“Did Shah Rukh Khan spit while praying for the late Lata Mangeshkar at her funeral? But, Javed Akhtar and Aamir Khan, who also went for the last glimpse, though Muslims, did no such thing.”
“Hindi films and film stars are losing the respect and following of the masses.”
“South Industry dominates the Hindi film industry.”
Now, these are the kinds of tweets that were posted on the social media platform.
Soon after Shah Rukh’s pictures flashed saying his ‘duas’, a Haryana political party activist tweeted a half-cooked comment and he is supposed to be the IT Cell in-charge of this political party. His tweet just read, “Did he spit?” With this question, he reproduced the clip which shows Shah Rukh praying with a mask on.
The way the political climate prevails in the country today, it did not take long for this IT man’s tweet to spread like wildfire. The IT Cell in-charge who posted this provocative comment belongs to the BJP and this definitely is not a tweet conducive to promoting inclusive democracy.
The party, which built goodwill and promised good governance, does not need to try this kind of “inclusive” stunts that reek of divisive intent. The party will lose the following of sensible, progressive and balanced masses faster than they built it if such activities are encouraged.
Would Shah Rukh Khan or anybody else do what was alleged in the tweet? And, it was not even a statement or accusation. It was a pure and simple provocation and showed an anti-community intent.
A while back, a similar controversy was created around a hair stylist. He was said to have spat in a woman customer’s hair while setting it. Now did he do it?
A few days after the alleged incident, he was reported to have joined BJP. The controversy ended soon as he joined the party! So, did he or did he not spit?
Obviously, the man who started this twitter thread knew what he was doing and it was picked up by others who don’t use their own mind or logic. Why is Shah Rukh Khan, the darling of cinema goers, being turned into a villain and, in the bargain, the entire film fraternity is being made to look as being unwanted?
Just so that the one who posted this provocative tweet, understands, its is comparable to how the whole of India is painted in a negative light just to project the PM in a bad light!
The film industry neither gets, nor expects any benefits from the governments in the states or at the Centre. Yes, nothing except the National Awards, the choice of which the public may or may not agree with. The following of films and film stars is not related to these awards anyway.
If ever there was a step motherly treatment meted out to any tax-paying, job-generating industry, it is the film industry. Life is all about give and take. From the film industry, the authorities only take, promising nothing in return.
Yes, some governments thought that they were paying the stars for the favours they made by exempting their films from paying entertainment tax. But, now such an exemption means nothing with a state’s share of the taxes so collected amounting to just 9 per cent of the admission rates.
There have been articles and discussions about Hindi film stars losing their attraction, and the following of the South films and stars getting the better of the Hindi films and stars. Now, what is the idea of singling out a star and attributing ulterior motives to his prayers for a deceased dignitary of the status of Lata Mangeshkar?
Really speaking, an actor’s popularity is determined by his followers and no political party is going to change it. Kishore Kumar songs were banned on AIR after he refused to tow the Congress party line during the Emergency. Did that stop the filmmakers from assigning playback projects to him? He continued to be the makers’ and composers’ favourite. Because people loved his voice and songs.
The unity in the film industry, which survived even the Partition, has remained intact. The 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts and the communal riots that ensued did create some discomfort among communities in the film industry, especially because some of the accused belonged to the film industry. But what is being done now is to use film folk to create divisions and hatred.
Why look askance at the enire film fraternity if something happens as just another routine case? Why was the entire fraternity, all big-time filmmakers, directors and stars, made to parade before the cops following the suspicious death of the rising star Sushant Singh Rajput? And, after all that charade, the case was dubbed as being drug related!
If one actor is suspected or accused of possession of drugs, the entire family history as well as past drug cases are discussed at length. This certainly is not seen to happen when such a case involves others, say, an industrialist’s ward? Why does an individual, when caught on the wrong foot, become the whole industry just because he is connected to the film fraternity?
Please spare the film industry. Industry folk have always worked without religious prejudices. A Muslim producer follows the industry norms and makes sure he performs the muhurat at a film’s launch. He even celebrates the occasion with cocktails, even if he does not drink.
Why do most consumer products use film stars to model their ware? Why not a cop or a politician? Simply because film stars command that kind of respect. People trust what they promote.
Why do governments always call on film folk in time of a calamity or other issue when they want to appeal to the citizens? A lot of film stars helped convey messages to the masses regarding precautions against the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, didn’t they? Film stars are also the sought-after lot when the politicians need them for rallies or elections.
Film stars are not use-and-throw products. Leave the film folk alone. And don’t try to divide them.
–By Vinod Mirani