Not so long ago I wrote about the Da Vinci Code causing a big stink here in India. That bubble has just about burst and lo behold we have another film causing a stir. The film Fanaa (Destruction) has got the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) in Gujarat in a twist. Well it’s not exactly a problem with the film but with its main actor Aamir Khan which has created this Maha-Fanaa Controversy.
You see Aamir Khan has recently had a stint at being a social activist. He made the mistake of speaking his mind in the world’s largest democracy. It all began with people protesting against raising the height of the Narmada Dam which we in India supposedly need to meet our insatiable demand for energy particularly in this case – electricity. The protestors are demanding proper rehabilitation for the thousands of people that have been displaced because of this mammoth project. Aamir Khan joined in to give their demands a louder voice. That did it.
The right wing ruling Hindu party in Gujarat the BJP has banned all products endorsed by the actor including Coca Cola and Toyota cars and also his latest film release Fanaa. This does not in anyway represent the will of the general public in the state nor does it make much sense. The movie was released a few days ago in the rest of the country and has got a good response.
When will our political parties realize that the people no longer get excited about these frenzied agitations, which lack any real depth and are done just for show. The losers in this case are only the people of Gujarat. They need to realize that speaking one’s mind on any issue facing the people of India is the fundamental right of every citizen of the country. We cannot censure people in society just because we don’t like what they say.
Fanaa is about the relationship between a blind girl and an undercover terrorist. It has nothing against the state or people of Gujarat. Why then should it be banned? It is mainstream cinema that will do well or not on its own strengths as a film. This entire furor is hype generated by two bit politicians mainly for their fifteen minutes of fame.For all those hot heads seeking a ban on an actor or any person for that matter, who uses his or her freedom of speech, may we remind them that maybe they are living in the wrong part of the world here. I would suggest a mass migration to a much cooler locale, for instance North Korea.