MUMBAI: A leaked US cable has said Bollywood welcomed funding from gangsters and politicians, known in India as “black money”. While there is no direct reference of Dawood Ibrahim who allegedly financed a number of movies, the cable said in recent decades, Bollywood has been associated with the notorious Mumbai underworld.
According to Jehil Thakkar, head of media and entertainment for (KPMG), this association stemmed from the financing needs of the industry; until 2000, by government fiat, the industry was ineligible for bank credit, private equity, and other legitimate commercial financing. “As a result, films were financed by ad hoc collections of investors, many of whom were from the construction and trade industries, who charged interest rates as high as 60-100%.” agencies
“The industry also welcomed funds from gangsters and politicians, looking for ways to launder their ill-gotten gains, known in India as “black money”, said the cable issued by the US Consulate in Mumbai, released by WikiLeaks.
After the government added the film industry to the list of legitimate industries, the corporatisation of Bollywood – and the wider entertainment industry – began,” the cable said.