As expected, Bollywood liberals are at their virtue signalling best as race riots erupt in US after the horrific police killing of George Floyd. “Black Lives Matter” or its variant “All Lives Matter” is being displayed by the usual suspects on their social media profiles.
Never the one to hold back or give in to peer pressure, actress Kangana Ranaut has raised a very valid point during an online interview to Pinkvilla magazine: “The Sadhu lynching happened a couple of weeks ago; still no one said a word. It happened in Maharashtra where most of these celebrities reside.”
This question had crossed minds of many commoners too, who were pained at the brutal lynching in Palghar where chilling footage showed a 70-year-old Kalpavriksha Giri Maharaj being callously handed over to the mob by a policeman despite the elderly sadhu clutching at his arm and pleading for mercy. Even that image of a gentle, pious soul being beaten to death in the most ghastly manner was not enough to move the Bollywood liberal gang, as Kangana has rightly pointed out.
One of the first ones to demonstrate her support for the #BlackOutTuesday movement launched by demonstrators in America, was Kareena Kapoor Khan. The Begum of Pataudi, who has named her son after a genocidal 14th century invader, who had once wanted to date Rahul Gandhi, showed her solidarity with people of different colours who she assures us want the same thing – ‘freedom and respect’.
Be reminded that this is the same Kareena Kapoor who had once abused Bipasha Basu as “Kali Billi” enjoying her privileged status of being from the Kapoor family in an industry where Bipasha had entered with a lot of hard work.
Kareena had also held up a placard demanding justice for the Kathua rape victim but had maintained radio silence during the legion of rapes of Hindu children committed by Muslim criminals. But again, we don’t blame Kareena totally. The actress who was clueless when the whole country was talking about Mangalyaan, can only be expected to know so much about what’s going on in Bharat. She, perhaps, just posts whatever she is guided to.
For years we have seen Bollywood actors and actresses are not only academically sub-par in most cases, but oblivious to local and global events in general. They don’t lend, but often rent out their voices to causes that pay the best.
We all saw an apt demonstration of that in the paid PR by Bollywood celebs for the Maharashtra government and CM Uddhav despite the woeful handling of the Corona pandemic in the state. It is not difficult to hire persuasive voices from the entertainment industry, or position them as per the prevailing left-liberal agendas for eyeballs or movie promotions. Actors, directors, singers enjoy huge popularity among youngsters and it’s easy for them to influence views despite superficial or no knowledge.
Apart from Kareena, many other Bollywood celebrities also observed #BlackoutTuesday to protest US police brutality by blackening their Instagram. And just like Kareena, none of these Mumbai-based celebs had a word of condemnation for the brutal lynching of two Hindu sadhus and their driver in Palghar, just two hours away from where the Karisma Kapoors, Tara Sutarias, Kriti Kharbandas of Bollywood live.
They had no words of disapproval for the Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP regime and Maharashtra police which stood silently as the victims were lynched in Palghar. Two students holding a peaceful protest in West Bengal were gunned down by Mamata Banerjee’s police back in September 2018. Not one actor from the Mumbai or Kolkata film industry rose in protest or expressed their condemnation.
But they all jumped to demand justice for George Floyd. It’s a whole different fact that no one in the US cares one bit about what these people have to say about their government, but the urge to appear cool and global is so shamelessly evident in these “American wannabes”, it’s beyond embarrassing. Hypocritical? Of course.
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As civilised beings we are bound by an unwritten social contract. Then why do some lives seemingly matter more? Why should one's privilege come at the cost of someone else's misery? There should be no 'other'. There is no 'other'. Dignity for all. Equality for all. Freedom for all. Humanity is my religion. #BlackOutTuesday
Dia Mirza, after a stalled acting career, has been trying her hand at activism. She stands in her gorgeous drawing room with wooden flooring, in front of a shelf stacked with books, and then sheds tears in a press conference for the environment. To empathise with the rioting in the US, the Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein actress made an initial Instagram post with little understanding of the matter – she used a far-right aligned hashtag in her post which invited the fury of swarms of enraged liberals from the West. “Bimbo”, “Dumbo”, “ignorant”, some very harsh words were thrown at her, by the same audience she aimed at wooing. The semi-informed actress then made edits to her post to suit her target audience, albeit, quietly.
Examples are aplenty, but the conclusion is the same. Most Bollywood entertainers don’t stand for Bharat or Hindus. As Kangana Ranaut rightly added, “It is a shame they continue to live in a bubble and never fail to jump on the bandwagon, which can give them two minutes of fame, but ‘white people’ must drive the bandwagon. Perhaps, it is because of their pre-independence colonial slavery genes.”
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