Casting directors of Paatal Lok cast themselves, depriving actors

Depicting the Hindu community in poor light is not the only controversy that bogs down Paatal Lok; the project of web series headed by actress Anushka was allegedly unfair even to the film fraternity, especially aspiring actors. And the main culprits, evidence and testimonies from the industry suggest, are the casting directors who, rather than roping in full-fledged actors, cast themselves in the web series.

Aspiring actor Siddharth Rawat said, “Sir, hamāra number hi nahin āta. Subah se shām tak ham khade rahte hain. Yahān’ mujhe vishwās thā merā ho jāyega (Sir, our turn never comes. We stand in queues the whole day. In this project, I was confident I would get a role),” adding that “ghaplebāzi” (sham casting) is ruining the careers of aspiring actors. He said that the wannabe actors were living hand-to-mouth and many could not afford to get their photo portfolios made by professionals.

Siddharth said he has even gone around telling casting directors he would not charge for his first project but even that did not work. Even assignments like featuring in a crowd is difficult to get as an aspirant has to pass through a maze of agents to reach the real casting directors. These agents, he said, embezzle even the commission meant for actors.

An actor who had played a role in the film Talwar and who suffices as a casting director had allegedly told Siddharth that casting the latter was not a problem if he was ready to shell out a bribe of Rs 1 lakh.

Actor Mahesh Sharma, who has worked for much-talked-about films like Sui Dhaga, Dum Laga ke Haisha and Aankhon Dekhi, said the malaise was spread across the domain of web series. “Everywhere, casting directors are casting themselves. To show that they are better, they insert a few clips of bad performances so that they themselves come across as better performers,” he said.

Mahesh was soon joined by another actor Abhimanyu Sarkar who related the story of a peer about whom the casting director of a film misled the producer. “The guy told the producer this actor was charging too much and then he cast himself!” Abhimanyu added, “This actor broke down, narrating what he had been through.”

Mahesh Sharma, Sui Dhaaga [Casting scandal in Paatal Lok}
Dum Laga Ke Haisha actor Mahesh Sharma had played Varun Dhawan’s sidekick in Sui Dhaaga

Abhimanyu said most aspiring actors did not even come to know when the auditions for Paatal Lok started and ended.

Mahesh added that the casting directors of Paatal Lok not only cast themselves but also pooled in other casting directors who were friends with them.

Abhimanyu said that there have been casting directors who had admitted before them if they had to play favourites, they would obviously not cast the regular actors.

Both Mahesh and Abhimanyu have been in the industry for the past 12 years. “A lot of former aspiring actors turn casting directors to make some quick bucks and then retry their luck as actors,” Abhimanyu said.

Nikhil Pitaley said he was alleging nothing against the senior casting directors but their juniors cast themselves or their friends. “Their credibility is questionable. It is an unjust system for us, actors, that we need to compete not only with other actors in the queue but also with these new casting directors. If they are fancying their own chances, what are our chances of making it?”

Nikhil had not auditioned for Paatal Lok but is agitated about the treatment meted out to fellow actors. He has featured in biopics called Ghalib and Deendayal — Ek Yugpurush.

He pointed out that another problem with this conflict of interest situation was that these young players in the film market charge the producer fees for casting as well as for acting.

Theatre actor Mayank Malik, who had auditioned for the web series but was not included in Paatal Lok, said, “Mahesh Sharma and Abhimanyu have been accusatory in their tone. But I wouldn’t make allegations against a particular person but talk of the issues with the system.”

“The makers did not clarify the details of the project when I visited them initially. Later, after much follow up with the casting team, they handed me a script that was restricted to my role alone. The project was untitled as yet. I prepared for the audition based on their vague briefing. I had auditioned for the same, still not knowing what exactly my character’s importance would be in the project,” said Mayank.

Mayank added that later on the actors who had auditioned were stunned to see that the web series had several casting directors and they had cast none but themselves in Paatal Lok!

Mayank said while those who acted did not do a bad job — “they perhaps performed better than how I could,” he said — but what the casting directors of Paatal Lok did was misuse of one’s position. The theatre artiste arrived in Mumbai six years ago. On camera, Balaji Telefilms cast him in a lead role in a television soap opera.

Bharat Jha, who worked in the film Mulk featuring the late Rishi Kapoor, while saying that there is no hard and fast rule as to who should be cast, said, “Actors wait for years for a new project; this is unfair to them.” He said that an association of casting directors did not exist as such, explaining why no action was taken against the casting of people from the casting team itself. “Jinke hāth men sattā hai wahi durupyog karte hain’, (one who wields power misuses it)” Jha said, adding, “An association of this type would be helmed by the very people who are likely to be accused,” giving an example of the #MeToo movement that fizzled out.

Abhishek Banerjee as Hathoda Tyagi in Paatal Lok [Casting scandal 2nd internal image}
Abhishek Banerjee

Abhishek Banerjee, who is a casting director who played the character of Hathoda Tyagi in Paatal Lok that is also accused of defaming politicians, said in his defence that the whole system of the industry was responsible for what could happen in the casting for a particular project. Apparently saying that nepotism did not play a role in the selection of actors for Paatal Lok, Banerjee said, “You may ask around. Would anyone cast an actor because he or she is a relative or because he or she suits the role.”

Disclaimer: Not all faces seen on the featured image are involved in the alleged casting scandal


BJP leader advises Virat to divorce Anushka

Not satisfied merely by filing an FIR against Anushka Sharma and shooting a letter to information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javdekar, requesting him to ban the streaming of the web series Paatal Lok, BJP MLA Nandkishor Gurjar from Loni in Uttar Pradesh has now urged cricketer Virat Kohli to divorce his wife!

Desh se koi bada nahi hai. Virat Kohli desh ke liye khelte hai aur desh bhakt hai. Unhone Anushka ko turant talak dena chahiye,” the BJP MLA said.

Nowadays people are spending their time watching movies or web series on OTT platforms due to the lockdown caused by this virus. Paatal Lok, which projected the upper castes of the Hindu community in poor light, is now the talk of the nation. Critics, while liking the story and the characters of this film, couldn’t help but say the writer and director of the web series need not have sullied a good film with their political agenda.

View image on Twitter

The makers of the web series used a picture of the Rajya Sabha MP from Ghaziabad, Anil Aggarwal, without his express permission. This disturbed the BJP MLA so much that he urged Virat divorce Anushka!

A lawyer had first served Anushka with a legal notice, objecting to the content of Paatal Lok.

Also read: BJP MLA files case against Anushka for using his pic without permission

BJP MLA Gurjar has complained at the Loni police station, demanding action against Anushka Sharma, the producer of the web series. The MLA has advised, “Virat Kohli should divorce Anushka Sharma. He should divorce Anushka immediately. Definitely he will not have any role in it, nor will he be involved in any such issue.”

Gurjar took photos of the FIR with the cops at the police station. It’s now a pinned tweet on his profile, and the highlight of his career, it would seem.

In an interview, the BJP MLA stated that no one was bigger than the nation and Kohli, who plays for India, shouldn’t tolerate it. That he must divorce Anushka Sharma as soon as possible! He said further that this step from the Indian captain would “send a strong message” to everyone.

Also read: Anushka gets legal notice over casteist slurs in Paatal Lok

The image in Paatal Lok has been morphed to include fictional characters.

Meanwhile, the politician has written a letter also to Prakash Javdekar and has requested the minister of information and broadcasting to ban the streaming of the web series.

A few days ago, Viren Sri Gurung sent a legal notice to Anushka Sharma for allegedly using a casteist slur in the show. There are a couple of scenes in the series which many have found objectionable.

Anushka is yet to comment publicly on the matter. As far as Paatal Lok is concerned, it features Jaideep Ahlawat, Neeraj Kabi, Abhishek Bannerjee, Gul Panag, Swastika Mukherjee in crucial roles.


BJP MLA files case against Anushka for using his pic without permission

A Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA, Nandkishore Gurjar, has filed a complaint against producer Anushka Sharma, for using his picture without his permission in her recent Amazon Prime web series, Paatal Lok. The picture, which has been morphed to include the show’s fictional characters, also includes Gurjar.

In addition to the unauthorised use of his likeness, Gurjar has found problems with the show’s content. He has called it ‘anti-national’. In his complaint, the MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Loni has said that Paatal Lok shows castes in Sanatan Dharma in a negative light.

पाताल लोक वेब सीरीज में फोटो से ...

As Paatal Lok is receiving temperamental reviews from all quarters — with the most common view being that the plot isn’t bad but the political commentary in it is forced — many are filing cases against the actress. Recently, Anushka received a legal notice for hurting sentiments of the Gorkha community in a scene.

Also read: Paatal Lok: Antidote To Anti-Hindu Propaganda

Gurjar, the MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Loni, alleged that Paatal Lok presents Hindu groups in a negative manner and that his photo was used in a scene along with a negative character in the show.

The original picture has lookalikes of BJP politicians like Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Gurjar has claimed that the series tries to damage the image of his party. He has demanded a ban on Amazon Prime Video series Paatal Lok.

The image in Paatal Lok has been morphed to include fictional characters.

Gurjar said that the web series shows members of his caste as dacoits and people associated with other malpractices. He complained that the web series had tried to create differences among different castes in India, like the Jats of Punjab, Brahmins and Tyagis.

The BJP MLA claimed that the use of casteist slurs in the show indicated that certain castes were of lower stature in society, which will cause further unrest among people.

Also read: Anushka gets legal notice over casteist slurs in Paatal Lok

In the plot of the web series, the fictional villain Bajpayee is seen inaugurating a highway, with Gurjar standing in the background. The original picture was tweeted by Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath in 2018.

Anushka Sharma is yet to respond to any of the above-mentioned accusations. Meanwhile, the show stars Jaideep Ahlawat, Neeraj Kabi and Abhishek Banerjee among others.

Previously, several people had filed complaints against the makers of the show for perceived racist portrayal of people from the Northeast. Organisations such as the All Arunachal Pradesh Gorkha Youth Association, the Bharatiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh and lawyer Viren Sri Gurung are some of the petitioners.


Paatal Lok: Antidote To Anti-Hindu Propaganda

In the web series Paatal Lok on Amazon Prime, in what is clearly an allusion to the Narendra Modi government, the regime is shown as dictatorial. Then, there is an indirect reference to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in saffron robes that is a character with disturbing negative shades. In another apparent reference to real-life, while it was proved in the court that the murder of Junaid was the result of a quarrel for a berth in a coach of the train he was travelling in with friends, Paatal Lok introduces the angle of beef in the sub-plot and passes the incident off as one of lynching. Further, a character named Shukla is shown raising janeu (sacred thread worn by Brahmins) over the ear while raping a woman. The priest and mahant of a temple are shown eating meat in the temple. A bitch (female dog) is named Savitri.

The list of wrongful depiction refuses to end in Paatal Lok. A Muslim woman offers water to a Hindu woman to drink; the Hindu woman refuses to accept water from the hands of a Muslim! A character playing a Hindu god is shown falling in a humiliating way. All the dreaded criminals in the web series have Brahmin surnames: Shukla, Trivedi, Dwivedi, Tyagi etc whereas a Muslim character Imran is gifted, a police sub-inspector preparing for the UPSC exam to turn into an IAS officer. If that’s not bad, Hindus heckle and harass him. The wicked scriptwriter weaves a plot where goons are hired from Chitrakoot. The hooligans mostly wear saffron attire and chant ‘Jai Sri Ram’.

Reminiscent of Netflix‘s Leila, Paatal Lok shows a country called Aryavarta where Muslims are denied access to drinking water. Sadhus are shown mouthing unprintable expletives as a matter of speech habit in Paatal Lok.

The web series is a conspiracy to defame nationalism and openly abuse India. The producer of the film is Anushka Sharma, and director and screenwriter Sudeep Sharma. However, the content of the web series suggests the real financier may be some entity in Saudi Arabia, the source of fund for worldwide Islamist propaganda and jihadi terrorism.

As for the solution to repeated insults heaped on Hinduism and questions raised on the unity and integrity of India in one web series after another on Amazon Prime and Netflix, the government must devise a mechanism that ought to be foolproof unlike the ban on pornography, which was bound to fail. The web is a medium that is near impossible to regulate, let alone censor. Neither of the platforms has its headquarters in India, and even their branch offices here are not absolutely necessary for their operations in India. However, since the actors are all Indian, the government can mount pressure on the indigenous film fraternity to behave.

Since Sirf News does not advocate a muzzling of free speech, I’d suggest filmmakers on the right side come up with a counter-narrative. A call for boycotting a film or web series only enhances the curiosity of the potential viewer. Therefore, companies that use Bollywood actors as endorsers of brands must be addressed. The corporate sector, along with the advertising industry, is so sensitive that a whiff of controversy makes them jittery about a brand ambassador. Tell all companies from Hindustan Unilever to Procter & Gamble, you’ll dump their products and rate their apps 1 out of 5 stars on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Note that the stars badly need the income from advertisements to secure their future as their value on the silver screen is fickle, wavering, fluctuating and, overall, unreliable.

Don’t restrict yourself to actors. You may target an entire production house. Note down the brands that appear on the screen during the initial credit roll. They are all monetary lifelines of the producer. Tell those companies you will dump them too. No web series like A Family Man that depicts Kashmir from the Pakistani point of view or the ilk of Leila and Paatal Lok that defames Hinduism will be made thereafter.

The writer is a cinematographer who wishes to stay anonymous


Anushka gets legal notice over casteist slurs in Paatal Lok

A legal notice has been sent to actor-producer Anushka Sharma over an alleged casteist slur used in the web series Paatal Lok produced by her.

According to the sources, Viren Sri Gurung, who is a member of the Lawyers Guild which has been formed to offer legal aid during the time of COVID-19, has sent the legal notice to the actor.

Gurung in his legal notice said that the word is insulting towards the Nepali community.

“There is a clip wherein during an interrogation a lady police officer uses a casteist slur on a Nepali character. There wouldn’t have been any problem had only ‘Nepali’ been used. But the word that follows it is unacceptable. Since actress Anushka is one of the producers of the show, we have served her a notice”, Gurung said. He added that he is yet to receive a response from her, and that he will take the matter up with Amazon next.

Also read: Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s wife Aaliya files for divorce

Ironically, Anushka’s husband and Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli had, just two days ago, turned into a poster boy of millions of Hindus when he appreciated the social service of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for the poor during lockdown.

Previously, an organisation representing Gorkhas had claimed that a scene in Paatal Lok contains a sexual slur directed at the community and indulges in stereotyping of the people of the Northeast, and demanded that the conversation be muted.

Recently, Bharatiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh (BhaGoYuP), the youth wing of Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, had started an online petition demanding that a scene in the series should be muted and the corresponding subtitle is uploaded again with a disclaimer as the scene contains a sexual slur directed at the Gorkha community.

Also read: कनिका कपूर: फैमिली हिस्ट्री के कारण डॉक्टरों ने प्लाज्मा लेने से किया इंकार

In the scene, the alleged Nepali slur has been used against a woman character whose name suggests she belongs to the Khasi community of Meghalaya, said the online petition started by Namrata Sharma, who is the social welfare secretary of the BhaGoYuP.

“Nepali is one of the 22 scheduled languages and there are 10.5 million people in India who speak Nepali as the common tongue. The Gorkha community is the largest Nepali speaking community and this is a direct insult to the community,” the Bharatiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh said.

“We strongly condemn it in toughest terms and seek immediate removal of the scene’s subtitles and mute the slur,” the petition to be sent to Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said.

Starring Jaideep Ahlawat, Gul Panag, Neeraj Kabi, Abhishek Banerjee, Swastika Mukherjee in lead roles, Paatal Lok focuses on swarg lok, dharti lok and paatal lok. The series begins with this introduction and leads on to a cop landing the case of a lifetime. A journalist’s life is threatened and four suspects are taken into police custody, and their pasts reveal a dark secret. Paatal Lok was released to positive reviews on 15 May.

Anushka Sharma’s production house will next produce two projects for Netflix: a period drama film entitled Bulbul, and a drama series named Mai about a middle-aged housewife fighting crime.


Anushka Sharma turns 32 today

Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma blows out candles on her birthday cake on 1 May. Anushka, who turns 32, is born to Colonel Ajay Kumar Sharma and completed her education from Army School in Bangalore.

Anushka made her debut in Bollywood Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. In a career of over a decade, Anushka has worked with top actors and directors and has starred in some of the most successful films. Anushka also launched her production company in 2014 called Clean Slate Films that has produced three of her films namely – NH10, Phillauri and Pari. She owns a clothing brand called Nush started in 2017.

The actress is known to bring life to every character she portrays on the big screen. Starting her career opposite Shah Rukh khan in the popular film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Anushka carved a niche for herself in the industry in no time with her charming personality and sheer brilliance on the screen. While her professional life has been the topic of discussion for fans, her personal life has always been in focus as well.

Anushka and Virat met in 2012 on the sets of their first commercial together. Talking about his first meeting with her, Virat said in an interview that he made a fool out of himself when he first met Anushka on the sets as he cracked a lame joke. He further revealed that Anushka was very confident when she arrived however he was very nervous. Anushka is happily married to Indian cricketer Virat Kohli. The couple tied the knot in December 2017 in Tuscany, Italy in the presence of family.

Cut to the present year, Anushka and Virat have been staying at home and even on the Zero actress’ dad’s birthday, they stayed at home and celebrated. Anushka has been raising awareness among people about Coronavirus and urging them to adhere to lockdown. Hence, this year, we may expect a low key and private birthday celebration for Anushka in the midst of a global pandemic.

On the work front, Anushka is also gearing up for the release of her first web show, Paatal Lok. It is produced by Anushka’s production house, Clean Slate Films. It will premiere on 15 May, 2020. 


Anushka Sharma’s web series set to hit screens

Amidst the global coronavirus pandemic, everyone is at home, killing their time in front of TV sets or laptops, watching web series, films, etc. People are usually binge-eating or binge-watching web series nowadays. Now, actress Anushka Sharma is all set to bring her new web series produced by her.

Revealing and giving a glimpse of her new untitled show, the makers released the teaser today and it certainly gives out the idea of an edge-of-the-seat thriller storyline.

The teaser starts with an interesting voiceover calling out the viewers to start the countdown to something that is going to happen soon, bringing bloodshed and terror. What, How and Who are the open-ended questions that the teaser leaves us with.

Taking to her official Instagram handle, Anushka Sharma shared the teaser and wrote in Hindi, “Everything will change including time, people and world.

While the teaser has totally gotten us all highly anticipating what exactly it would be, the makers have made sure to keep the intrigue factor alive by not even revealing the title of the show.

The video hints that the project will be gory. In the end of the clip, out of the blooded screen appears a silhouette with a sharp blunt weapon — suggesting that he will be the person behind the bloodshed.

“Sab badlega, samay, log aur lok,” the actress captioned the video.

She shared details about the new series, tagging screenplay writer Sudip Sharma and actors Jaideep Ahlawat, Neeraj Kabi and Gul Panag and Bengali actress Swastika Mukherjee among others.

Anushkas is backing the project for Amazon Prime Video. Sometime back, the streaming platform had announced that Anushka is making a show for them.

Anushka’s show was described as an ‘investigative thriller that also acts as a scathing commentary of modern day Indian society and politics.’ The series went on floors in February.


Virat, Madhuri, Anushka and others appeal to put lockdown on domestic violence

Celebrities like Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma, Madhuri Dixit, Dia Mirza and Vidya Balan among others have joined hands to support an initiative #lockdownOnDomesticViolence, exressing concern over the global surge in cases of domestic violence amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.

Under the initiative, a video is made in which celebs are seen urging people to stand up and fight for themselves by reporting the abuse. In a 58-second video titled Lockdown On Domestic Violence, the celebs have urged citizens to fight and raise their voice against the brutality taking place in their houses. The initiative is spearheaded by the Akshara Centre along with the Special Cell for Women and Children and supported by the Police and the Government of Maharashtra.

“Let’s put a lockdown on domestic violence…if you are a survivor of domestic violence, report it. It’s the time to stand up and break the silence. If you are a witness to domestic violence …please report,” the stars said in the video.

Cricketer Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, actors Rahul Bose and filmmaker Karan Johar have also featured in the video.

The initiative is curated by Akshara Centre in collaboration with Special Cell for Women and Children.

While one-fourth of the world’s population is under home-quarantine to contain the spread of the novel COVID19 pandemic, another crisis is brewing behind closed doors—domestic violence.

Research shows that in emergencies be it conflicts, economic crisis or during disease outbreaks, there has been a repeat pattern of increase in domestic abuse, therefore abusers and their partners having to self-isolate together at home may lead to a rise in new and pre-existing abusive behaviour and violence.

The warning signs were first shown in China where domestic violence reports more than tripled. A similar pattern was reported in Singapore (33% increase), Australia (40% increase), Brazil (40% increase), and India (100% increase). With the spread of the pandemic to Europe, there is a surge in the “shadow pandemic” (as UN termed domestic violence) as reported by Italy (13.6% increase), Spain (18% increase), France (30% increase), and Cyprus (30% increase). The UK reported an increase of 25% and the USA reported upto 35% increase in cases.


Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma contribute to PM’s coronavirus relief fund

India captain Virat Kohli on Monday took to Twitter to announce that he and his wife Anushka Sharma would be donating to battle the novel coronavirus. However, the celeb couple didn’t disclose the amount they have contributed.

Anushka wrote on Instagram, “Virat and I are pledging our support towards PM-CARES Fund & the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (Maharashtra). Our hearts are breaking looking at the suffering of so many & we hope our contribution, in some way, helps easing the pain of our fellow citizens #IndiaFightsCorona.”

Many big names from the Bollywood industry had pledged in their support to help the country in its fight against the coronavirus. Among them is actor Akshay Kumar, who on Saturday announced an amount of Rs 25 crore from his savings to the PM-CARES Fund.

Varun Dhawan who also took to Twitter to pledge his support by contributing 30 lakhs to the PM-CARES Fund. Further Karan Johar, Ayushmann Khurrana, designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee have also contributed their bit for the cause. Salman Khan, meanwhile, has pledged to provide support to 25000 workers in the film and TV industry who are currently unemployed due to lockdown.

Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma had earlier shared a video message for their fans, urging them to stay indoors amid the coronavirus pandemic. The couple’s message comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a ‘Janta curfew’ to curb the virus’ spread.

The video, shared by both Anushka and Virat on social media, was captioned, “Stay Home. Stay Safe. Stay Healthy,” by Anushka. Virat, quote-tweeting his wife’s message, wrote, “The need of the hour is to absolutely respect and follow the government’s directive. Stay home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.”

On Sunday, India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane announced that he was donating Rs 10 lakh to battle coronavirus.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the total number of positive coronavirus cases in India rose to 1023 on Sunday inclduing 95 recoveries and 27 deaths.


Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma share self-isolation selfie

Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma have been staying at home along with each other due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has been wreaking the world over the last few days.

To evade the wrath of the COVID-19 virus, directives have been circulated by the Ministry of Health. It has been continuously emphasized to use hand sanitizers, avoid mass gatherings, and to stay indoors for a while.

Recently, the cricketer and his actress wife shared a video where they made the netizens aware of the importance of staying healthy in the critical situation. On Sunday, the country also followed the Janata Curfew, an initiative from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the meantime, Virat and Anushka are busy showering love on each other during the phase of the self-isolating period.

Image result for virat and anushka self isolation

The 31-year-old actor took to Instagram and shared the intriguing picture along with a caption that reads: “Self-isolation is helping us love each other in all ways and forms.” In the picture, the made for each other couple are seen making funny faces. The Zero actor, along with her cricketer husband, is seen to have a fun time.

Anushka has tweeted with an appeal for isolation too. Virat shared the tweet.

Anushka and Virat have had super hectic work schedules otherwise. Anushka was preoccupied with her Bollywood projects till the production of all upcoming movies was put on hold. For Virat, the Indian Premier League, which was scheduled to begin from 29 March, has been suspended till 15 April.

Earlier on Friday, as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus pandemic, Virat and Anushka asked everyone to stay at home for their own safety. Anushka shared a video clip on Twitter, in which the couple can be seen asking the people to take necessary precautions.

“We know we all are going through a very difficult time, and the only way to stop the spread of coronavirus is by acting together, we are staying at home for our safety and for others as well and you should do it too to prevent the further spread of the virus. Let’s make it safe for us and everyone else by self-isolation. Stay home and stay healthy,” she said.

Coronavirus cases in India rose to over 400 today after 30 fresh cases were reported in various parts of the country, the Health Ministry said.