opinions that matter

Here is the latest analogy from the ‘sultaan’ of Bollywood! He felt like a ‘raped woman’ when he finished the shooting schedule; that’s amazing, isn’t it? Salman Khan is almost an agnostic who has command over all the feelings and emotions, be it womanly or manly or childish. Salman’s rape remark has brought out in public three things – first that Bollywood is absolutely insensitive; second is that the actress’ fraternity in Bollywood is not as independent as they inspire the Indian women to be in advertisements (for most of which, yes, they are paid), and finally, Saleem Khan will always come to the rescue of his son. However, this time, he did the wise thing by extending an apology on behalf of Salman.

It’s not the first time that Salman has been the centre of a controversy. You must remember the remark by his former closed lady – Katrina. She has bluntly told that there is nothing surprising if he is amid a controversy (the IOA ambassador case). This time, however, the controversy is very sensitive. Salman Khan has (may be unintentionally?) just trivialized the suffering of a rape victim and his analogy is nothing but a further attack on the womanhood. And what came to me as the most shocking scenario (after listening to the audio) was that the journalists surrounding him laughed shamelessly on his remark. I take it equally offensive when someone laughs on a derogatory statement as someone making such statements.

The Bollywood which is known to ramshackle almost everything on social issues (udtaa Punjab) is seen hiding behind the walls of ‘ignorance is bliss’. All the sensitive directors and producers are either happy with their closed ears (or may be listening to the songs of Sultaan with their Bluetooth headphones) or they are defending Salman saying that usual ‘misquoted’ line. Where is the difference then, Bollywood elite class? How do you claim to be the mouthpiece of the society? Is this what you feel about a rape victim?

I know the script that will be followed at night – classic 9 PM Arnab Goswami debate; maybe Barkha Dutt also takes it and Rajdeep passing his hinu-pinu comments… twitter rage and defence and the issue is dusted! The perpetual story of climaxes turning towards anti-climaxes is not new in today’s India. We seldom need anything more than a furore and let the issue go away. These Bollywood stars have often been motor mouths but we could do nothing. Today, we have social media – facebook and twitter to communicate our ire and often insult those who have committed the ‘error’. But what we need is moving ahead all these and make them accountable for what they have brought (in this case, an insult to women of the nation). Salman Khan must apologise for what he has said. His father’s apology won’t always work. I would also love to see the interventions from Bollywood ladies other than Nagma who have been defending her baselessly since the morning.

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