It has been reported that someone at the Tulip Star Hotel in Juhu, Mumbai, snatched the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award trophy from the hands of Pakistani singer-turned-actor Ali Zafar and ran away with it.
Which raises the pertinent question - was it because he is a Pakistani actor working in the Indian film industry? "In any story of scandal such as this, its not the who, how, where, what and when, which is as important as the 'why'," remarks Bollywood PR guru Dale Bhagwagar. "If that 'why' can be answered in this sorry scenario too, the riddle can also be solved," he adds. Dale has known many celebrities who have gone through similar helpless circumstances in huge crowds and sympathizes with Ali Zafar.
Apart from having handled the media for top of the line Bollywood names like Hrithik Roshan, Govinda, Shilpa Shetty and Priyanka Chopra earlier, the publicist has also looked after the PR for Pakistani superstar Meera for quite some time.
Even Pakistani starlet Veena Malik gained popularity in India when she got invited on India's biggest reality show Bigg Boss because of a controversy with one of Dale's clients, actress Neetu Chandra. On the show, she attracted further notoriety when she cootchie-cooed with Ashmit Patel, another of the same publicist's clients during Bigg Boss.
Ali Zafar made his India debut with the successful comedy Tere Bin Laden, and followed it up with another hit in Yash Raj Films' Mere Brother Ki Dulhan co-starring Imran Khan and Katrina Kaif. His last film London, Paris, New York also received critical acclaim.
Some of the other prominent awardees at the 143rd Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards included actors Amitabh Bachchan, Tanuja, Vinod Khanna, Ajay Devgn (Singham), Vidya Balan (The Dirty Picture), Waheeda Rehman, Saira Banu - Dilip Kumar, Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar (Bade Achhe Lagte Hain), Farhan Akhtar (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara), Prakash Raj, ace journalist Chaitanya Padukone, producer Ekta Kapoor and singer Gurdas Maan.