A view of the building where the income tax department raided Anurag Kashyap's residence, at Oshiwara, in Mumbai on March 3. (Satish Bate/Hindustan Times)
A view of the building where the income tax department raided Anurag Kashyap's residence, at Oshiwara, in Mumbai on March 3. (Satish Bate/Hindustan Times)

Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu paid price of speaking against Centre: Saamana

An editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said incidents like these, the arrest of environmental activist Disha Ravi, and the “silent and dirty campaigns” against actor Deepika Padukone, show the country in a bad light
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 12:42 PM IST

Shiv Sena on Friday criticised the Centre over the income tax raids on filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and actor Taapsee Pannu,saying that they are facing action because they backed farmers’ agitation against the three farm laws passed by the government.

An editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said incidents like these, the arrest of environmental activist Disha Ravi, and the “silent and dirty campaigns” against actor Deepika Padukone, show the country in a bad light.

Offices and homes of Kashyap, Pannu, film director Vikas Bahl, distributor Madhu Mantena, and others were raided by the income tax department on Wednesday in Mumbai and Pune. The next day, officials said they found discrepancy and manipulation of income during the searches at various places linked to Pannu, Kashyap and his partners at the now defunct production house, Phantom Films. There was also a huge suppression of income compared to the actual box office collections, they said.

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“Taapsee Pannu and Anurag Kashyap put forward their opinion frankly. This brings us to the question if the remaining transactions in Bollywood are fair and transparent, and irregularities are only with Taapsee Pannu and Anurag Kashyap... They are among the handful of people who stood by the farmers’ agitation. They are paying the price for it,” the editorial said.

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Questioning why only these few people were raided, it said, “Do the crores [of rupees] being circulated in Bollywood come from the Ganges?”

It pointed out that the raids came the same day as the Supreme Court ruled, in another case, that criticising the government does not amount to sedition.

The editorial alleged that a campaign was launched against actor Deepika Padukone following her visit to Jawaharlal Nehru University campus in January 2020. “Similar things happened after Deepika Padukone visited JNU to meet the students [to express solidarity with them after they were allegedly attacked by a mob]. There was a silent agitation against her, dirty campaigns started against her, her film was targeted.

“Who are these people who carry out such acts and to which ideology they belong is a separate issue but our country’s image is definitely not getting better with such acts. Modi government was criticised globally for the manner in which environment activist Disha Ravi was arrested. Such incidents impact the country’s reputation,” it said.

BJP was yet to react to Saamana’s editorial at the time of filing of this report.

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