Bollywood Baatein: Silence is not an option, dear stars
The Khans do a lot of charities, but they don’t take a stand on important issues, unlike biggies of yesteryears, says an actor who has worked with Shah Rukh Khan
Silence is golden only when used under happy circumstances. By remaining quiet all through his son Aryan’s discernibly unjust arrest, Shah Rukh Khan has made himself vulnerable to charges of cowardice.
Many anti-right wingers believe Aryan Khan was a scapegoat in a much bigger conspiracy to upturn the Khan triumvirate in Bollywood.
A veteran journalist from a leading news channel tells me, “Aryan is just an excuse. There is a pattern now to silence Bollywood. To make the Khans fall in line.”
The same celebrity bureaucrat who allegedly masterminded Aryan’s arrest had apparently harassed Anurag Kashyap also when he was GST commissioner. And it is rumoured that Deepika Padukone had to shell out around eight crore rupees last year to save herself from arrest. “Drugs ek bahana hai. Extorting and threatening the Bollywood stars into submission is the real agenda of agencies,” an informed source tells me.
It is widely believed by those opposed to right wing bullying that Shah Rukh Khan is paying the price for his silence. Colleagues like Urmila Matondkar may believe Shah Rukh’s silence to be dignified. Others think it’s sheer cowardice.
An actor who has worked with SRK tells me, “Although SRK and Aamir keep mum on controversies and remain silent on national issues thinking ‘they’ will never come after them, the fact is that the danger of being on the radar is now a reality for them. See, someone like Kishore Kumar or Dilip kumar used to take a stand. But the Khans are all about bank accounts which has made them vulnerable. Of course, they do a lot of charities but they don’t take a stand on important issues, unlike biggies of yesteryears.”
It is believed by a very strong section of the anti-right wingers that Shah Rukh’s son has paid the price of his father’s silence.
Says a leading political analyst who doesn’t want to be named, “When Jamia Millia Islamia, Shah Rukh Khan’s alma mater, was attacked he kept mum thinking ‘kyon panga lein’. But they knocked on his door within a year and a half.
At that time lot of students messaged him to come and support them with even one tweet, but he preferred to remain silent and today he paid the price. Today Bollywood lacks camaraderie. Earlier, everyone used to stand with each other in every crisis but that’s not the case anymore.”
Says an anti-right winger filmmaker. “If still SRK doesn’t have guts to come out and take on them, then upar wala bhi kuch nahi kar sakta. These Bollywood personalities need to understand their silence is the biggest weapon for attack against them.”
A source close to former Star and Disney India chairman Uday Shankar reveals, “Last year Anubhav Sinha and Manoj Vajpayee collaborated over the ‘Ka ba’, Bhojpuri video highlighting the migrants’ plight. It was Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan who had been approached by Uday Shankar to do a video on the same issue during the lockdown. Both kept dilly dallying.”
The writing is very clear on the wall: Time to take a stand is NOW. Or pay the price.