SHEFALI OBEROI | 29 JANUARY, 2018
Padmavat Director, Star Cast Silent on Violence: Is It Only About the Box Office?
Why Do Indian Celebs Have Nothing to Say? Where’s that voice of reason?
Oprah Winfrey a household name, dubbed as the ‘Queen of All Media’, evokes a feeling of strength and compassion. Her speech at the Golden Globes was a powerhouse. If you haven’t already heard it, I think you should.
But why I write today isn’t about her, it’s about how celebrities abroad be it actors or singers or show hosts use their platform to talk about things that mainstream media refuses to talk about. They are willing to stand up for issues that a common man/woman perhaps can’t stand for: to voice their opinion, to fight for causes that are larger than most people can imagine.
Leonardo DiCaprio, when he came on stage to win his first ever Oscar after several nominations didn’t come up and speak about how hard his role was or how well his film had done. He accepted his award and spoke about Global Warming, about climate change and how serious an issue it is.
Logic, an American Rapper dedicated an entire album to the cause of Suicide. Ellen DeGeneres is perhaps one of the most generous celebrities one can ever come across.
Actresses and singers like Sophia Bush, Miley Cyrus, Ellen Pompeo, Bethany Joy Lenz all use their platforms and voices day in and day out to fight for the right thing. I could go on and on quoting examples.
Very recently, in fact just about a week back there was a Women’s March in almost every state of America where each and every one of the celebrities I’ve mentioned above supported it. Moreover, not only did they endorse it but were the reason behind it and showed up in person to express their solidarity. That is exactly the correct way to use a platform when it’s been given to you.
My main reason for writing an article today is because in a vast country like ours, which is overpopulated, people are seen worshipping celebrities as if they are Gods and no less. Why don’t these so-called celebrities do the right thing or fight for the right cause and why don’t they use their platforms to make a significant change because they have the means to do so. When you know you can use your platform to make a difference, to influence people in the right way, why not do it? I am not saying that no Indian celebrity does it, but unfortunately there are just a handful- in fact they can be counted on the fingertips. Isn’t that shameful?
Taking in light the very recent “Padmaavat Row”, not one out of the three main actors or the Director came out and condemned what had happened the day before the release. In fact, they came out the very same night after a bus with little children in it had been vandalised in Gurugram and said that they couldn’t wait for the Box office numbers. This shows that these people are lacking in humanity and are only after the number game. Anyone with a conscience would have responded differently.
Superstars are given a powerful platform from which they can influence people in the right manner and not behave like cowards themselves. Not a single one of them had the guts to even mention what was happening in the country. They all were mum. Isn’t it shameful we live in a country where people have the means to fight for an ordinary citizen’s right but don’t do so, just so that no one gets rubbed the wrong way?
I hope there comes a day in India where influencers in our country actually use that platform to be kind to one another, to fight for a larger cause, support equality and not just endorse Whitening Creams.