10. Pooja Bhatt (1997)
No other controversy sums up better India’s tortuous equation with globalization in the 1990s than this saga: a cyber-sicko tacked Pooja Bhatt’s head onto a naked woman’s body and put it up on a website. A filmi rag, Stardust, made the mistake of publishing a story about this morphed photograph in 1997. What you had in the aftermath was a Tom Wolfe satire. In our desi version of The Bonfire of the Vanities, you had police complaints filed against Stardust, lawsuits slapped against the internet site. But what was truly absurd was the morcha of right-wingers forming a human chain outside Pooja Bhatt’s home, holding her responsible. All this even though the article had clearly stated that the photograph was morphed, that the actress had been a victim of malicious slander! The protesters had not read the article, only responded to the image carried with it. Later, an ‘NGO’ conceded that it had sent a 'morcha' to Pooja Bhatt’s home because she had earlier refused to do a campaign for them. So much for the morality.
Curious to know who Nupur Mehta is, in case you missed her in the unforgettable Sunny Deol starrer, Jo Bole So Nihaal (2005)? Do check out this video: