One of the most sought after actors in Bollywood are the ones who even tough play side-characters, leave their mark through their performances. While the lead can be easily replaced, it is hard to imagine another actor in their place. One such actor was Om Prakash Puri.
The late actor started his journey in the ‘70s and became one of the flag bearers of contemporary cinema in India. He later went on to become an important asset not only in Bollywood, but Hollywood as well. He was often lauded for her impeccable and versatile acting chops. He gave every character his own touch.
With all the fame and love that he was garnering from the audience, he was often embroiled in controversies. Being the outspoken guy that he was, the veteran actor never minced his words and put out his thoughts in a rather blunt tone, which spoke volumes about his thought process and his personality.
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Let’s take a look at some of the controversies Om Puri has faced in his life:
1. Sex with a 55-year-old maid when he was 14-years-old
Penned by Nandita Puri, Om Puri’s ex-wife, his biography Unlikely Hero: The Story of Om Puri revealed that the veteran actor had sex with a 55-year-old maid when he was just 14-years-old. This revelation left the entire country speechless. The book shared details on Puri’s sexual relations with not only the maid but a woman named Laxmi.
However, Om Puri’s admission of the same and his nonchalant answer added fuel to the already burning fire. He was quoted by an entertainment portal saying, “Aap mujhe bataiye, esme 14 saal ke bache ka kasoor tha ki 55 saal ki aurat ka? (You tell me, whose fault it was? A 14-year-old kid or a 55-year-old woman?)”
2. Anti-beef ban comment
One of the hot topics in Indian politics in 2015 was banning beef in the country. While, the entire nation was divided on their opinions, Om Puri’s take on the matter had led people to tell him to leave the country. Expressing his support on people eating beef, Puri told a group of journalists, “Those who wanted to put a ban on slaughtering cows in the country were hypocrites. We export beef and earn dollars from it. I want to ask them if they will fight people eating beef everywhere in the world? If Muslims want to eat beef in India, it shouldn't be a problem”
3. Insensitive comment on mourning martyred soldiers
During an attack by militants at the Border Security Force (BSF) camp which was located adjacently to the Rashtriya Rifles Army Camp in Baramulla in 2018, Om Puri made an insensitive comment on the army while the entire nation was busy mourning the loss of the soldiers. While many soldiers were left severely injured, Jawan Nitin Yadav along with many soldiers lost their life. The actor was invited to a news debate to discuss the attack and to talk about how the families of the soldier are going through a tough time.
Instead of sympathizing with the families of the martyrs and giving his condolences, the actor said, "Who had asked the soldiers to join the army? Who told them to pick the weapons? Prepare 15-20 people as suicide bombers and send them to Pakistan."
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4. Dubbed the Naxals as fighters
The actor shared his thoughts on Naxalites while working with director Prakash Jha on his movie Chakravuyh. He described the Naxals as people who fight for the betterment of their people. He had said, “They (Naxals) are not terrorists because they don't resort to irresponsible acts of terror by planting bombs on streets. Naxals are fighters who fight for their rights. They don't harass the common man and the poor.”
This statement of his, had left the country enraged and utterly disappointed in the actor.
5. Physically abusing his ex-wife Nandita Puri
This incident surely left everyone in shock. It was in 2013, that Nandita Puri filed a complaint against the actor for physically assaulting her. It was reported that the altercation took place after an argument had ensued between the couple. It was after then that the couple got divorced, ending their marriage of 26 years.
Puri was charged with IPC Sections 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 504 (intentional insult to provoke breach of the peace), and 506 (criminal intimidation).
The veteran actor passed away on January 6, 2017, following a severe heart attack.
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