Following the arrest of Aryan Khan for alleged possession of banned drugs and substance abuse, the buzz around drug consumption among Bollywood personalities has revived once again.
On Saturday evening, an NCB team busted a drugs party on the Cordelia Cruise ship which was on its way to Goa at mid-sea. Eight persons, including Aryan Khan, were detained for questioning by the NCB allegedly in connection with the drug seizure on the cruise ship, according to NCB Mumbai Director Sameer Wankhede. All the eight people detained from the Mumbai cruise were arrested by Mumbai police on Sunday. While the people related to the Hindi film industry have been accused of drug use several times, the debate around the topic gained momentum after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June 2020.
Late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s father KK Singh filed an FIR against actor and video jockey (VJ) Rhea Chakraborty and her family members in Patna in July 2020 for abetment of suicide. Rhea and her brother Showik Chakraborty were accused to be part of a drug cartel that had supplied drugs to the late actor.
NCB in September 2020 also summoned actors Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, and Rakul Preet Singh to record their statements in connection with the agency’s probe against the “drug syndicate”.
Comedian Bharti Singh and her husband Harsh Limbachiyaa were arrested by NCB in November, following the alleged seizure of ganja from their house. The NCB had said that a search operation at the Versova home of the couple had allegedly led them to a bag with 65 grams of ganja and another 21.5 grams of cannabis from another residence.
In December 2020, NCB had issued a notice to director Karan Johar over a video of a party that he had organised in 2019, where several Bollywood personalities were present.
The viral video featured celebrities including Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Vicky Kaushal, Varun Dhawan, Arjun Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Ayan Mukherjee, Zoya Akhtar, and Malaika Arora. After seeing the clip, many people alleged that top stars who were present at the party were flaunting a “drugged look”.
Many Bollywood stars have opened up about their drug addiction in the past.
Actor Prateik Babbar has been vocal about bouncing back after a struggle with drug and alcohol dependency. He said that he wanted to get his life back in order to make his late mother, Smita Patil, proud. His first experience with drugs came when he was 13.
What started as experiments with marijuana and hashish, developed into an addiction to cocaine and acid for the ‘Jane Tu Ya Jane Na’ actor. Prateik admitted that his family encouraged him to sign up for rehab that eventually helped him get better.
Sanjay Dutt also has a history of drug addiction. He had a nine-year-long battle with drugs. He was later sent to a rehabilitation centre in America.
In a BBC documentary titled ‘To Hell and Back’, Dutt said, “I have done every drug there is. I was already on drugs when my mother was being treated for cancer. Once during shooting for ‘Rocky’ (Dutt’s debut film), I was so addicted that once I travelled with 1kg heroin hidden in my shoes.”
Rajkumar Hirani’s biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt titled ‘Sanju’ featured his drug habit and rehabilitation.
There were also reports in 2014 that famous rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh, who had isolated himself from the world, for more than a year, was in a Chandigarh rehab.
In 2001, actor Fardeen Khan was arrested for alleged possession of cocaine. He underwent a detoxification course at a state-run hospital and filed an application seeking immunity in the case, which was granted in March 2012.