One of the top Pakistani actresses who accused Bollywood of plagiarism is under attack by a section of Indian media, which alleged her of having connections with a notorious Indian, Dawood Ibrahim.

Several media channels, almost all of them from the Indian media strain called Godi media – which is infamous for spreading fake news -, were Tuesday fraught with shady reports.

The vilification campaign against Mehwish Hayat was being spun around a baseless story that a section of India media ran last year about an alleged affair of the actress with and underworld don.

That baseless claim was originally sparked by Mehwish Hayat’s scathing criticism of two top Bollywood stars – Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan.

Tuesday’s reports, which were not even half-backed, started sprouting on the webspace after a top Godi TV channel, DNA, aired a program on the issue.

In his show, the notorious TV anchor Sudhir Chaudhry trampled on the journalistic ethos, like he always do, and presented a baseless story that would surely get traction among Hindutva enthusiasts and probably some Bollywood figures – who might have felt hurt by Mehwish Hayat’s consisting attacks on the Indian film industry for its alleged “hypocrisy” and “plagiarism”.

Before learning why Mehwish Hayat is being targeted, let’s have a look at the shameless and baseless claims made in that program.

Sudhir Chaudhry’s Baseless Claims

In his devilish report on the Pakistani actress, the notorious Indian anchor made several malicious claims without presenting a proof for even a single of them.

The gist of lies unpacked by Sudhir Chaudhry on his infamous TV show was also published by Zee News, another Godi channel, and a string of little-known web portals.

Here’s what Zee News published on its website along with some question I would like to raise. Reading it will make you see how low Godi media can stoop to fulfil its malicious agendas.

“India’s most wanted terrorist and 1993 Mumbai blasts mastermind Dawood Ibrahim lives in a palatial bungalow at Karachi’s posh area and he is in regular touch with several actresses of Pakistani film industry, according to DNA’s exclusive report.”

Is quoting another well-known partisan media channel for such claims is enough to prove them?

Which posh area of Karachi it is – was there any problem in naming it?

“You must have heard many times about the relationship between Bollywood and the underworld.”

Where did readers heard about this relationship other than Godi media?

“Once upon a time, Dawood Ibrahim had a great influence on Bollywood and he used to invest in several Bollywood films. Many Indian actors used to go to attend his house parties too. But it seems that Dawood’s interest in film industry has not ended even after running away to Pakistan.”

So, does this financial loss of Bollywood is making Godi media feel uncomfortable as losing business to Pakistan or Pakistani’s hurts their chauvinistic feelings, which they call “Desh Bhagti”?

“Dawood’s relationship with Pakistani film industry came to light in 2019 when a small-time Pakistani actress was awarded the ‘Tamga-e-Imtiaz’, a big civilian honour in Pakistan. The name of this actress is 37-year-old Mehwish Hayat. Interestingly, Mehwish was not a known face until a few years ago but she has now become a popular face of Pakistan’s media and glamor industry.”

Why are you so concerned about who was awarded in Pakistan and why?

Sajal Aly, Mawra Hussain, Mahira Khan and Maya Ali are some other top names in Pakistan’s showbiz. Is Mehwish a fresher compared to them?

“Several people had raised questions over the Pakistan’s government decision to bestow ‘Tamga-e-Imtiaz’ to Mehwish and it was reported by a web portal that the Pakistani film industry is shocked to know that Mahvish has been given such a big honour.”

“A web portal reported that whether Mahvish was given the Tamga-e-Imtiaz because she has really done so much work for the film industry or because of her relationship with a Karachi-based powerful person who is very close to ruling Pakistan-Tehreek-e-Insaf party. When Mehwish was trolled after this news, she called it a conspiracy against her.”

Which web portal exactly?

You won’t name it because you don’t want the people to know that even if there is any such “Pakistani” web portal, it has no credibility.

“Sources told Zee Media that Dawood is currently in regular touch with a Pakistani actress and she has now become one of the biggest weaknesses of the fugitive gangster.”

Which sources told Zee Media that the ‘Karachi-based powerful person’ is Dawood Ibrahim? Are you talking about RAW? Hahaha…! People know that both fed and spun stories go by the name of “sources” that either have no existence at all or they are the ones who actually pull the strings of such dishonest media channels.

“Mehwish had started her career with an item number and it is said that after this item number she grabbed the attention of Dawood Ibrahim. It is said that Mehwish later got opportunities to work in several big projects due to her closeness with an influential person from Karachi, who is no one but Dawood.

Mehwish started her career with an ‘item number’? Really? Which item number it exactly was?

Oh, you might have lost your memory and probably access to internet as well. But let me tell you, readers have neither lost their mind nor the internet connection. They can do a little digging and find the felicity of this claim too.

However, the way Dawood allegedly got in touch with Mehwish and fell for him is quite Bollywoodistic – you used a perfect hook in your work of fiction. But please ask your “sources” to spun a bit more about it. It’s quite amusing to our South Asian ears!

“The meteroic rise of Mehwish shows that Dawood still maintains a lot of hold in film industry and he can make anyone’s career in the glamour industry.”

Mehwish did not have a meteoric rise. She put in a lot of effort to claim the position in the Pakistani industry that she enjoys now. Anyone wanting to have a glimpse of her career progress is advised to see a few of her old and new works.

Republic TV, Times Now, India Today and CNN-News18, and Hindi TV channels Zee News, ABP News, Aaj Tak, India TV, Sudershan News, News Nation and News24 (India)

Why is Mehwish Hayat being vilified?

Mehwish Hayat has been quite aggressive and consistent in her criticism of Bollywood for plagiarizing and anti-Pakistan movies.

In August 2019 she accused the Indian film industry for its alleged ‘hypocrisy’ and plagiarizing Pakistani songs.

Her comments came in the wake of Alia Bhatt’s music video debut with the Punjabi song ‘Prada’ that bore striking similarities with Pakistani song ‘Gore Rang Ka Zamana’ from ‘Vital Signs’ album.

When the similarities were pointed out by many Twitter users, Mehwish Hayat tweeted:

“I find this strange. On the one hand Bollywood vilifies Pakistan at every opportunity they get. On the other, they continue to steal our songs. Copyright violation and royalty payments obviously mean nothing to them,” she tweeted.

Written by Shoaib Mansoor, ‘Gore Rang Ka Zamana’ song was released as part of ‘Vital Signs’ Volume 1.

Mehwish Hayat also slammed Shah Rukh Khan’s Netflix production ‘Bard of Blood’.

“This just vindicates what I have been saying. Another week, and yet another anti-Pakistan project,” she shared on Twitter.

“Now can we wake up, smell the coffee and see Bollywood’s agenda for what it is? Shah Rukh Khan, be patriotic, nobody is stopping you – just don’t do it at the expense of vilifying us,” Hayat tweeted.

Hayat had maintained her stance in an opinion piece written for CNN earlier.

“Indian PM Modi has arguably co-opted and weaponized the country’s film industry. It’s difficult, often impossible, for Pakistani actors to find work in India,” she wrote.

“Pakistan is a Muslim majority nation and Islamophobia is a top-down industry in India: at the top, hyper-nationalist films, songs and slogans teach the masses to hate. At the grassroots, Muslims have been killed for so-called crimes like eating beef,” she said.

Now, I guess, both Pakistanis and Indians can better understand why Godi media is running this vilifying campaign and on whose behest.

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