Film celebs shouldn’t take stand on social issues – here’s why

Gaurang Chauhan
Film stars and filmmakers have always been targeted for voicing their opinion...

Two years ago, when Shah Rukh Khan made a comment about increasing number of social media trolls, his statement was misconstrued and he was called names by many trolls and political parties. That still continues. A month later, when Aamir Khan freely spoke about the increasing intolerance in India, he, too, was dissed by the same set of trolls and just like Shah Rukh Khan he was called various names. The most silliest one being ‘anti-national.’ It’s been one-and-a-half year and the two still face the wrath of the political parties for the same.

Shah Rukh, in particular, had to face a lot of backlash from those in power. So much so, that it affected the collections of his film, Dilwale. It is reported that the film didn’t see a release in approx 40 per cent of screens in India. Irrespective of the content, while worldwide it is Shah Rukh Khan’s biggest hit, in India it was an underperformer.

Aamir Khan, too, faced a backlash and was subsequently removed as the brand ambassador of an e-commerce brand post the controversy.

Last year various political parties targeted Karan Johar for casting ‘Pakistani’ artiste Fawad Khan in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and his film’s release was threatened. One of the biggest names in the Bollywood had to plead and beg on camera requesting the ‘hooligans’ to let his film have a smooth release.

And yesterday the showman of today’s time and probably India’s most skilled filmmaker, too, was held at ransom when the release of his upcoming magnum opus, Baahubali, was threatened thanks to the statements made by one of it’s actors, Sathyaraj, nine years ago. He, just like Karan Johar, had to release a video requesting the group involved to let the film have a smooth release in Karnataka. It was really heartbreaking to see one of the greatest directors, pleading and apologising to get his film a release.

During the Pak artiste ban, Sushant Singh Rajput voiced his opinion and no points for guessing that he received a lot of flak for it. Similarly when he chose to side with Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the whole Padmavati issue, again, he faced the ire of trolls. Also read: Here’s why Kannada superstar Kiccha Sudeep could’ve saved S S Rajamouli from public humiliation

Above are are just a few examples of what our film celebs go through when they voice their opinion or if they take a stand on certain issues.

As a result of this Karan Johar has sworn to not work with any Pakistani artistes in future, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan have stopped giving their opinion, despite the fact that both of them are very well-informed about various issues and have not shied away from taking a stand. Sushant Singh Rajput, at the trailer launch of Raabta, refused to comment when asked about an Indian national being given the death statement in Pakistan. This even led to his much publicised scuffle with a journalist.

And here I agree with the way all the celebs have decided to be on the defensive when asked to comment on social issues. I mean why should they? You have the examples in front of you and these are just a few of them.

Come to think of it, Sathyaraj made those comments nine years ago. Since then many of his films have released in Karnataka and there was no controversy around any of it. Be it Chennai Express or even Baahubali: The Beginning, all his films saw a smooth release but why only now? Also read: Sathyaraj apologises for his controversial speech, Twitter can’t stop gushing about the Baahubali actor

The protesters were asked the same question and their leader said that they were looking for a right moment to react, when it’ll hurt them the most. Facepalm! The said organisation knew Baahubali 2 is India’s biggest release and it will incur heavy losses if not released in the state. If this doesn’t sound like blackmail, what does?

Shah Rukh Khan, later, in an interview, expressed that he has decided to be politically correct in all his interviews as whatever he says is taken out of context and he hates it when he is asked to prove his patriotism.

Say what you may, but Aamir Khan was correct when he pointed out the increase in the number of intolerants in India. A celebrated filmmaker like Sanjay Leela Bhansali was slapped and assaulted by a bunch of hooligans and it was him who apologised in return. And the funny part is, he was slapped on the basis of assumption!

The point of all this is simple, STOP ASKING FILM CELEBS TO COMMENT OR TAKE A STAND ON SOCIAL, POLITICAL OR ANY ISSUE. For when they do it, things don’t end well for them.