Bollywood's refusal to be drawn into taking a stand on the Preity Zinta-Ness Wadia case has left many wondering if all the talk about unity in the industry is mere hogwash. Two of the industry's biggies, Salman and Shah Rukh Khan, also one-time friends of Preity, refused point blank earlier this week to comment on the issue.
When Salman was asked about the incident, on the sidelines of a promotional event for his new film Kick, he was clearly irritated and snubbed the reporter who asked the question. "You are at the wrong place. (And) you are asking the wrong question. There’s no answer to this query right now and neither do I have any right to give an answer (to it).” When the reporter insisted he took a stand, Salman asked the organisers to "take the mic away from her".
WATCH: Salman Khan snaps on questions about Preity-Ness case
Even Shah Rukh Khan was no less diplomatic. Addressing reporters at an event to mark Father's Day, King Khan simply skirted the issue. "It's a very personal thing, yaar. I think we should keep it to that. It's an issue that she's brought up and it will be dealt with legally, I assume," he said. Superstar Amitabh Bachchan too avoided the controversy, and told PTI on Sunday (June 15) that it won't be "proper on his part to comment" on the issue since it was in court.
Saif Ali Khan, who's worked with Preity in a number of films, was perhaps the only star who said something more substantial. "I am friends with both (Preity and Ness). I went to school with Ness and from what I know of him he is a wonderful gentleman. I am sad this has happened. I hope things are sorted out between them."
So why is Bollywood treating the issue with kid gloves?
Is it because Preity is a fading star in the industry? Remember, her last film, Ishkq In Paris, (2013) was a terrible dud on the box office. Her last big hit was Kal Ho Na Ho in 2003, and a bit role in The Last Lear in 2007.
Or, could it be that she's being seen as yet another woman making 'wild' allegations
against her rich ex? For all the revolution Bollywood has gone through of late, despite the emergence of strong actors like Vidya Balan and Parineeti Chopra playing bold roles, the Hindi film industry is yet to get out of the 'hero-worship' traditions completely.
In her post on Facebook, Preity Zinta
stated, "It saddens me that no one at work or around ever stood up for me in the past when I was abused and insulted publicly. This time I was left with no option but to take this stern step as this incident happened in front of way too many people."