In a desperate act, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, who is at the centre of the ongoing controversy over allegations of nepotism the movie industry, has now resorted to paid promotions to boost his image.
On Thursday, the Bollywood filmmaker, whose image has taken a hit following the raging debate of nepotism in the industry after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, got caught on social media after he allegedly planted paid articles that praised and crediting him for the success of various Bollywood stars.
In a sponsored article published in the Hindustan Times titled, “Mahesh Bhatt has given wings to many young dreams in Bollywood”, the writer has glorified Mahesh Bhatt, claiming that the director-cum-producer had spotted several talents and gave breakthroughs to them.
Interestingly, the paid article comes a day after the Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe into the death of 34-year-old actor.
The paid article, perhaps planted by Mahesh Bhatt himself, hails him for encouraging and providing an opportunity for lots of young talents like Kunal Kemmu, Anupam Kher, Sonali Bendre, Arijit Singh, Kumar Sanu and others, who went on to become accomplished actors in the future.
“He (Mahesh Bhatt) has often said in interviews that he feels he is “blessed to discover new talent and watch them bloom”. In an era when more and more confident, young people are coming to Mumbai to chase their Bollywood dream; Bhatt’s efforts come as a whiff of fresh air in the merciless, cut-throat environment,” read the sponsored article.
Mahesh Bhatt credits himself for success of actors, musicians
In an act of narcissism, evident through such planted paid stories on the media, Mahesh Bhatt credits himself for providing a platform to Anupam Kher in the movie ‘Saaransh’. The article also cites how Anupam Kher had once credited Bhatt for his success in the movie industry.
Further, the HT report credits Mahesh Bhatt for finding talents such as John Abraham, who was also launched by Mahesh Bhatt. The story goes on to say that Bhatt saw a junior Sanjay Dutt in Abraham and called the actor personally to offer the lead role in the film.
“He is credited with bringing in raw talent, who went on to become highly successful actors,” the HT sponsored story read.
The HT report, in its mission to promote Mahesh Bhatt and his latest movie ‘Sadak 2’, also claimed that Bhatt had a good ear for great music, who offered the right platform to several singers, who shot to stardom. Expectedly, Mahesh Bhatt also claims credit for even singer Kumar Sanu’s success.
Arijit Singh, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan came to spotlight due to Mahesh Bhatt
Not just Kumar Sanu, Mahesh Bhatt also unearthed talent in the form of Arijit Singh. The HT report says that Bhatt was instrumental in spotting the singing prowess of Arijit Singh, who apparently got his first big breakthrough in Aashiqui 2.
The most bizarre claim made by Hindustan Times paid promotional article is that Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan came into the spotlight only after he sang the song Mann ki Lagan in Bhatt’s movie ‘Paap’.
The report pitching for Bhatt’s new movie ‘Sadak 2’, said that his movies on their own have explored unchartered territories, which many other filmmakers steer clear of.
“His body of work has been loved by the audience and critics alike. They offered many established actors a new lease of life in their careers,” read the HT report praising Mahesh Bhatt for introducing talents actors such as Sanjay Dutt, Aamir Khan, Juhi Chawla, Paresh Rawal and music composer duo Nadeen Shravan, who all vowed their success to Mahesh Bhatt.
Charges of nepotism against Mahesh Bhatt
The sudden and untimely demise of actor Sushant Singh Rajput has opened a can of worms and sparked a debate over nepotism in the cinema industry. Many celebrities have opened up on how the big and influential families in Bollywood have been propagating it over the years.
One such name which came out in the public domain was Mahesh Bhatt, who was accused of deliberately sidelining talented actors and instead promoting his own kids and other actors connected to the bigwigs of the industry. Many blamed filmmakers such as Mahesh Bhatt, Karan Johar for their favouritism in the industry, which according to a few resulted in the death of Sushant Singh Rajput.
Following the actor’s death, the veteran filmmaker was summoned for questioning by the Mumbai Police along with several other Bollywood directors and producers.
Recently, the National Commission of Women had summoned Mahesh Bhatt over his alleged with modelling firm, which is accused in a sexual abuse case.