The Tollywood drug scandal has opened a can of worms in the film industry. But what lies behind the ubiquitous dirt about Tollywood drug scandal which all media have already been exploited.
Mafia money, prostitution, the casting couch and drug abuse — the not-so-glamorous aspects of the glamour world — are such open secrets they no longer raise an eyebrow. Except perhaps when the address gets changed. As it has this time, from the fast-paced tracks of Mumbai, Bollywood to the relatively quieter lanes of Hyderabad, Tollywood.
Tollywood – Paradise of Drugs and Sex
As per a confidential assessment by the police, about 30 per cent of the 2000-odd artistes are involved in drug abuse.
|Ravi Teja’s brothers Raghu and Bharat|
The nexus between the drug mafia and the high-fliers of the city, including film stars, children of politicians and socialites, really came to light with the recent arrest of popular Telugu film actor Ravi Teja’s brothers, B. Raghunadha Raju and B. Bharat Raju. In a well-planned sting operation, cops videographed the two striking a deal for drugs supply with Cheema Clement alias Victor, a Nigerian who was staying illegally in the city after his visa expired. The actor’s brothers, Victor and Naresh, a friend of the duo and believed to be the son of a city businessman, were taken into custody. Police also seized about 50 gms of cocaine from Victor worth Rs200,000 in the market.
Top artists alleged involvement in drug scandal
Interestingly, while all those who have been caught so far are B grade artistes, the police claim to have information about several A-listers too.
Some names under the scanner are:
Well known southern actress Trisha, Leader Fame ‘Daggubati Rana’ (who will be making his Kollywood debut soon with Selvaragavan’s film), Kamna Jethmalani(acted in Idhaya Thirudan and Rajadhi Raja) and Uday Kiran (recently seen in ‘Pen Singam’). Predictably, they all denied the rumors.
Nevertheless, Tollywood stars have unwittingly lent their names to the drug scene in Hyderabad. At some places, ‘Har Har Mahadev’ is the term for narcotic drugs. Thereafter, the substances have been innovatively named after heroines. Expensive ones like Ecstasy go under the code of Anushka (a hot favourite in Tollywood). Opium is Trisha at some places while cheap drugs are called Mumaith.
Special Anti-drug cell
Questions are also being raised as to why the cops did not respond swiftly to deal with the menace. However, police sources said the focus on terrorism and left-wing terrorism left little time for the overworked police force to deal with the narcotics problem, which resulted in the illegal foreign nationals taking advantage of the situation. And before they could realise the enormity of the menace, the drug mafia had spread its tentacles.
They also believe that the IT boom in the city which led to the youth having immense purchasing power and their penchant for a hi-flying lifestyles also contributed to substantial increase in drug abuse incidents.
The city police has subsequently formed an anti-drug cell to exclusively deal with the problem, and this team would also be keeping a keen eye on the 1700-odd foreign students in the city, particularly those from the African countries.