So, was there action?

Shiv Sena, Shah Rukh Khan, media obsession and real issues. Err, scratch real issues.

Re-runs and re-runs of Shah Rukh Khan versus Shiv Sena on various Indian news channels (which I do not watch any longer), and the severe side-effects of this issue on my family and many others I know, has forced me to return to (personal) blogging and share some of my thoughts, which I do more often now on Twitter than here. (Yes, blame laziness.)

As usual, a big issue has been made out of a small issue and the media (yet again) escapes with misleading the public into believing that such incidents are worth more than maybe the little attention they genuinely deserve. Sure, a well-known actor is being threatened by a bunch of chauvinistic bigots. And that deserves attention.

My question is how much? And more importantly, was there action?

As expected, praise is being showered on Shah Rukh Khan while the Shiv Sena are (rightly) pelted with verbal stones. The media is whipping up hysteria around the issue, as if SRK is a national hero who’s just back from defending our borders.

There is not much doubt that SRK’s ‘great neighbours’ statement is worth condemnation. But obviously, a sane person wouldn’t want the Shiv Sena taking on his/her behalf. Hence, comes a juicy war of words, most opportunistically picked up by a national media obsessed with anything that comes out of SRK’s mouth (majorly aimed at promoting his films).

In this entire milieu, no one seems to realize that a more effective approach to this is for the Government of Maharashtra to step up and curb down the threat of the Sena strongly. But are they even in the picture? No. We, as the people of India, also need to work to take our minds away from the silently and severely damaging mindset of pop heroism, that is associated with the likes of SRK.

The Congress government of Maharashtra is arguably the weakest state government in the country, completely dependant on reaping the ‘fruits’ of identity politics and hence, stay in power.

Serious issues like water problems in Mumbai and excessive load-shedding in all parts of Maharashtra are left untouched. The BJP does what is easy (and opportunistic), and doesn’t care to do what might actually work well for them in the long run.

Action against Shiv Sena, where art thou?

[On similar lines, I had made a few observations about The Pink Chaddi versus The Pink Condom campaigns a year back. Also check out this funny take on the issue at Faking News.]

[Related post: Solilo]

3 thoughts on “So, was there action?

  1. Your frustration is understandable. I very much share the same opinion.

    I also read a lot from people on Twitter on what the media should or should not show. Let us punish the media for covering such crap by not watching the channels that play up such petty issue. We – the audience, have the key to the TRPs the channels are looking for!

    Good effort from your side to raise your voice against obfuscating real issues by the politicians and the media!

  2. TB, Just cleaned the yolk from my face too.

    Is the issue just about a star and his film? What about the citizens who go through the goon harassment every single day?

    People vote and then don’t even question the govt. for their ineptness.

  3. Very well analyzed!

    The worst part is, now Maharashtra government is going to spend lakhs on providing protection to movie goers, while it had hardly done anything to stop MNS from beating up taxi drivers!

    Hardly do people outside Maharashtra or inside Mumbai know that Maharashtra’s electricity situation is very bad.

    SS did a strategically stupid thing by threatening to stall the movie. Don’t know if it helps them win any more sizeable votes, now that no significant polls are in pipeline. Had they only asked SRK to go live in Pakistan for finding Pakistan a great country, without threatening to disrupt his movie, maybe not so much hatred would have been spewn against them. But they goofed up.

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