The nation wants to know how Aamir Khan responded when his ‘despondent’ wife asked him to move out of India. What should an ordinary Indian do who doesn’t have luxury of sipping tea/wine in sprawling drawing rooms and mulling over foreign citizenship? Wait, which country should we apply to? Which corner of the world is ‘secure’ today?
By Karan Bhardwaj
First, I am neither anti-India nor a Modi-bhakt. I just happen to be a regular guy from Delhi, who’s as concerned about India as Mr Perfectionist, Aamir Khan. Second, I am not going to stop watching Aamir Khan’s movies either. For me, he continues to be the star that he is. Making bold statements is his Right and reacting to them with equal belief is mine.
While taking part at the Ramnath Goenka Awards, India’s eminent actor, also one of the most bankable superstars in the history of Indian cinema, said his wife was contemplating on shifting abroad as she is feared for her child’s safety in India. She is also frightened to open newspapers nowadays. Adding to that, he said that it was a disastrous and a big statement coming to him from his wife. The moment he used word ‘disastrous’, I began to wonder what exactly was going on in Aamir’s mind at the time when he was also addressing a big political gathering.
Dear Mr Khan, tell me why did you call your wife’s statement ‘disastrous’? Are you not on the same side as hers? If not, why didn’t you share your piece of mind? Or did you just endorse her thoughts? If that so, what stopped you both to stay back here? What assured you that you would bravely face forthcoming hurricane of criticism by ‘intolerant Indians’ even after making such ‘disastrous’ statement?
Let me tell you. Not a long ago, you were selling ‘hope’ on television through Satyamev Jayate by broadcasting some of the most heroic stories in India. People you profiled experienced the worst of brutality yet they stood for who they are and what they believe in. In each episode, you made it clear that India will never be defeated and we shall win over hatred. In tourism ads that you did for ‘Incredible India’, you were scolding local miscreants for misbehaving with foreign tourists.
Now, in the last 7 months, you said a lot has changed. You agreed that there’s growing despondency in India. I won’t question you on that despite having contrary belief. It’s a fact today that we are dealing with a situation where several opinion-makers and influential people, or call them intelligentsia, are returning their prestigious awards bestowed upon them by the nation. It’s great that we are fiercely discussing matters so they can be tackled before they go out of hands. But what message did you try giving when you cited your wife’s thought of moving out of the country?
Don’t you think it is an act of cowardice to run away from situation and let perpetrators win? Will you leave India polarised? It’s a different matter that there’s hardly any ‘secure’ space in the world today. I agree with you when you say that it is the duty of the State to control fringe elements and teach them hard lessons. That’s not happening right now. But running away is no solution, my dear PK. May I remind you about your ‘screen strength’ from Lagaan where you fought for rights of poor Indians during a cricket match. Today, India needs that similar strength to deal with ‘insecurity’ crisis.
There’s no cricket pitch here but you can definitely lead the torch. I am not suggesting here what you can do to help India as you are smart enough to judge your capacity. All I am saying is that it could be a luxury for you and your wife to discuss future of your kids at heavenly abodes while many in India have no such privilege, but remember India has always set the examples for the world to follow. Today, we have an opportunity yet again.
Let’s talk hope and dispel fears!