The entire row around Gurmehar Kaur refuses to die away anytime soon. The 20-year-old found herself in the middle of a controversy when she gave her opinion on the violence that took place in Ramjas College a few days ago. Akhil Bhartiya Vishwa Parishad (ABVP) was alleged to be behind this entire incident, which led to debates all over the nation. But little did Gurmehar know that her taking a stand would stir a nationwide debate.
Not long after Gurmehar’s stand against ABVP garnered attention, an old video of her went viral on social media which had her asking for peace between countries India and Pakistan. A daughter of a martyr who laid his life protecting his motherland in the Kargil War, Gurmehar came at the receiving end of rape threats and trolls.
The kind of treatment Gurmehar got on social media led many to come out in support of her, while others disagreed that freedom of speech should have some limitations. On one hand where likes of Javed Akhtar, Vishal Dadlani, Vidya Balan stood by Gurmehar’s side and condemned all who trolled her; there were others who didn’t agree with this thought. Likes of Virender Sehwag, Randeep Hooda, Phogat sisters- Babita and Geeta, Yogeshwar Dutt were alleged to be trolling the Delhi University student.
While opinions on this matter are divided, megastar Amitabh Bachchan chose to maintain a stoic silence on the matter. Yesterday, during the trailer launch of his upcoming film Sarkar 3, Big B was asked to express his opinion on the row. To this he said,
What I feel about the situation is completely my personal opinion. But if I disclose, it will become public
As soon as this statement of his made it to the news, many on social media started slamming the megastar. The ones who were expecting him to take a stand as similar as theirs, called Big B spineless who was a stooge of those in power.
Translated :I’ve no balls. I’ve always acted like a slave to those in power, so that I can pretend to be a poor farmer & evade Panama papers https://t.co/1k39McemBg
— Priyashmita Guha (@priyashmita) March 1, 2017
@ANI_news like always he plays safe, he is too afraid to speak against govt in power, kaha kay hero ho sir aap?
— Abhishek goel (@abhishek58) March 1, 2017
— rohit singh (@rohitsinghiitr) March 1, 2017
— Vijay Rawoot (@vijayrawoot) March 1, 2017
— vikash Kumar Prakash (@vikashKumarPra3) March 1, 2017
But, is it really correct to talk ill about a man who isn’t willing to express his opinion on a public platform? Someone who has been closely following this controversy would know that one is doomed- whether you agree or disagree. People on both sides of the coin have been incessantly trolled, so wasn’t it sane for Big B to keep shut and not add more fuel to the fire?
Given the entire environment of the nation, why was a man dissed for not choosing a side? We all remember how Aamir Khan’s stand on intolerance was blown out of proportion and invited trouble for him. Similarly, whenever Shah Rukh Khan spoke on burning issues, he came at the receiving end of abuses, trolls and what not. Since the current mood of the nation is on similar lines, Amitabh Bachchan keeping his opinion to himself was maybe a sensible thing to do.
The Twitter reactions that were prompted by Big B’s statement also somehow reveal the hypocrisy of one bearing the flag of freedom of speech. Doesn’t freedom of speech allow one to not speak? With everyone putting pressure on Bollywood celebrities to speak on issues when it hasn’t turned out good for them in the past, it is after all their choice to talk or not.
It’s high time that people don’t force their choices on others. Maybe, that would solve many of this country’s problems and this applies to everyone.