New Delhi: A fresh sting operation by a reputed media house might go on to validate the fact that black money is rampant in Bollywood. Bollywood’s three prominent filmmakers- Anubhav Sinha, Anees Bazmee and Vashu Bhagnani were caught on tape discussing the use of black money in the films made in Bollywood.
A reporter posing as an investor approached these three filmmakers and here’s what they had to say. The first sting on ‘Ra.One’ director Anubhav Sinha saw the film-maker assuring that the `investors` would surely "get a profit of 10 or 11 per cent". Vashu Bhagnani, one of the biggest producers of Bollywood, was seen saying, “The person (the investor) needs to be genuine. We should not get caught by income tax officials.”
Anees Bazmee, who has directed blockbusters such as ‘Ready’, ‘No Entry’, ‘Singh Is Kinng’ and ‘Welcome’, was seen comparing black money in Bollywood with that in real estate. "When we buy a flat, if it costs Rs. 10,000 per square feet, we give cash on agreement that it costs Rs. 6,000 square feet only," said Bazmee, who met `the investor` at a Juhu Hotel.
Even as several filmmakers from the industry denied their involvement in any wrong dealings, industry veterans expressed shock on seeing known filmmakers openly talking about ways to launder black money.
Filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt said, “What I have heard from Vashu, it is shocking what we`ve seen. But the corporate structure has helped in evading black money.” Actor Kabir Bedi also expressed shock. "I am shocked by what I have seen, but I agree with Mukesh," he said.
While Bollywood defended itself, there were views from outside the industry which did highlight that black money is rampant in Bollywood. Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani said, "Political money is an easier avenue for money laundering in our system."
Involvement of black money in Bollywood has been under the scanner for years now, but the real question is will this ‘dirty picture’ ever become a clean one?