Photo: Ritam Banerjee/Getty Images
In a land of great tradition and tolerance, Aamir Khan is facing a lot of flak. His effigies are being burnt, and in the capital, there's been an FIR filed against him. And why? Because he shared with the world his wife's worries about the safety of their child, in a climate of insecurity.
Many spokespersons and ministers from the ruling BJP have weighed in on the issue. One lady minister even said that the reason Aamir can say these things is testament to the country's tolerance. One wonders if this was friendly advice or a threat!
Many of Aamir's fellow artists have been telling him how this country has made him 'Aamir Khan'; has given him fame and fortune. One wonders why they picked this time to remind him of that.
To my mind, these artists' advice to Aamir is quite like parents telling their daughter - 'he is your husband. He has given you a home, given you security. So what if he has kicked you around? So what if he has abused you? That's no reason to wash dirty linen in public. These matters should remain behind closed doors'.
What Aamir should've done is followed in Amitabh Bachchan's footsteps and quietly continued selling cement and kidswear . He should've continued posting his old pictures on social media. He should've continued making his millions by flexing his biceps, a la Salman Khan.
It's not as though Amitabh or Salman don't speak out in public. But they know how to sidestep difficult questions. If someone asked Aamir a question about the situation in the country, he should've parroted an old dialogue or sung a movie song. He didn't need to do any more.
What was the need to say that, as a citizen of this country, he feels the situation has worsened? That the other day, when he and his wife sat talking, she wondered if they should leave the country? He said it didn't please him to hear those things from her. But who heard that last part?
What was with the urge to say something so intelligent? He's a film hero, for crying out loud, not a journalist! In this country, it is only the journalists who can say intelligent things. Intelligence is the sole responsibility of the media. It's a different matter that we seem to have lost our way a bit nowadays.
All he needed to do was to gyrate his hips to one of his old numbers. This brouhaha is entirely his fault.
This man has always had a lack of sense - he runs his mouth off on serious issues, he joins protest marches, sings paeans to the nation's motto, 'Satyameva Jayate'. Now look where it has landed him! Bhakts are abusing him, fellow artists are abusing him, as are some intellectuals and even journalists frothing at the mouth!
An army of bhakts doesn't even need to look any further than his last name to bay for his blood. These are the honest ones, the ones who speak clearly about what they believe. They didn't differentiate between him and Shah Rukh Khan, who spoke out on the same issue.
But journalists and so-called intellectuals have some deeply entrenched enmity with Aamir. This army will also want to settle scores with him. He's given them a chance - and they wouldn't be worth their salt if they didn't take it and run with it.
Their primary bone to pick with Aamir is that this man is an actor. His job is to sing, dance and emote. He should stay within his boundaries.
But this man, time and again, raises his voice about the important issues in the country. He sells song-and-dance and, with a TV show like Satyameva Jayate, also peddles homilies against rape and child abuse.
The anger is justified. Aamir should stop and think that if he starts selling everything like an e-commerce site, which he advertises, what will we journalists and 'big brother' writers do? Aamir ought to understand that he's into wholesale and we are retail merchants. He must sell his own stuff and let us sell ours. But no, he wants to sell this AND that.
Now, if it comes to the question of employment and survival, won't there be backlash?