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The 80s in Bollywood were dominated by some hard-hitting controversies and of course the rise of the Disco era. Some of the controversies and incidents that left the fans shell-shocked involved some very big names and triggered nationwide speculations, debates, and discussions.
Coolie accident of Amitabh Bachchan
It was the time when Big B was at the top of his career. Known for doing most of his stunts on his own, while shooting a shot for his movie Coolie he got hurt at the hands of upcoming actor Puneet Issar who played an antagonist in the film. Amitabh Bachchan almost lost his life due to that injury and it took him months to recover from it. Such was the popularity and stardom of Amitabh that thousands of people went on strike causing a major loss to the Indian economy.
Topless Mandakini in Ram Teri Ganga Maili
Raj Kapoor was known for making bold movies and his actresses wore revealing clothes. Be it Dimple Kapadia in Bobby or Zeenat Aman in Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Raj Kapoor’s heroines never shied away from exhibiting their figures. However, he went a step ahead when he launched Mandakini in a topless avatar in Ram Teri Ganga Maili. Released in 1985, it created national controversy with many religious organizations demanding a ban on the film. Later on, it was released with an A certificate and was a big box-office success.
When Amitabh lost popularity due to the Bofors scandal
The superstar of Bollywood stepped into politics to support his friend Rajiv Gandhi and won the election from Allahabad. But his stint in politics remained short-lived after his alleged involvement in Bofors Scandal. It was alleged that he was involved in the scandal of paying kickbacks to an arms manufacturer from Sweden for securing a defense deal. Amitabh was named as one of the beneficiaries who received money through this deal. It tarnished Bachchan’s image and was one reason why his popularity hit an all-time low.
Smita Patil-Raj Babbar marriage
Smita Patil and Raj Babbar were among the most successful onscreen pairs in the 80s. But Smita Patil shocked everyone by marrying the already-married Raj. Patil was called a home wrecker, however, the couple had a happy marriage. Unfortunately, Smita lost her life in 1986 while giving birth to their son Prateik.
The Kalicharan controversy
Subhash Ghai’s Kalicharan starring Shatrughan Sinha in the lead is a big hit from the 80s. However, the film ran into controversy before its release because the censor wanted the Karma director to cut a few scenes but Ghai was not in the mood to do so. In the end, the censor board gave it an A certificate. But it was during this time that the film fraternity started discussing that the rules and regulations for judging a movie should be changed by the censor board. And things started changing slowly.