Tamil News

What Matters: The Shweta Basu Prasad Case

Deepika Padukone is the latest to speak up in support of actress Shweta Basu Prasad, who was recently sent to a remand home in Hyderabad, after being caught in a prostitution racket.


To a query by a leading news channel, Deepika said, “Let me put it this way. There is nothing wrong with it, if it was the only thing she could do to support herself and family. It’s unfair to make a scandal about it. Rather than looking down upon her, it is time to get together and support her.”

Though most of the A-list brigade chose to remain tight-lipped, Karan Johar, Vishal Bharadwaj and television actress Sakshi Tanwar lent voices of support. Tanwar, who played Shwetha Basu’s on-screen mother in an Ekta Kapoor soap, didn’t mince words. “Yes! I read about her because the reports are only writing about her. Had they written about her so called high profile “businessmen” clients involved, I would have read about them too. [quote align=’left’]”We must not allow talent to languish once it has matured. We are guilty of pushing child actors into anonymity and ignominy when they grow up.”[/quote]Honestly, I’m quite disappointed that the media reports have so selectively guarded their identity and names. I have no interest in knowing about those degenerate “businessmen”, but I would have loved to see their names come to the fore so that their families — mothers, daughters, sisters and wives — and friends would get an insight into their recreational habits.”

Also, director Hansal Mehta, who has always stood for a worthy cause, revealed that he is planning to cast Shweta Prasad in his next film. “Shweta is immensely talented. I remember watching the rushes of Makdee with Vishal Bharadwaj; this little child actress immediately caught my attention. I decided then that I’d cast her one day. It’s sad that I waited until this awful incident to think of casting her.” The film is said to based on a true story about a female achiever.

Back home, Kushboo, who is known to speak her mind, wanted to know why the media is only publicizing the face of the woman, and not the men who were involved in the racket.

The case exposes also the double standards of law enforcement in our country. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956 – the amended version of the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act 1956 – does not criminalize prostitution, but punishes acts facilitating prostitution like brothel keeping, and living off its earnings. Any person involved in recruiting, transporting, harbouring, or receiving a person for the purpose of prostitution is guilty of trafficking. But bizarrely, the law doesn’t have provisions to arrest the client. And the police, in this particular case, chose to mask the faces of her high profile clientele. [quote align=’right’]”But bizarrely, the law doesn’t have provisions to arrest the client.”[/quote]


The Indian media too, upheld its image of being insensitive and ruthless by publishing her photos all over the papers and the Internet.

Hansal Mehta, though, raised a pertinent question here. Why do child artistes grow up to have such an abysmal career in cinema? “Apart from Sridevi and Urmila Matondkar, I don’t know any other child actress who has broken through the barrier between childhood and maturity. Male actors face the same situation. Master Rajoo was such a bundle of talent as child. He was fabulous in those movies directed by Gulzar Saab. But when he grew up, nothing happened. We must not allow talent to languish once it has matured. We are guilty of pushing child actors into anonymity and ignominy when they grow up,” he said.

Pic courtesy: Pinkvilla