Renowned Bollywood filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, in anticipation of his upcoming film “The Vaccine War,” has stirred controversy by making startling allegations against certain politicians, including veteran Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. Agnihotri claims that individuals holding “constitutional positions” accepted bribes to promote foreign vaccines over Indian ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These accusations have triggered a strong response from Shashi Tharoor, who has vowed to take legal action against Agnihotri.
In a recent interview, Agnihotri expressed his objection to elected representatives accepting financial incentives to endorse activities that run counter to the nation’s best interests. While he acknowledged that receiving payment for promoting films is a routine business transaction, he drew a clear distinction when it came to public officials.
When pressed to specify whom he was referring to, Agnihotri named “the Chief Minister of Delhi, a constitutional post, and Mr. Shashi Tharoor, a Member of Parliament, also a constitutional post.”
Agnihotri asserted that he was not merely making baseless allegations but presenting the truth. He revealed that certain related details were censored by the Indian Censor Board in “The Vaccine War,” but they remain intact in international copies of the film.
Following the widespread dissemination of Agnihotri’s interview, a social media user brought it to Shashi Tharoor’s attention. Tharoor responded by dismissing the accusations as a “cheap bid for publicity” and announced his intent to seek legal advice.
“It is obviously a cheap bid for publicity, but the concern is that once a lie is repeated often enough, some people will start to believe it. Am seeking legal advice,” Tharoor tweeted.
As the controversy unfolds, it remains to be seen how it will impact the impending release of “The Vaccine War” and the broader political discourse in India.