Is it right to sideline Priety Zinta as another attention-seeking controversial actress?

Posted: June 17, 2014 in Movies, Social, Television
Tags: , , , , ,

When we stepped into the new millennium in the year 2000 things were changing at a rapid phase. Even the Hindi film industry was trying hard to move out of their comfort zone and present something new to the audience. But, the work of a Bollywood actress was still more or less very much the same; she was expected to mouth some romantic dialogues, run around the trees, shed some tears and get wet under a water fall.

A student of psychology, who had just appeared in a brief role opposite superstar Shahrukh Khan in Dil Se, had the backbone and conviction to consent for a role that talked about pre-marital pregnancy and the reaction of Indian society way back in 1999-2000. The film’s name was Kya Kehna. Yep. You got it right. It was none other than Priety Zinta. Her unprecedented fearless act was followed by playing a CBI officer in Sangarsh and then a prostitute in the official remake of Pretty Woman in Chori Chori Chupke Chupke. When live-in relationships were still a taboo in India, she starred in Salaam Namaste and still maintained the earnestness. She chose only those roles that defied all old school thoughts related to a Hindi film “heroine”.


Her every act proved that she is more than meet the eyes and her bubbly dimpled smile is just one of the many layers of her personality. However, her best act of courage—for which she was touted as the ‘only man in the industry’–was yet to come!

In the year 2001, Bharat Shah, financier of the film Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, was arrested on the grounds of using money from Pakistan based gangster Chhota Shakeel for this particular film. Police succeeded in recording several telephonic conversations of Bharat Shah, Chhota Shakeel and the producer of the film Nasim Rizvi. During this time, the statements of many celebrities were documented saying that they received threatening calls from the underworld. These celebrities were Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Mahesh Manjrekar, Rakesh Roshan, Anees Bazmee, Priety Zinta, Harish Sughand, Ratan Jain, Sanjay Gupta, Ali Morani and Mohammed Morani.

Call it the love for their family or the reluctance to get into any tardy legal process, all the people mentioned above turned back to their statements. Except one! It was Priety Zinta. Unlike her colleagues and friends, she stood firm with her earlier statement of receiving threatening calls and maintained the same confidence in court. The actors we see bashing 50 goons at one go in movies distanced themselves from the truth when the time of interrogation came. True to her personality, the fearless blood in Zinta could not turn her hostile at any cost. In 2003, she received the Red and White bravery award for singlehandedly standing against the Mumbai underworld.


I still remember cutting that newspaper article and sticking that in my personal notebook of “Inspirations” when I was in standard 10th. Following that incident whenever anyone asked me who do you idolize the most in life, I used to answer in a split-second that it has to be Priety Zinta. I think knowingly or unknowingly I have imbibed the boldness and straightforwardness from traces of her life activities. Apart from regularly writing about female infanticide and human trafficking in India, she also took the financial responsibility of 34 orphan girls from Rishikesh.

A lot of time has passed. From the reigning queen of Bollywood she became a business entrepreneur. Gradually she was forgotten. When she tried to make a comeback with Ishq in Paris, she decided to produce it herself. Not sure whether it was because of an outdated script or the lack of Zinta magnetism that led to its record-breaking debacle. It could not sustain even 3 days in theatres. Soon there were reports of her going bankrupt. But, those reports were refuted by her.

Cut to June 2014, Priety filed a police complaint against her business partner of Kings XI Punjab cricket team Ness Wadia -who also happens to be her former boyfriend. As per the FIR, it is alleged that he abused and molested her inside Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. It was indeed shocking and disturbing news.


Coming something like this from an actress who had maintained so much dignity for 15 years was quite unsettling. But, what surfaced after that completely preposterous. Some sources close to Wadia clan started claiming that she is doing all that because she is “jealous” of the new relationship Ness is into. There was an outbreak of anti-Zinta tweets that majorly called it a publicity stunt to save her disappearing career. Some people even compared her to Rakhi Swant. If this was not enough then even country’s one of the most respected columnists Tavleen Singh is giving statements like:

“Shame on Preity Zinta for making a molestation out of a tiff between ex-lovers when little girls are raped and hanged for nothing.”

My heart aches to see that there is no appreciation and support for a woman who has never taken refuge in double standards. Someone whose decisions are an inspiration for many young girls can never resort to such cheap ploy for media hype. Her life is an open testimony that Priety Zinta is a name that has no qualms in calling a spade a spade. I am not sure what will come out of this legal altercation, but I just hope that people analyze things before passing out any judgement and do not classify all actresses as attention-seeking women, especially someone who has conducted all her life with honesty and courage.

I will end the article with some points of Priety Zinta’s public statement regarding this matter:

“I may not be super wealthy and powerful but I have truth by my side and I’ve worked very hard all my life and tried to earn respect for myself as a self made professional. 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.

I humbly request the media and my supporters to pls focus on the issue and the incident that happened in Wankade and not turn this and me into a TV soap. This is not easy for me and my intention is not to harm anyone but simply to protect myself and to stand up for myself. I don’t want any sympathy from anyone but I will sincerely appreciate it if people do not try to take away my dignity in the process of my fight for respect at my workplace. I think after all these years I deserve it and I’m not asking for too much.”

Think yourself… she really asking for too much?


Disclaimer: All pictures used are a result of Google search.

  1. Mancy says:

    Wow! So kind of you to bring this to our minds – her movies and courageous acts she did. Hope this writing helps her in someway. 🙂

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