Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Some Khan's are terrorists
I never thought that I will be discussing films in my blog ever. I broke that rule when I saw Rann and I am breaking it again though I haven't seen the film under discussion today - My Name is Khan.
It is the only movie in my memory that was promoted in the fashion that it was. With that first staement from SRK about Pakistani cricketers non-inclusion in IPL it started appearing to me that I was watching James Bond's movie - Tomorrow Never Dies.
As the drama unfolded, I was convinced that it is indeed the real life version of Tomorrow Never Dies.
I may not have seen the movie, but the famous line - My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist - gives a fair impression of the primary theme. The same theme had been shown in SRK's erstwhile favorite production house Yashraj Film's New York.
The movie is primarily aimed at creating sympathy for the muslim community, especially in the aftermath of 9/11. Undoubtedly the world has started talking more openly about the evils of Jehad and the large scale involvement of Muslims in terrorist activities. In order to secure their countries and the lives of their citizens, country after country started treating Muslims with distrust and caution. Both sides are bound to look at it differently. Muslims, all over the world, started complaining of this mistrust as many believe that they don't deserve this since they are clean.
Anyway, back to our issue. In Tomorrow Never Dies, Bond comes across Carver Media Group network boss Elliot Carver goes to the extent of trying to cause a war between UK and China in order to promote his news channel in China. In other words, he is ready to create international issues and cause mayhem for personal commercial benefits.
SRK's movie was aimed at Muslims, any muslim in the world would relate to his subject. That was his primary audience. So after he himself didnot buy any Pakistani player for his team Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL, SRK took the opportunity from the fact that no one else did too. He goes to the media and blames IPL management and other teams of having maintained double standard and taking a moral highground on the issue of not a single Pakistani player being bought out in IPL auction. This was on January 25, 2010, (His exact statement was, “They are the champions, they are wonderful but somewhere down the line there is an issue and we can’t deny it. We are known to invite everyone. We should have. If there were any issues, they should have been put on board earlier. Everything can happen respectfully”...."Pakistan is a great neighbour to have. We are great neighbours, They are good neighbours. Let us love each other. Let me be honest. My family is from Pakistan, my father was born there and his family is from there," he added.)
The idea for him may have been to create a favorable image for himself in order to promote his movie in Pakistan. He had gone round the muslim world, especially, to promote his movie, in addition to NASDAQ and Berlin.
But calling Pakistan a good neighbour was going a bit too far. Can you imagine the reaction of people who lost their loved ones in 26/11 or any of the terrorists attacks that are sponsored by Pakistan? Or imagine the reaction to a statement like this of people who have their family members in armed forces, or those who have lost relatives who served in armed forces or those who's relatives are working in the CIOPs areas. No one who loves his country and understands that Pakistan is killing our innocent people over an agenda where India is not even wrong, to start with, will make an insensitive statement of this sort. Media may have ignored and tried to make others also forget this statement by overloading with other info. But this statement is bound to haunt Mr. Khan for a long time to come.
I have no reason to believe that SRK is a foolish businessman or doesn't understand the local political environment and Shiv Sena's interference with any such statement. He knew exactly what he was doing. Mumbai could have contributed Rs.45-50 crores to his kitty. Not a small amount. But he still took a chance on the eve of his film release. He started the ball rolling 3 weeks before the film release. This was his big gamble.
How? Simple, even if he lost Rs.50 crores from exhibiting the movie in Mumbai, in case his matter with Shiv Sena doesn't come to an end, all the ruckus created through unrest in Mumbai would ensure better audience in the Muslim World. That would more than compensate for his losses in Mumbai. The date was also far enough because for Shiv Sena to continue a campaign for three weeks would be a bit much. Especially, if SRK tones himself down as the release date approaches. He followed exactly this strategy in practice.
I have no issue with Film Producers/Actors promoting their films in any way as long as it doesn't create a law & Order situation for the country. This is exactly the situation SRK created willingly to promote MNIK. The areas witnessing protest may have seen small traders and shopkeepers losing business for a few days, all this so that SRK could earn money for himself, few more crores to an already mega empire.
Such selfish men are a burden on the society. They not only create mayhem for personal, selfish gains but also do not repent their action. They find it perfectly suitable.
There is no doubt that media had something to gain from all this mayhem too. So they contributed their two bits to the entire situation.
I am no supporter of Shiv Sena, if anything off late they have become more of a Stupid Sena. But that is no reason for forgiving SRK and his kind for how they use sentiments for their selfish goals, even if it causes violence and could have taken lives of common innocent men.
As for the message of the film, I think while a part of it is true that all muslims are not terrorists, it doesn't give a sensible solution to the problem that an entire world is facing.
When educated muslim youth like doctors and IT professionals and engineers, who look perfectly innocent are involved with heinous crimes of terror and proofs of the same are coming in every single case, how can the civil society segregate between law abiding citizens and terror suspects?
Countless innocent people are dying across the world due to such incidents and they have every legitimate reason to be cautious and extra-cautious, if need be, to protect the lives of their innocent citizens. If the govts. were not doing even this bit, there is going to be complete anarchy. Common citizens do not maintain a non-governmental security establishment like the terrorist organizations do. The govt. better do something and something drastic to deal with such situations.
What Mr. Khan has had to say is not the answer to the problems faced by the world due to a considerable size of Muslim population taking to terror in order to achieve their ambiguous objectives.
This message from this movie will add to further appeasement of muslim community in a country like India where votebank politics is at its worse.
The effect of such immoral political strategies has caused a major security hazard to this nation. In the recent case of Pune Blasts, I completely agree with Mr. Chidambaram, the Union Home Minister, when he says that there is no intelligence failure.
Politicians cannot hide behind Intelligence failure sort of lame excuse everytime. The fact of the matter is that the govt. has all the intelligence it needs to take corrective action, it doesn't have the will to take action. They are worried at two levels:
1. They might anger their votebank if they arrest terror suspects on the basis of intelligence report
2. Human rights activists will mushroom everywhere because the crime is yet to be committed, preventive measures have this loophole.
In such a weak position that India finds itself, the message Mr. Khan has tried to give is wholly undue. I would have been a lot happier had Mr. Khan taken the pain to create a movie that urged muslims to participate with the rest of the world in fighting terror and terrorists. Security agencies and country will get so much relief if muslims start sharing information on suspected activities of specific individuals and not accuse govt of atrocities when there have been none. Recent Shopian rape case and statement of Mohsin Choudhary's mother in Pune Blast case is a good example of what is not in favor of the country's interest.
Its time that actors start using there influence for constructive purposes especially when they are trying to address strategic issues.