit Khanna, “We cannot go into journalistic ethics at the moment. What we can say for sure is, nowadays the means seems to justify the end. And that goes for the media as well.”
In his eagerness to score over the girl Shakti Kapoor made the error of rattling off the names of the film industry’s bigwigs claiming they had used the casting couch.
Clearly, in his determination to get the girl to comply Kapoor went overboard. Most of the stalwarts whom he mentioned in his sleazy game plan have chosen not to to react to Kapoor’s accusation.
Karan Johar who’s in London was naturally upset, but reticent. “Let’s not dignify the incoherent ramblings of a pathetic man with a reaction,” is all he’d like to say.
Preity Zinta and Rani Mukherjee have also chosen to maintain a dignified silence. It looks like Shakti Kapoor has isolated himself from his fraternity. There is little sympathy for his lost cause in the industry.
Says a disgusted colleague, “Did he think even once about the damage he was doing to his family? I think the married actors with familial responsibilities should be governed by their conscience rather than their libido.”