Tax evasion or witch-hunt? Celebs pours assist for Taapsee Pannu and Anurag Kashyap

To say or not to say… a question celebs have to weigh in each time the country, or the world in general, undergoes a major change. Being in the limelight comes with its pros and cons. One of the tricky ones among these – whether to give one’s two cents on everything that’s happening in today’s fast-changing world. The thought becomes even more significant when it comes to an opinion about the government and its policies. Now, when IT raids were conducted on the properties of actress Taapsee Pannu, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and associates over tax evasion on Wednesday, a section began to question if it’s motivated.

Once upon a time…

During Emergency, the Indira Gandhi government sent a strong signal by making public broadcasters like Doordarshan and All-India Radio to ban all songs and films that feature Kishore Kumar who refused to perform at a Congress rally in Mumbai. Actors like Dev Anand and Manoj Kumar who took anti-emergency stance, faced hurdles in completing, releasing and showcasing their projects too..

Paying the price?

Anubhav Sinha and Swara Bhasker have tweeted their support to Anurag and Taapsee. “Kashyap and Taapsee I love you both. Just,” posted Sinha, Swara posted, “Appreciation tweet for @taapsee who is an amazing girl with courage and conviction that is rare to see now days. Stand strong warrior! About Anurag, Swara wrote, “…cinematic trailblazer, a teacher and mentor of talent and a man with rare candour and a brave heart.”

“There is nothing to consider here. When IT decides to raid Taapsee Panuu and not big studios or actors, directors who earn a hundred times more than her and for that matter Anurag Kashyap, it is witch-hunting. Taapsee and Anurag have been vocal and taken a stand against what they think is not right in the government. Such things are done to send a signal to the film industry. See if you take a stand and speak against the government this is how we are going to harass you,” says director Ashwini Chaudhary.

After the raids, IT department issued a statement pointing at a discrepancy of funds. Evidence related to manipulation and under-valuation of transactions among film directors and shareholders of Phantom Films, having tax implication of about Rs 350 crore were found. Reportedly, evidence of cash receipts by an actress amounting to Rs 5 crore has been recovered.

Kangana at it again

As soon as the reports were out, Kangana Ranaut launched a fresh attack on Taapsee Pannu and Anurag Kashyap. She also targeted Madhu Mantena’s KWAN Talent Management Agency which is on the radar in the same case.

Kangana tweeted, “Once a thief, always a post. Those who want to sell their motherland and cut it into pieces are traitors. The people supporting such traitors are also thieves…”

Support group

Meanwhile, there are few industry colleagues who have come forward in support of Anurag Kashyap and Taapsee Pannu. Sharing a picture of Anurag Kashyap standing in front of his DVD collection, Masaan director Neeraj Ghaywan tweeted, “I hope they find the treasure hidden in each one of those Blu-rays and DVDs. And there’s definitely something there inside those books at @anuragkashyap72’s house. Too much wealth in them.”

Bigg Boss 13 contestant Tehseen Poonawalla shared a video clip of farmers’ protest and tweeted, “Since Hon’ble PM Shri Modiji uses the Income Tax to intimidate those who are critical of him or do not match his ideology…”

An appeal

The IT raids made Taapsee Pannu’s boyfriend badminton coach Mathias Boe to reach out to Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. “Finding myself in a bit of turmoil. Representing for the first time as a coach for some great athletes, meanwhile IT department is raiding Taapsee’s houses back home, putting unnecessary stress on her family. @KirenRijiju please do something,” Boe tweeted tagging Rijiju, to which the minister answered on Friday, “Law of the land is supreme and we must abide by that. The subject matter is beyond yours and my domain. We must stick to our professional duties in the best interest of Indian Sports,” via a tweet. —TNS

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