Bollywood is a funny industry, they make their own movies, and they give awards to themselves. And we the people are even funnier, we clap.
A lot has been said about the movie Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and its makers. The media has spoken enough, and so has bollywood. One of the biggest tragedies in our country is that we project the kith and kin of bollywood and the league of celebrities as role models for the youth, and often, these people speak irresponsibly, running a huge risk of their thoughts being adopted by their fan following. I am a self confessed bollywood freak, and there’s hardly any Hindi movie that I may not have watched. I love the entertainment part of the movies, but honestly, despite all efforts, there was nothing really worth learning from any of these movies, barring a very few.
Bollywood becomes very vocal when it comes to protecting their interests but very subdued when it comes to doing something for others. Take an example of Mr Anurag Kashyap, a man who doesn’t make a movie without at least 50% of script in vulgar language and bashes, tweets to the PM to apologize for visiting Pakistan. Now, the justification around this is that Karan Johar too made a movie around the same time, and so, Karan shouldn’t be penalized. Reminds me of childhood when teacher would catch us for some mistake, and we’d justify it pointing out someone else. We never looked within, and thus, the solution never emerged. In another take, Mr Abhay Deol, the other quiet gentleman, asked whether banning Pakistani artists will tackle terrorism. Dude, neither allowing them to work in India will. In fact, we have enough proof to show that despite all friendly efforts made by Indian Govt (including PM’s visit to Pakistan and inviting Mr Sharrif for swearing in ceremony), Pakistan hasn’t stopped its old tricks.
What’s even more interesting is Mr Karan Johar’s video appeal. A man who woke up finally when his movie was due to release. While Paresh Rawal’s take on this episode is logical (saying Pak artistes have made money and flown back, and now producers will lose (Indian producers)), I feel he should have explained this to his own fraternity. Mr Salman Khan, I’ve been big fan despite his questionable acting skills, also had similar views that artistes are not terrorists. I take this well. However, what the entire bollywood has failed to understand is the larger picture. You’re missing the forest for the trees.
By banning cricket ties or bollywood ties with Pakistan, India is trying to send a message to the country saying, “Hey look, pull up yourselves. We’re not entertaining you anymore”. We are asking them to improve their standards and come clean as a country. In fact, cricket diplomacy has been happening ever since, and no one had a problem with it. Why didn’t Sony/ESPN cry against the Govt when this kept happening? These guys have lost a lot of money on several occasions after buying broadcasting rights, and series being called off. They didn’t protest against the Govt. Even for commercial entities, country comes first. Then, why does the bollywood think that art is above everything else? Or is it the fear of losing the market in Pakistan, where Hindi movies make quite a lot of money? In fact, bollywood is the only serious business India has with Pakistan. Sultan grossed some Rs 30 crores in Pakistan, just a tad lower than the highest grossing Pakistani movie that year. What’s furthermore interesting is Pakistan has happily banned Indian movies already, and that’s some fuel in the fire for bollywood. But then, what’s commending is that movie theaters in Pakistan will go empty (most of these were built only recently after the movie ban was removed in 2007) and yet, the owners are not crying.
Now, please note that all these bans are put in place by theater associations, film makers associations or by political groups like MNS and NOT the Indian Govt. So, it is no sense to drag the Govt into this. The Govt has better work to do, and the PMO is already working beyond timelines. So, tagging Mr Modi for everything happening on the earth makes no sense. Our part time CM cum movie reviewer thinks that the purpose of Modi’s life is to create obstacles for him, but the fact is just that Modi may not even think of this guy for even a moment in his life. Keeping politics apart, the movie makers must understand this basic point that India is getting united along with the world and sending a clear message to Pakistan to mend its ways. People’s efforts to ban Chinese goods is not just an expression of anger towards China, but also creating an opportunity for Indian manufacturers. Similarly, people’s anger on Pakistani artists stemmed from the artists’ reluctance to condemn the Uri attacks. It is sad that these artists condemn attacks across the planet, but when asked to condemn attacks on India, they chose to pack their bags. Its very much evident that they are here to make money. Money from who? From us. So, how do Indian filmmakers expect us to give our money to such persons? In fact, it would have been a great gesture by bollywood if they had taken these steps themselves, instead of planning to donate money to Army, who give a shit about money.
Raj Thackery, sorry sir, you failed us. This was never about money. This was about pride and respect. And you let that go, in exchange of a petty sum. Karan Johar would be more than happy to throw away that Rs 5 crores, as he would easily have a 15-20x return on it in a week or two. The irony of all this is it was finally Mr Fadnavis, a BJP guy working closely with Modi, who put an end to the whole issue, in favor of bollywood. This perhaps shows that India is the most tolerant country in this world. Even when an enemy comes home, we still ask him if his travel was smooth, and if would like to have a tea or coffee. This should change.
On a personal front, I wish everyone in the bollywood a very best. I am no one to advise you. I hope you make a lot of money and live your lavish life, with cameras surrounding you and making headlines on everything with your brainy ideas. Through the entire episode, I have learnt one fact that it is finally the soldier who bears the brunt of every shit that we do. His life doesn’t change in any way. Its all ultimately on him. For my own pride that I do not want to be hurt, I plan NOT to watch the movie, and donate the money to the Army Welfare Fund instead of donating it to the bollywood welfare fund. I hope one day you all understand that the country is above an artist, and not otherwise. And for those who speak of intolerance, boss – we’ve been tolerating you for too long now, expecting you’ll grow one day. The party doesn’t and shouldn’t end however, and I hope to see some good souls doing some good movies soon. And of course, I’m watching Shivaay.