In the last week, India saw unforeseen developments in drug-related cases, the most highlighted being the drug consumption allegations on actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son which have put a spotlight on Bollywood yet again.
On October 2, sleuths of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) landed at Cordelia Cruises’ Empress Ship, where allegedly a rave party involving star kid Aryan Khan was raided upon. This led to a recovery of prominent drugs like 13 grams of cocaine, 21 grams of ‘charas’ and 22 pills of MDMA, the NCB claimed.
But is India’s drug problem growing beyond the known havens of high profile social gatherings where once actor Sanjay Dutt and Fardeen Khan too were embroiled in?
When the team of The New Indian travelled to some parts of the outskirts of Delhi NCR and Rajasthan, the reporters were shocked to see the stealthy exchange of money and small drugs, away from prying eyes of police and enforcement agencies.
Punjab’s everlasting drug controversy involving a wrestler-turned-alleged kingpin Jagdish Bhola which stretches to the deep crevices of politics in the state, so much so that it almost cost Shiromani Akali Dal the polls in 2017. Even regular smuggling by Pakistan’s ISI operatives into the borders of Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan have continuously raised eyebrows, the most recent case being in Uri.
Each case opens up into a new drug variety. From synthetic drugs like pseudoephedrine to cannabis derivative Malana in Himachal Pradesh to opium whose legal cultivation is strictly for medical and scientific purposes within India and for export in the three states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
When The New Indian spoke to some of the youth who may have tried drugs, they insisted that the customers include everyone from the lowest to the highest strata.
Whether or not actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan’s case opens Pandora’s box on alleged involvement of other film stars, the drugs trade and the need to reform the system may be a huge concern. The question this case raises is, does the onus lie on celebrities whose movies and OTT series kids in India grow up watching? Or does real life actually affect the plot lines of Bollywood?