Mahima Chaudhry, former Bollywood Actor

Mahima Chaudhry, former Bollywood Actor

Asit Dixit and Umesh Patil |
February 19, 2019

“Jhoot mooth ke Tweet kitna milega … kya budget lekar aaye ho (You mean, fake Tweets. How much will you pay … What is your budget)?”

Today she is a pale shadow of her yesteryears. Crowned Miss India in 1990, Mahima Chaudhry, born Ritu Chaudhry, became a rage among cine buffs when her debut Pardes hit the silver screen two decades back. But the one-film wonder actor receded into oblivion. Chaudhry hit the headlines in 2015 when her name figured among 628 Indian who had Swiss bank accounts.

Cobrapost team met the actor at her Lokhandwala residence. “Jhoot mooth ke Tweet kitna milegakya budget lekar aaye ho (You mean, fake Tweets. How much will you pay … What is your budget)?” she asked in a business-like manner. Cobrapost reporters made the agenda clear to her: This social media campaign will run for eight–nine months. We will provide you the content and you will have to post the same in your own words on your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages. The campaign will have three phases. The first phase will consist in promotion of various popular schemes floated by the NDA government in the past four years of its rule, such as Beti Bachao Beti Parhao, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Ujjwala Yojna, among others. Sometimes, the opposition tries to corner the government when a bridge falls in Banaras and a girl is raped in Kathua. You have to defend the government when the opposition becomes aggressive on such issues.

Agreeing to tweaking the content according to situation at hand, Mahima says, “Haan, matlab (Yes, you mean) it should look genuine.” The Cobrapost team even gives her idea how creatively she can tweet about the Kathua rape case. Without naming anybody, we tell her, she can write how the PM has nothing to do with the case. “Achha matlab support karna hai (You mean I have to support [the government]).” Yes, you got it right, she is told. You have to defend the NDA government on issues such as this. This has to be done logically. The objective is: reap political benefit out of your support on social media. Hope you are comfortable on both counts. “Nahi (No), that is fine,” cooed the actor. She has no problem, either, with the political mileage her tweets will give to the party. She is smart enough to acknowledge what the real objective of this celebrity social media support is, as she says, “And plus everybody start thinking like that, brain wash.”

She is also aware how resourceful the BJP is to tell the Cobrapost team, “BJP toh kuchh bhi de sakti hai. They can give one crore a month (The BJP can give you anything. They can give 1 crore a month).” It is a steep price, so we try to negotiate. “Itna bada kaam hai jhooth bulwa rahe ho tareef karwa rahe ho saste meinnahi Twitter aur Facebook aisi cheej hai mitati nahi ek baar maine kuchh bol diya haan kar di ek tareh se I have joined BJP (This is such a big assignment. You are asking me to tell lies, commending [the government] for cheap … No, Twitter and Facebook are not something which can be erased if I say something on them. When I agree [to work for you] in a way I have joined BJP),” she reprimands us. Finally, we agree to pay her Rs. 1 crore a month.

When we ask how many followers she has on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, she tells us she is not active on Twitter. She is on Instagram while her Facebook account is handled by her sister. Telling us she does not buy followers on social media, she makes a stunning revelation while dropping the name of a very well-known actor. “Tomorrow if I will say I can make 2 million, 3 million, 4 million [followers]. You know they all negotiate with me. [Pointing upstairs] Abhi jo … ka bhi hai (You see … has also offered me). He says give me [Rs.] 50,000 a month I will make this many twitter [followers]. You know how it is?... Maine nahi kiya (I didn’t go for that). I want to see my own base how it starts.” We appreciate her honest approach.

Coming back to her fee, we say you have quoted a fee of Rs. 1 crore. But before we could complete the sentence, Mahima interjects to know, “Haan, ye aap paise kaise doge (Yes, how will you pay me this money).” We will come to the point and explain it to you, we assure her. As we say since she does not have a Twitter account, she will be posting only 10 messages a month. Mahima jumps to promise she would open a Twitter account after the deal is finalized, “Nahi agar fir aa jayenge na hum Twitter (Then, I will come on Twitter).”

Her fee thus settled, we ask her if she has any doubt about the agenda and the job at hand. “Nahi koi doubt nahi hai (No, there is no doubt),” Mahima is categorical. As the discussion moves on, Mahima becomes critical of the government policies, saying loan defaulters have left the country after defrauding the public exchequer. There is anger and aggression among the public, she says. Raising a red flag, we advise her not to make such tweets criticizing the government. At this moment, talking like a blackmailer, the actor threatens, “Agar aapne dhang se paisa nahi diya toh main Congress ki taraf se kar doongi (If you don’t pay me well, I will do such tweets in support of the Congress).”

After the deal has been settled between the two parties, Mahima comes up with an idea: She is invited to many events where she can say something in support of the government. She shall send the videos of such events which can be tweeted or retweeted. “Don’t you think it will look more genuine,” she asks. We couldn’t agree more.

Like many other celebrities, Mahima was also desperate for the contract to materialize. Here we quote verbatim a mail she sent us, “Hi this is with regard to the PR activity discussed can we move ahead this week as you mentioned it was to start on 8 th of June. Kindly let me know what’s to be done. ”

We spoke to Mahima over phone a couple of times to check if she stood by what she has committed. Her only worry is the contract which has not reached her yet. “Nahi koi confusion nahi hai (No, there is no confusion). You just send me the contract so I can send you my PAN card and bank details,” she tells us.

We had e-mailed a questionnaire to all these celebs to know what they would like to say on what we have revealed in our story. Click here to read the answers.

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