Union Minister Ramdas Athawale backed Ravi Kishan after senior actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan hit out at the BJP MP over his comments against the drug menace in Bollywood saying that Ravi Kishan's statements were not aimed at defaming the film industry.
Ramdas Athawale remarked that while neither was in the wrong, Ravi Kishan, as a member of the film fraternity sought to rectify the wrongs in the industry, adding that his comments should not be taken as defamation attempts by Jaya Bachchan. "I feel that Ravi Kishan who is an MP from Gorakhpur, and works in Mumbai, he has information that there are drugs in the film industry. He feels that if we have to save the film industry we have to clean the drug menace," said Athawale.
"What he (Ravi Kishan) has said is right. What Jaya Bachchan ji has said is also not wrong, that if you are in the film industry, don't defame it but the argument is not about defaming the industry. Ravi Kishan means that the artists working in Bollywood, not all but some are into drugs, and to save their lives we need to get rid of the drug menace, I don't see it as an attempt to defame but rather as an attempt to rectify a wrong," said Ramdas Athawale.
Amid the ongoing drug nexus probe in Bollywood, Jaya Bachchan on Tuesday called the comments of certain industry insiders 'shameful,' saying that just because of a few problematic people, the name of the entire Bollywood industry could not be tarnished.
She also slammed those who have made their names through the industry but call it 'a gutter' saying, "People in the entertainment industry are being flogged by social media. People who made their names in the industry have called it a gutter. I completely disagree. I hope that the government tells such people not to use this kind of language. Just because there are some people, you can't tarnish the image of the entire industry."
The Samajwadi party leader also attacked BJP MP Ravi Kishan over his statements in the parliament saying, "I am ashamed that yesterday one of our members in Lok Sabha, who is from the film industry, spoke against it. It is a shame."
Ravi Kishan, who had highlighted the consumption of drugs by Bollywood stars and the role of neighbouring countries in the influence of drugs on youngsters, responded, "I never said that the whole film industry is taking drugs but some people are still taking drugs. I respect the film industry. I understand Jaya Ji's ideology.
"Maine kisi ki thali me ched nhi kiya. I said what I wanted to say yesterday. I have also struggled so much for entering the film industry, I didn't target anyone," said Ravi Kishan.
"There is a conspiracy to finish our film industry by hollowing it out. As a responsible member of the film industry, not just my right, my duty to raise it in Parliament, Jaya-ji should respect that. I am just a son of a priest, 'crawled' my way up, worked in 600 films," said Ravi Kishan.