Driving ruckus
June 11 2017 10:42 PM
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Salman Khan has been under fire on Twitter for irony in his thoughts on street racing.

Consider this quote that has been widely reported in newspapers: “I think cycles are okay but motorcycles are really dangerous for them (youngsters) and for other people around as well. We shoot in Film City so I see on the highway people racing recklessly. Earlier there used to be races at the (Bandra) reclamation (where) I lost a friend of mine. I am against that. If you want to race, do that on the racing tracks. Don’t use main roads.” 
It is a sagacious choice of words and no should dispute their intent. However, when Salman Khan says them, it can rake up quite a brouhaha. The occasion when he said this was the launch by his charity of cycles that run on batteries. Why people found it incredibly ironic was that Salman himself is notorious for being accused of drunken driving and running over pavement dwellers. 
Granted that event though he was first convicted, a higher court has since acquitted him. Many feel that Salman got off only because he had the best lawyers in the country strategising his defence. Also the laboriously slow judicial process had taken over a decade by when memories had become sketchy and Salman himself had appeared to be a reformed man from his earlier bad boy image, leading to a public relations victory. Right now the case is being appealed in the Supreme Court. 
And so, coming from someone like him about being responsible on the road led to quite a bit of sarcastic comments online. But no could argue against the merit of what he had said and if some lives get saved because of that then it is worth it.  
Meanwhile, there also comes news that Salman is once again pairing up with someone who he had been ignoring for many years now. Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who had crafted an image of Salman as a great romantic with Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and who had once been a favourite of the superstar before their estrangement, has now hinted that the two would be working together again. He put up an image of the two on Instagram with the caption, ‘We are back together #Reunion After 10 Years’. Salman however has been more cautious in making any confirmation. He said that it was a rumour that they were making a movie but didn’t rule it out either.  

Wrong sequel

The second coming of Salman Khan is said to begin with a movie called Wanted in 2009. A remake of a south Indian blockbuster, it brought in the tough guy image that Salman then fortified with other movies. His reinvention reached its peak with Dabanng for which he is still remembered in popular culture more than even bigger hits. 
Wanted was directed by Prabhu Deva, the dancing sensation of yore who then became a successful director down south. It now seems that Prabhu Deva and Dabanng’s paths may now cross each other. He might be directing the third edition of the franchise. 
This is somewhat surprising. Dabanng was directed by Abhinav Kashyap who then fell out with the Khans. So Salman’s brother Arbaaz himself took on the reins and that movie too was a big hit. Why would they then want a new director for Dabanng 3 is somewhat of a mystery? Arbaaz obviously is not really the greatest of directors but nothing succeeds like success. What is even more curious is that Prabhu Deva was rumoured to be doing Wanted 2 with Salman when this new rumour cropped up. 

Challenging role

Anupam Kher makes no bones about his politics. He is one of the early supporters from the film world of the right-wing Hindu party that now rules at the Centre. When they were not in power, Kher had been a vociferous voice against the earlier government, led by then prime minister Manmohan Singh. 
But now comes unexpected news that there is a biopic being made on Singh and the actor who will be assaying that role is Kher. The movie is based on a book written on Singh called The Accidental Prime Minister. Kher confirmed the news with this tweet, “To reinvent yourself as an actor is to challenge yourself. Looking forward to portraying #DrManmohanSingh in #TheAccidentalPrimeMinister.:)”. 
But there is a small niggle in the works. The Central Board of Film Certification has a rule that states that biopics need a no objection certificate from the person on whom the movie is being made. So Singh would have to give his go-ahead and so would Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the Opposition Congress party whose character would also be in the movie. Chances are they might not oblige. Singh and Gandhi are both very private persons and that Kher would be the actor of the movie will not make them any more well disposed towards the project. The filmmakers meanwhile might just ignore the rule altogether and go ahead with the movie. 

Criminal links

Anyone who saw Mamta Kulkarni in the 90s, when she was an A-list actress, couldn’t have imagined the trajectory of her life. Last week she was declared a proclaimed offender by a court in a narcotics case, which essentially means that she is now a criminal. 
Last year, following a raid in a pharmaceutical factory, the police had found a huge haul of a banned narcotic valued at Rs2,000 crore. An Indian underworld gangster based in Africa was supposed to be the man behind it. Mamta is the wife of this person. They are supposed to have married when he was serving a jail term. After his release, he went back to the old racket, being part of the African underworld sourcing drugs from India. 
Mamta, ever since her career waned in the mid-1990s, had become the subject of increasingly bizarre stories. Even when she was acting, there were rumours of underworld connections that got her cast in movies. Then she claimed to have gone off on a spiritual path and disappeared altogether from the public eye. There have been other Bollywood actresses in the 1990s associated with criminals. But Mamta seems to be in deeper trouble than any of them. 


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