Archive for November, 2015

Grow Up India And Stop Questioning Aamir Khan’s Patriotism

He was one of your most loved actor, India’s superhero until a few days ago. One comment and you labelled him a traitor, terrorist, anti-Indian, anti-Modi and the choicest of abuse.

Aamir has every democratic right to express his thoughts

Aamir has every democratic right to express his thoughts

Aamir has every democratic right to express his thoughts, his views on anything he wants and that applies to every citizen in this country. Unfortunately, by reacting to the actor’s statement on ‘rising intolerance,’ a section of Indians –  the self-proclaimed “ambassadors of tolerance” – already proved his point that in turn questioned their “tolerance quotient.”

Enough is enough! Stop the pretense people. Deep down we know Aamir Khan is right. Hasn’t India become a little difficult for minorities to live over the last 18 months? Well, this is just my ‘opinion’… and though I have ample data to back my point, I won’t be comfortable detailing it here. Just the way we were always uncomfortable dealing with minority-related issues, on the basis of sexuality, gender, caste, religion.

Let’s switch the topic to Bollywood, that’s a more comfortable zone despite controversies. If Aamir Khan’s statement seemed flawed, think of what happened recently when Shah Rukh Khan spoke about intolerance. From the Bollywood’s favorite King Khan, being a Muslim became his identity out of the blue. He was even asked to go to Pakistan.

Also writers, artists and filmmakers from different religions who returned their awards in protest to the rising intolerance in the country were labelled as arrogant – for some their religions did matter.

Let’s not forget, Ranbir Kapoor was only recently quoted for saying that there is no freedom of speech in India was also in the spotlight. But yes, one could possibly say that maybe unlike Shah Rukh, or Aamir, Ranbir wasn’t asked to go to Pakistan or Saudi because of his religion.

And mind you, Aamir never said that he wants to leave India; instead, he just expressed his mere thought of leaving, which turned into big jokes which say “this is what happens when you listen too much to your wife”. (Read Aamir Khan’s complete statement here.) Reminds us of our age-old patriarchal views at every level in our society.

If I have to express my views, I would say, it is not just Kiran Rao who felt like leaving this country, I too have felt this way many times, of course not really meaning to do it. When I see the floundering judicial system in the country, when I read about gruesome rape cases happening in my motherland, when I see journalists threatened for their opinion, when I see celebrities labelled anti-national for expressing their views, I do feel like leaving this country.

But of course just like Kiran and Aamir, I won’t be leaving it literally. We know, no place is the world is perfect. And so, it would be stupid to question our patriotism because of this.

This also reminds me of a personal event, when I was in Class V and had to encounter an extremely insensitive Class teacher, who was always after the lives of a few students including me – for reasons still unknown to me. When she scolded me for what she felt was a ‘bratty behavior’, I was frightened and told her, (of course not meaning it), “Please don’t complain to my mom, she’ll kill me.”

My innocent words blown out of proportion and the consequence: not only my parents were called at once to know what a mischief I am in class, but also that my parents are cruel and they need counseling as they are even capable of killing their daughter… Well I can emphasize completely with the Khans in this situation.

The problem with trouble makers is that they often create a perception, blow things out of proportion, such that they make the rest of us feel that they are the true representation of the masses. But as the great Gautama Buddha said, the ultimate reality is nothing but a transcendent truth, which governs the universe and human life.

Grow up Indians. Instead of paying attention to those who distort every opinion we make, instead of listening to all those on social media, most of them hiding behind fake profiles, why can’t we use our own discretion in deciding what is right and what is wrong?

As for Aamir Khan who has already proved his mettle by producing one brilliance after the other  – from Lagaan to Sarfarosh and Rang De Basanti to Mangal Pandey, lets not question his patriotism. We know that his haters are actually a minority who do not represent the larger population of India.

Don’t forget Aamir, there will always be a larger population that likes you and your movies and we hope that those will continue to enter the 300-crore club, no matter what!