After stand-up comic Bharati Singh and her husband were arrested for drugs possession, one of India’s oldest and most respected stand-up artistes Raju Shrivastava condemned the culture of substance abuse.
“I am shocked at the way artistes today cross the laxman rekha. You can’t cross the line of decency. Of course I’m aware times have changed. Nonetheless stand-comedians should not forget where they come from. We are Indians, so please don’t imitate American stand-up comedians.”
Raju finds it hard to believe that Bharati has confessed to consuming banned substance. “She is such a simple sweet goodhearted girl, so focused on her work, why does she need drugs to be effective? As a stand-up comedian for 40 years I have never touched any drugs or alcohol. Addiction to these can destroy the best of careers. Look at Rajesh Khanna , the biggest superstar ever. His career was destroyed in 7-8 years because of alcohol. Then look at the next superstar Amitabh Bachchan, still going great guns at 78. He doesn’t touch a drop of alcohol. The great comic actor Keshto Mukherjee played a drunkard in all his films. He never touched alcohol.”
Raju Shrivastava feels an entertainer needs no stimulant to perform and entertain. “Rafi Saab, Lataji ….did they ever touch any kind of stimulant to reach the summits that they did? We all need to learn from these greats. Bharati should know young girls look up to her as a role-model. What kind of an example as she setting by admitting that she smokes ganja? Let’s hope her career doesn’t go up in smoke. Yeh toh wahi baat ho gayi…Lalli go gayi talli.”