On Tuesday, Samajwadi Party member and actress Jaya Bachchan raised the matter of the ongoing slander and drug allegations levelled by a few against the film industry. Bachchan demanded the government to provide protection and put a ban on the unending bashing being faced by members of Bollywood.
Her comments have unleashed a tweetstorm of sexism and all-too-familiar misogyny directed against the MP with many calling her a "shameless lady" and appealing to actor and her husband Amitabh Bachchan to reign in his wife.
Her comments came following the statement of actor and MP Ravi Kishan in Lok Sabha. "Just because of a few people, you cannot tarnish the whole industry... I was really embarrassed and ashamed that yesterday one our members in the Lok Sabha, who is from the industry, spoke against the film industry. Jis thaali me khaate hain usi me chched karte hain".
While Bachchan was lauded by several members of Bollywood for standing up for the industry in the face of baseless allegations the comment did not sit well with actor Kangana Ranaut who had been at the forefront of drug allegations against Bollywood.
Taking to social media, Ranaut slammed Bachchan, asking if she would say the same if her son Abhishek were to be found hanging, as a reference to actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death.
Ranaut's response further fueled the trolling and hate against Bachchan on social media, which started trending with hashtags like #JayaBachchan, #Jayaji and #gutter, the minute her speech in Parliament surfaced online.
"You agree that Jaya Bachchan is a shameless lady and a black spot in Parliament? Pls comment below and tell Amitabh Bachchan?" a Twitter user wrote, tagging both actors. Not just one, hundreds of Twitter users tagged Big B and asked him to "kindly tell your high-headed wife that this is not a monarchy".
Yet others questioned her contribution to India as a politician. Trolls also dredged up images of her daughter Shweta Bachchan-Nanda and called her a "druggie".
Kindly tell @SrBachchan your high headed wife that we are not a monarchy that state will tell the public what to write. Atleast educate your wife, gone are days of Amar Singh's brokering for ABCL company. When gutter is flowing in film industry we will call it gutter only. https://t.co/H9DAFFtjHX — शिवांगिनी पाठक। (@shivanginipatha) September 15, 2020
It’s strange @SrBachchan you remain silent and your wife and daughter speaking up in support of Rhea the drug paddler earlier and soon other crimes also will be revealed you failed us sir I take back my praises and liking since childhood of your work- mahanayak is not you — Smita Parikh (@smitaparikh2) September 15, 2020
Jayaji is saving her own daughter. — Shampa (@Shampa26182727) September 15, 2020
Shame #JayaBachchan Please share your stance about @rautsanjay61 also. Gutter is a bad word for druggie bollywood , then how is HARAMKHOR justified. I wish he had said it to your bimbo daughter Shweta who don't even have an opinion. pic.twitter.com/t7Oj7ZvS7J — Abrol_rooh (@RohitAbrol20) September 15, 2020
Jaya bacchan you better close your gutter https://t.co/5grpYSlcLf foolish woman you dont know when to open your gutter https://t.co/5grpYSlcLf just want to come in lime light and because of that talking rubbish.ravi Kishan has said nothing wrong.he said everything right. — Manoj Kumar Ram (@2015manojkumar) September 15, 2020
#JayaBachchan Only a cockroach who lives in gutter wil speak in favour of gutter.Not a word from this arrogant women on drugs,casting couch,hawala,anti-national activities,underworld connection in bollywood.Its clear tht @SrBachchan wife is showing her loyalty towards Thackerays. pic.twitter.com/ApFc8q4mS6 — Brijesh_Tweets (@TweetsBrijesh) September 15, 2020
#AmitabhBachchan ji I have to say #JayaBachchan ji is Gandhari of Bollywood who doesn't know about their own industry people's Sins If Someone says Gutter to Bollywood then they oppose pic.twitter.com/oFkuCjeQCH — Deepanshu (@Deepanshu929) September 15, 2020
Ravi Kishan- There should be strict action against drugs in Bollywood. Jaya Bachchan- Ravi Kishan "Jis Thaali Me Khaate Hain Usi Me Ched Krte Hain" Amitabh Bachchan: pic.twitter.com/8RbQ1RIu6j — Amardeep Shah (@atheistamar) September 15, 2020
The vapid responses against Bachchan only go on to prove that despite being an actor and a politician, many in India will still judge a woman on the basis of whom she is married to. The subsequent trolling of Amitabh Bachchan for not being able to prove his dominance over his wife and shutting her up further proved the deeply patriarchal mindset that many in India propagate.
Nevertheless, Jaya Bachchan has been receiving lots of love and support from the industry itself. Actor Tapasee Pannu and film director Abhishek Sinha praised Bachchan's speech and came out in support of her on social media.