No one less than the BJP’s national secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya has found a convenient prop to spread communal hatred. The clash at the box office between Shah Rukh Khan starrer Raees and Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil has become the centerpiece for Vijayvargiya’s filthy attempt at communalising Bollywood movies. The way he is pitching it on social media is that that real Indians will go and watch Raees and those who are outsiders will watch watch Kaabil. Playing on the Hindi words Raees and Kaabil without connecting it to the movies by the same title, Vijayvargiya has sent out a plethora of tweets. In one he calls Narendra Modi Kaabil and ‘Raees’ as Rahul Gandhi. In yet another post, he says the real ‘Kaabil’ Indians will make sure no outside ‘Raees’ can take their rightful claim on we don’t what. Today after the Raees by Rail promotional event led to one person losing his life, Vijayvargiya was quick take potshots at Khan. Commenting on his celebrated popularity that led to a stampede-like situation in the Vadodara platform, he said: “Crowd turns up to watch Dawood Ibrahim also. Crowd is no measure for popularity”.
The idea behind hitting out at SRK again and again is to affect the business of the multi-crore film. The reason SRK’s previous release ‘Dear Zindagi’ wasn’t targeted was because the actor’s stakes in the film were very low. However, with Raees, the mega-budget project, a lot is riding on Khan’s name. It is one of those releases of the year which vie for the Rs 300 crore club. This is also the case with Roshan’s film. And the possible pitting of a Hindu actor against a Muslim actor is unprecedented low in political discourse even by BJP’s standards. When Aamir Khan’s Dangal released some Twitter trolls did dig out his “My wife wants to leave the country” country from his interview on intolerance, but it never reached the level of such blatant politicisation by any party representative of the BJP.
This is also the case with Roshan’s Kaabil. With his unapologetic anti-SRK campaign, Vijayvargiya has given a very communal colour to this clash. The idea is to hurt SRK financially because there is no other way of hurting this immensely popular actor who has been winning hearts for over two decades now. So why not give a communal turn wrapped in the bogey of patriotism to undermine the unstoppable Khan. But what is Vijayvargiya’s problem with Khan?
First, his surname. Second, he worked with a Pakistani actor. Third, he never flew kites with Narendr Modi. Fourth, a year back he said intolerance was on the rise in the country during the award wapsi movement and following the lynching of Akhlaq in Dadri on charges of eating beef. Finally, he is a soft target to make an example out of. This is what happens to people of other faith when they dare to speak remotely anything sounding critical of the government. Despite displaying blatant communalism, the BJP has stayed away from censuring him. Not that any of his appeals are going to affect
Despite displaying blatant communalism, the BJP has stayed away from censuring him. Not that any of his appeals are going to affect Raees’ business in any way. The Indian movie-goer has a knack for detecting such political bullshit. Yet, it is necessary to condemnhim and for the BJP to pull him up for trying to taint the last of our truly secular places, the Bollywood, with the murk of communalism.