Priyanka Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra lose face over Nirav Modi scandal

Malhotra plays an army man determined to clean out corruption in the army in Aiyaary.

That Nirav Modi is being investigated for financial fraud comes as an embarrassment for the stars of Bollywood who’ve, in the past, worn his pieces with pride

The Nirav Modi scandal has shocked the country. As the millionaire maintained close ties with Bollywood, the industry too seems to be shaken by it. Celebs like Lisa Haydon, Priyanka Chopra and Sidharth Malhotra find themselves in an especially sticky position vis-à-vis the Nirav Modi scam.

While Priyanka Chopra, the brand ambassador for his jewellery, is said to be contemplating terminating her contract with Modi, for Sidharth Malhotra this is an inopportune time to be caught in a scam-related crossfire since he is promoting his new film Aiyaary.

Says Sidharth’s co-star, “He has no answer to questions on why he was associated with Nirav Modi’s jewellery brand. How does one answer such a question? How is one supposed to check on a seemingly impeccable brand’s track record, let alone ascertain where it would be going in the future?”

While Sidharth and Priyanka have decided to cut all ties with the jewellery brand, there is no end to the sniggers that the two actors have to face for lending their faces to the now-disgraced tycoon.

A filmmaker, who doesn’t wish to be named, says there is a sense of déja vu in how Chopra and Malhotra’s jewellery ads are being aired on various channels to prove their participation in the diamond merchant’s nefarious transactions.

“We saw similar finger pointing when Madhuri Dixit had to face the flak for endorsing a brand of noodles. The moral and legal correctness of a brand are not the celebrity’s responsibility. Priyanka Chopra will escape the media inquisition because she is not in the country. But poor Sidharth Malhotra is having a hard time as he’s promoting Aiyaary. He has to be vulnerable to public scrutiny. And what can he say? ‘Yes, I endorsed Nirav Modi’s diamond brand. But I didn’t know he was a scamster.’ Isn’t that obvious?”

Ironically, Malhotra plays an army man determined to clean out corruption in the army in Aiyaary.

So should a celebrity be held responsible for a product if it eventually turns out to be of dubious legal, moral or political merit?

Says Naseeruddin Shah, “It is advisable for the model to know what he or she is endorsing. But you can’t always know the truth about what you are selling. There are just too many opinions around.”

Meanwhile, Hansal Mehta says, “I definitely feel that celebrities should know what they’re endorsing. They should be held responsible for the claims made in the endorsement of a product.” Adds Babul Supriyo, singer, MP in Narendra Modi’s government, “It isn’t the celebrity-model’s duty to examine every product before promoting it, unless it is a known health hazard, like alcohol, cigarettes and gutka.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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