Many Bollywood actors have questioned the singular targeting of actors in the whole ‘stop all exchanges between India and Pakistan’ phase we are going through post the Uri attacks. But it is perhaps only Farhan Akhtar who has come out with the most stinging criticism of an electing government pandering to demands of fringe elements and it complete failure to ensure protection to its citizen.
The way Raj Thackeray’s MNS heckled filmmaker was heckled into submission and promising that wouldn’t cast a Pakistani actor has left the industry deeply troubled.
Devendra Fadnavis in a move unbecoming of a chief minister had acted as a mediator between MNS and Karan Johar to end the fiasco instead of cracking down on the political goondaism unleashed by the Raj Thackeray. The only best defence he could present of not cracking down on them but holding talks is this:
“If talks can be held with Hurriyat and Naxals, what is wrong in talking with the MNS,”
Akhtar being the fearless and opinionated man he is, has posed some uncomfortable questions that Devendra Fadnavis must answer and the Central Government must address.
1. When government doesn’t tell you what to do but some insignificant fringe party that believes in violence
“It’s not even the government telling you what you should be doing and not doing. So who are you listening to? You are listening to the people who are threatening you with violence. Now, when you have the threat of violence, it’s not only about you. You have kids at home, you have a family.”
2. Why not just pass a law to stop all exchange with Pakistan
“By all means pass a law. If you pass a law, you are representing the voice of the people. We’ve elected you to do it, so by all means pass a law.
3. Don’t treat Bollywood as soft-target
“Why don’t you stop business between India and Pakistan, this two billion dollars of business that happens every single year. Stop it, go the whole hog. This is like window dressing.”
Farhan Akhtar has given Fadnavis some food for thought. He must listen and ponder over if he was able to execute his duties as the chief executive and elected representative of the state, that houses one of the biggest film industries in the world and is a source of employment for hundreds in his state.
ADHM is not the first and won’t be the last time for MNS to hold the film industry to ransom to remain politically relevant. So, Fadnavis, who still stays in the office for another three years must decide if he will act like an adminsitrator or a mediator. That’s the least one can expect from a chief minister.