9 most controversial moments of 2015

  • Durga Chakravarty, IANS, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 24, 2015 16:44 IST
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan ran into trouble when she featured in an ad for Kalyan Jewellers’.

The world of Bollywood, it seemed, was controversy’s favourite child this year! Starting with the brouhaha over the AIB Knockout, Salman Khan’s tweet support for Yakub Memon, the FTII logjam, and more, 2015 had ample reasons to feature Hindi film celebrities on the front pages of newspapers.

Here’s a look at the newsy, serious and quirky moments that left a string of celebrities and their fans wondering what went wrong.

All India Bak**** (AIB) Knockout: The AIB Knockout, which saw Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor being ‘roasted’ by ‘roast-master’ Karan Johar, amidst abuses and vulgar gestures, left its critics red-faced and several youths up in arms against the attack on freedom to watch what they want to. A live ticketed show, the event was aired online and received brickbats and an FIR against 14 people, including our celeb trio. The debate that ensued was as engrossing as the roast itself!

Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor at the AIB event. (Youtube Grab)

Read: A complete timeline of AIB knockout

Anushka Sharma blamed for India’s cricket World Cup semifinal loss: Blame one guy’s girlfriend for an entire team’s loss? It happens only in India! On one side, when our powerful filmmakers are singing tunes of “women empowerment”, here was Anushka Sharma being called a “bad omen” for being by her rumoured beau and cricketer Virat Kohli’s side during the ICC Cricket World Cup semifinal in Melbourne. Of course, we lost the match and the battle of the senses.

Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma made quite a pair at a recent fashion event in Mumbai. Not hiding from camera any more, the power couple was happy to pose for shutterbugs. (PTI)

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and racism: Art and creativity can have myriad interpretations. And it was truly a case of perception that dragged Aishwarya Rai Bachchan into trouble for starring in a jewellery brand Kalyan Jewellers’ ad. She was labelled “insidiously racist” for “representing aristocracy from a bygone era - poised and relaxing”- while an underage dark-skinned emaciated slave struggled to hold an oversized umbrella over her head. The creatives took the blame, and the actress went on to charm with Jazbaa.

Read: Aishwarya’s racist ad

Maggi, Maggi, Maggi: Enacting and endorsing the memorable tune of the 2-Minute Noodles landed actors Amitabh Bachchan, Preity Zinta and Madhuri Dixit Nene in a legal soup as the food safety regulators from Barabanki, a district of Uttar Pradesh, had found unexpectedly high levels of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and lead in excess of the prescribed limit, in the samples they tested.

Maggi packets are back in the market. (Photo by Abhinav Saha/Hindustan Times)

Read: Maggi to go off stores across India

Salman Khan, the ‘bhai’ of all controversies: 2015 was as much a year of success as a time for troubles for Wanted star Salman Khan, but he remained Dabangg. On May 6 came a sessions court judgment holding the actor guilty in a September 2002 road accident in Mumbai that claimed a life and injured four others and sentenced him to five years’ jail. His fans were in for a rude shock, but the emotional Bajrangi Bhaijaan star walked free when the Bombay High Court acquitted him in December.

Salman Khan coming out of Mumbai High Court after being acquitted in hit and run case in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, December 10, 2015. (Photo by Arijit Sen/ Hindustan Times)

But just months before this, came Salman’s tweet about Yakub Memon and Tiger Memon. The actor received flak after he condemned, via a tweet, the hanging of the 1993 Mumbai blasts accused Yakub Memon and demanded that Tiger Memon be brought to justice instead. On his father Salim Khan’s behest, the actor apologised for his remarks.

Read: Salman faces criticism for his Yakub Menon tweets

FTII logjam: The ‘Mahabharata’ over the appointment of small screen’s Yudhishtar made for news upon news this year. The students of Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) went on an indefinite strike to protest against the appointment of actor-BJP member Gajendra Chauhan the chairman of the facility. And the saga continues...

FTII students staged a protest demonstration outside Deccan police station in Pune following the arrest of five of their mates. (Photo courtesy: FTII Wisdom Tree Facebook page)

When India missed Ghulam Ali: This was a miss, not to be missed in the list of controversies for 2015. Legendary Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali’s concert in Mumbai had to be called off after resistance from the Shiv Sena political party. Hurt by the politics being played over his concerts, the singer cancelled all his shows in India. Dear all, at least let the music play!

Legendary Ghazal singer Ustad Ghulam Ali.

Read: Ghulam Ali concert cancelled and fans are the ones to lose

Intolerance in India: Talk of intolerance and people become intolerant. That was the last quarter’s highlight, what with Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan’s comments on the state of affairs in the country. Both faced a backlash. Shah Rukh Khan went from being called Badshah to being called a “Pakistani agent”, while Aamir was asked which country he felt safe in.

Read: What I said wasn’t wrong, says SRK
Read: Aamir Khan on intolerance

Cut, mute and swap in censorship : That was the mantra that the Indian censor board followed, much like every year. Hollywood’s James Bond entertainer Spectre released with a shortened kiss while Angry Indian Goddesses saw words like “Saala”, “Indian figure” and “Sarkar” getting removed. Obviously, not leaving a lot of people very happy.

Read: Censor bans sex and swearing in Spectre

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