Old wounds take time to heal! But there are some wounds that never heal. Those kinds of wounds will keep reminding us of the pain we suffered and also will never allow us to forget the reason and the person or people behind those wounds. Aamir Khan gave an emotional wound to the people of Gujarat some 15 years back when his movie Fanna got released and now with his latest movie Lal Singh Chaddha is ready to get released Gujaratis have started remembering the old wounds he gave them.
By nature, Gujaratis never give trouble to anyone. The main reason behind this is that Gujaratis always mind their own business and they know that if they take time out of their business just to put someone in trouble ultimately their business will suffer a loss. But if someone hurts their emotions then they will not leave anyone. Aamir Khan is the best example of this which I am trying to convey here.
It was April 2006 when staunch Gujarat hater Medha Patkar was in Delhi, sitting on a dharna with her army of left-wing Aandolanjeevis. The aim behind that dharna was how to stop the construction of Sardar Sarovar Dam, the lifeline of Gujarat. At that time Aamir Khan’s ‘Rang De Basanti’ was already declared a superhit and he was busy in promoting his upcoming movie ‘Fanaa’. One would wonder why Aamir Khan decided to visit the Medha Patkar dharna along with his co-artist Atul Agnihotri and director Rakeysh Om Praksh when his main job was to promote his upcoming movie.
I have observed one thing, whenever a Bollywood actor goes to a political sit-in or dharna he becomes an ultra-politician. The reason behind this observation is that Aamir Khan did attend the dharna and discussed their motives but once he was out of that pandal, he never gave any public statement. The same thing happened when Deepika Padukone went to JNU to support anti-CAA protesters. At that time she just stood still and not spoke a single word during her presence or after she came out of the JNU campus.
By doing this, these Bollywood stars can easily find an escape route by saying that they were just there and have not said anything about the issue, so their apolitical image remains intact. But at the same time we should also not forget that famous Bollywood song ‘Yeh public hai yeh sab jaanti hai’ from the super hit movie Roti. Whether it was 2006 when the word Social Media was unheard of or it is today when social media is everywhere, the Indian public knows everything, and just like these Bollywood chaps they also oppose them by keeping silent.
Let us go back to Fanaa. As I have mentioned above, at that time there were no social media but the news of Aamir Khan has been seen at Medha Patkar’s dharna was already there in the local media.
If my memory serves me right then during those days in the Aap Ki Adalat show, Aamir Khan claimed that to go into that dharna was not pre-planned. He was just passing through that area and saw these people sitting there so he thought that he should go there and ask what exactly they are doing. Maybe by the time, Aamir went to this popular TV show he might have realized that his upcoming movie Fanaa has to be saved from the anger of the people and has made this unconvincing statement.
But, as pointed out earlier, Gujaratis will never forget and forgive anyone who plays with their emotions, and the Narmada River and the Sardar Sarovar dam are well connected with the emotions of the Gujaratis since independence. The same Medha Patkar along with the champion Aandolanjeevi Baba Amte were not allowed to cross the Gujarat border at Ferkuva (near Madhya Pradesh border) for days by a huge gathering of Gujaratis, and compared to them the seasonal Aandolanjeevi Aamir Khan is next to nothing.
Finally almost after a month when Aamir Khan was found sitting at that dharna site during the month of May 2006 Fanaa was released across India. Initially very few people went to watch the film not only in the metro cities of Gujarat like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, and Rajkot but also in smaller cities and towns. Later the film got banned by the government of Gujarat for obvious reasons. Only Ambar cinema in Jamnagar defied the ban and got the movie released, but there too a person tried to burn himself to protest the release and film was took down immediately.
So, such incidents have happened during this Fanaa time, I don’t remember that Aamir Khan has ever apologized to the Gujaratis. One must remember that one of the biggest blockbusters of all time ‘Lagaan’ was entirely shot in Gujarat and Gujaratis served Aamir Khan for months during the shoot. Yet, Aamir Khan didn’t even try to apologize to the Gujaratis for insulting their sentiments, instead, he reportedly said that by losing 5-7 crore (approximate revenue coming from Gujarat) Fanaa’s overall collection won’t suffer.
Now it is Lal Singh Chaddha’s turn. If Fanaa was doomed on Gujarat’s box office due to Aamir’s insult to the Gujarati sentiments then Lal Singh Chaddha has brought Hinduphobia as a matter to boycott the movie. In his movie PK Aamir had target only Hindus and their beliefs and that has angered most of the Hindus across India. Apart from that, along with the Hindus living in Gujarat Aamir has made Hindus of our country angry over his statement that his wife is scared living in India only after 2014 (after the BJP government came to power). These two reasons are enough for the angry majority of our country to make Lal Singh Chaddha suffer on the box office.
During Fanaa there was no social media but yet Gujaratis teamed up and boycotted, opposed and later banned the movie and sealed its fate. This time Gujaratis are ready with social media to boycott Aamir Khan’s next Lal Singh Chaddha.
In recent statement Aamir Khan has said that the image of him being anti-India is false and he loves India very much, but until his love towards India is not shown in his action the Gujaratis along with the people of India will not let him breath comfortably.
The way Gujaratis are opposing and calling to boycott Lal Singh Chaddha it is almost confirm that this Aamir Khan’s next will meet the same fate that Fanaa met in Gujarat some 15 years ago.
Until we meet next time, its Avjo from me.
2nd August 2022, Tuesday