They killed him on a rumour that he ate beef: does Bollywood even care?
Dear Bollywood Celebrities,
We know you are quite used to fame, flash lights and applauds; letters from fans and coverages from media. However, we aren’t sure how exactly you accept criticisms. Pleasing words of praise feel really nice. But we apologise, we don’t have any right now. Media houses are supposed to give voices to those who want to speak but can’t. This is a letter of sheer disappointment; on behalf of all those who idolised you in life.
We eagerly await your posts on Facebook, your updates on Instagram, your tweets on Twitter. We await your presence in various tournament opening ceremonies, award shows, television shows. We stand in queue for hours, just to get a glance of you in your movie premieres. Did you know? You have fans who save pocket money to catch the first-day-first-shows of your films. Your hair styles would go viral and famous dialogues from you would be posted by Facebook statuses by thousands. Ever wondered why? Because you impress us, influence us. Your social stands are important to us. Where did you all disappear when that innocent man in UP was “accused” of eating beef (which was proved false later) and got killed? Where’re your updates now? Or does it seem too controversial an issue for you? & of course, you only want the bright side of publicity. Spotlight is for you. We are laymen, the mud of criticism is meant only for us. You can nicely escape.
A few years ago, Shah Rukh Khan was harassed at a foreign airport over his religion and surname; that hit headlines everywhere and you all were over-sympathetic towards your fellow actor. We saw a lot of statements speaking of religious equality. Mohammad Akhlaq from Dadri (UP) was an ordinary middle class man. He was no star,hence he deserved no attention, we assume. Aaradhya bachchan features in the media ten times a month, with her celebrity mother holding her hand proudly. The apparent affair between Shah Rukh Khan’s son and Amitabh Bachchan’s granddaughter has everyone’s attention. Saif Ali Khan’s son’s Dubsmash steals hearts. But of course, Akhlaq’s daughter Sajida is just another ordinary girl, among thousands such. Why would she deserve any attention at all! “Quantico” makes you proud to be an Indian because your fellow actor Priyanka Chopra features there. But well, right in the same country which you call yours, a man dies because he “allegedly” ate beef, which wasn’t liked by the dominant religious community. The so called “allegation” was proved false later. & what if he did? What if he ate food of his choice, in a country which claims to be world’s largest democracy? Doesn’t that bother you even a bit? We wonder if you put your conscience to sleep in selective cases!
Remember the instances when your films get banned. Remember how you reacted when “Phantom” got banned in Pakistan, when cases were filed against PK, when “Battle of Banaras” was denied a censor certificate, when the release of “Rang Rasiya” delayed for over 2 years. The best of your secular part came out. We thought it was because you all are rational unbiased human beings. But after seeing your weird silence on such a shameful incident which demands strong protests, we assume you’re in favour if religious equality only till it’s related to your profession, and well, your earnings! In an apparent democratic country where religion even restricts people from eating food of their choice, you expect films to be free from religious dominance? Your conscience wakes up only when the film industry is affected and other times you’re so silent as if you never spoke. Much hypocrisy, huh?
Shah Rukh Khan; referred to as “King” by fans. Aamir Khan; has been hosting a nationally popular TV show which speaks against all forms of social injustice. Sonakshi Sinha; was in spotlight for protesting against objectification of women. Amitabh Bachchan; donates huge amount to the poor ones. We look with a magnifying glass and still don’t find anyone else apart from Farhan Akhtar, who came forwarded and said “what has happened is wrong and shouldn’t have”. Whether to be angry because you disappointed us or to be sorry because we were expecting too much from you?
Some backed what happened. Some protested. But there’s one thing you must remember.Both the “some’s include your fans, followers. Someone who thinks eating beef is a sin and anyone who does it must be killed, might have changed his mind if only you spoke strongly against it. The ones who’re ashamed of this instance, might have gathered some more strength and would stand against such tyranny strongly if you, the stars, expressed your firm support for them. You instead chose to be silent.
India yet needs much of progressive mindset. That won’t come on its own until progressive people foster it deliberately. When you deprive your admires of knowing your stand (of course a progressive one), you know what happens? You lose people who’d otherwise stand by you when you yourself are a victim of such nonsensical situations.
Admiration is something to be earned.Take it for granted, and it’ll vanish in a less than a second.
Hope we make sense.