Undoubtedly, cinema is a very powerful medium. The contribution of the medium of cinema in the shaping of the post-independent India is immense. Cinema has left an indelible impact on the lives of people and their religious, social, and political life. Beyond the notion that art is for art’s sake, cinema has engulfed us. When India was opening itself towards adopting modern life, Bollywood played a major role in leading the country in this direction. In fact, the country opened itself to the modern way of life through cinema. Cinema acts like a mirror to the life of people and people have changed their lives through cinema. In India, many celebrations that people follow gained popularity due to cinemas. The contribution of cinema in building secular values is no less. In Karnataka, the movies of Dr Rajkumar have left a considerable impact on the lives of the people and have shaped an entire generation. Not just his movies but Dr Rajkumar’s personality was a model for people.

All this doesn’t mean that cinema has done only good. It is also responsible for many evils. The world of cinema is not just what we see on the silver screen but is a huge industry involving politicians, criminals, and the corporate sector who are intertwined and have a nexus with each other. What we see on the screen is not the only truth. The truth behind the screen is most ignominious! Hundreds of people are out there who use the cinema industry to hide black money. It is highly likely that a criminal would have invested his money in a purely devotional movie. Wicked politicians might be part of movies that fight battles against political evil. Cinema is a Maya Bazaar – a world of fantasies! It is not easy to distinguish what is true and what is false. Many actors and artists of the generations of yore were committed to their craft and had discipline, restraint, and humility. They were aware of realities. Because of such qualities, a super star like Dr Rajkumar was able to accept both highs and lows with equanimity and was rooted in the hearts of people. We remember Dr Rajkumar not only as an actor but as a man of good heart. But today’s actors don’t have such maturity and get caught in the magical vortex of cinema and eventually lose themselves. And there are several such actors before us.

The recent two-month lockdown has revealed the hollowness of the cinema industry. It has also exposed the tainted in the industry and has dealt almost a death blow to it. Those working behind the scenes are not the only ones whose livelihood has been affected. Newspapers are regularly publishing reports about actors shining on screens resorting to suicides. In the beginning, suicides of actors of TV serials were being reported. But when Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput committed suicide, the secrets of Bollywood started coming to the fore. Most importantly, the ‘drugs mafia’ that has engulfed the cinema industry has become national news. Although, initially it was alleged that political forces were behind the suicide of Sushant Singh, it has now come to light in the course of investigation that he was taking drugs and going suffering from depression. The link between political leaders who were acting as links between people in the cinema industry and the world of drugs is slowly emerging. The producer of the movie based on the life of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also standing as an accused.

Kannada cinema stars are not left behind. A leading Kannada actress has been arrested in connection with drug dealings and several others are under the scanner. Another actress has openly justified consumption of ganja comparing it to the holy ‘tulsi plant’. In this state, transporting even ‘coriander leaves’ to the market during the night-time is considered a crime and it is mocked on the social media. But the police hesitate to act when an actress openly issues a statement that ‘bhang’ is sacred’. The common man is left wondering if this means ‘coriander leaves’ are more dangerous than ‘bhang’! We are now seeing how unfettered freedom and the unrestrained life of actors and actresses have spoilt not only the cinema industry but the society at large. Many actors who are anxious about their future after the lockdown are depressed and struggling to finance their lavish lifestyles and addictions. According to some reports, the financial crisis in the cinema industry has made some actors and actresses so desperate that they are resorting to prostitution. Some of them are forced to become drug peddling pimps. Some are resorting to suicide. While actors such as Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, MGR, Rajnikanth, Dr Rajkumar lent dignity to the cinema industry, today’s actors who have no understanding of the deeper undercurrents of the industry have now become victims of a dangerously extravagant lifestyle. They have not only destroyed themselves but also rendered the entire film industry an accused in the eyes of the public and the law.

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Mangaluru:Former Congress MLA Mohiuddin Bava on Wednesday claimed he received a call from an unknown person objecting to his participation in the ongoing Navaratri celebrations at a temple here.

Bava, who had represented from Mangaluru North segment, said he has lodged a police complaint about it.

The Congress leader said he visited the Gurupura Ambika Annapoorneshwari temple at Bajpe here and took part in the rituals following an invite by its priest.

Later, he got a call from a man, who identified himself as Anil from Mumbai and raised objections to his visit, saying It's not Nehru period, it's a Modi period, Bava alleged.

"A Muslim should not go to the temple, a beef eater and Muslim should not visit temple," the caller had told him, he claimed, adding the conversation was recorded by him.

Bava said he told the caller that he went to the temple on invitation and added he had not differentiated between communities in his political life.