It wasn’t long ago that society began to realize the entrenched patriarchal narratives within the entertainment business in India, thanks to the growing awareness of the global 3rd wave feminist movement and that led to a lot of corrective measures, where Hindi actors essentially started doing politically correct movies.
Yes, I’m going to call their bullshit out in this article.
I’m going to categorically analyze the actors who are a pivotal part of this sham and further talk about how their idea of institutionalizing equality within the show business won’t come unless the need to be politically correct is chucked out as a reformatory measure.
Let’s start with the man of the hour, who’s racking up his list of movies in the 100 crore club with every new release, Akshay Kumar:
Oh, Akki. My Akki.
Your appearances in politically correct movies where you become the beacon of hope for your lady love and the pantheon of change for the society are not fooling me.
So it’s best if you go back to being the man who’s happy being a buffoon and do movies like Welcome and Namastey London (both were great, by the way) instead of movies like Padman and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.
I don’t think the world needs to be reminded that Akshay Kumar is the same guy who appeared in the catastrophic Farah Khan venture Tees Maar Khan, where dialogues like this were considered “perfectly okay for the Censor Board”:
“Tawaif ki looti izzat bachaana aur Tees Maar Khan ko qaid karna, dono bekaar hai!”
Which vaguely translates to: “To save a prostitute’s honor after her violation and to incarcerate Tees Maar Khan (his character’s name), both are pointless!”
And not to forget, the ever so charming song which goes like, “Tu cheez badi hai mast mast”, can also be added to Akshay’s work tally.
Okay, then. And this man then has the audacity to act in movies like Padman to tackle issues such as taboos about menstruation?
Feminists, wake the f**k up and smell the coffee.
Akshay Kumar’s apparent reformatory actions are only incentivizing him and not doing anything productive for the greater cause. He makes a few crores and leaves, and in order to make things have a long lasting impression, the movie producers come up with PR gimmicks like the #PadManChallenge, which is basically a way of saying: “Oh, you don’t know about menstruation based taboos? Here’s a picture of me holding a sanitary pad. I hope all your doubts are cleared.”
I expect Akshay Kumar to apologize if he somehow gets to read this. Time’s up for this gimmick, bud.
Moving on to the likes of Aamir Khan and why I’d prefer to watch a Salman Khan movie over an Aamir Khan one (don’t judge me before you finish reading this piece):
Circa 2006. Rang De Basanti releases. Following that movie, year after year, it was almost as if Aamir Khan made it a vendetta to star in politically correct movies and project a holier-than-thou image. Be it playing the role of a preachy teacher in Taare Zameen Par (decent movie but only because of Darsheel Safary’s brilliant performance as a child artist), the role of an alien who wants to find God in PK (a blatant rip-off of the concept used in the movie “OMG! Oh My God”) or hosting a show which JUST DISCUSSED and did nothing about the problems of the Indian way of life and the systems within that life (with a few fake tears, Satyamev Jayate).
Aamir Khan had (and still has) life sorted for him. But Aamir’s propensity to piss me off became more prominent after Dangal released. I’d rather not get started to detail all the problems of that ridiculously stupid movie, so I’ll give you the short version:
#1. The climax where Aamir is locked in the storeroom by his daughter’s coach (talk about “movies based on real-life FAKE incidents”).
#2. A father forcing his daughters to achieve his failed ambitions.
Well played, Aamir. Dangal made over 2200 crores at the global box office and you became an icon of patriotism, where you killed the blossoming feminist movement in India.
And that’s not just restricted to his films, either. India has had a history of manipulating sports movies to give them a masala touch, where movies like Mary Kom and Dangal are prime suspects. The very fact that Geeta Phogat’s finals victory result was manipulated so that she could execute a rainbow suplex shows that realism isn’t our cup of tea.
Move a little further back into history and you notice that this is the same Aamir Khan who appeared in the movie “Ishq”, where he forcefully kisses Juhi Chawla to make her shut up and it ends up with her falling in love with him. Yeah, bud. We refer to that as sexual harassment.
And that’s exactly why I prefer folks like Salman Khan (even though I’m not a fan of his), who at least give their audience what they’ve been giving since their careers shot up: full-on entertainment. I don’t remember the last time Salman Khan did a movie which was sensible but at least he didn’t try and re-do his entire image after the debacle-like performance of his politically correct movie, “Jai Ho”.
A step ahead are Shahrukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Ajay Devgn and Amitabh Bachchan who’ve re-invented their style but their film selection follows a similar pattern. They have never done politically correct movies just to save themselves from the backlash.
So if you really want to be a part of a greater cause and establish a new narrative, it’s best if you stop acting holier-than-thou in your fake AF politically correct movies and rather, be a part of a female-centric script to make sure the leading lady shines out (no, Secret Superstar DID NOT feature a prominent leading lady and we’re familiar with the Zaira Wasim gimmick, all too well).
Don’t talk about change. Be the change.
Image Credits: Google Images
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