The Indian Film Industry: Standing Up For What is Right
It is a relatively recent phenomenon to see our actors, directors and producers from the film industry fight for social justice and take a stand in what they believe is right. The growing popularity of social media aids them in the task of raising their voice. With Twitter becoming an important medium for exercising one’s freedom of speech and expression, the film fraternity has been using it to not only express their criticism but to also respond to their critics.
Filmmaker Karan Johar made heads turn with his column which he wrote for NDTV on the hateful comments directed towards him on Twitter.
Silencing his haters who mock him for his sexuality and Instagram pictures, Johar wrote: “...And I've tried to figure out what's behind the nonstop trolling. I've discussed it with friends, family, even my therapist. Why is it that every time I put up a pouting picture on Instagram, I'm just called chakka, gay, I'm told "chup kar ch***ye? That's my favourite, by the way. My absolute favourite. Anything I ever say, these three golden words are thrown at me.”
Big names of Bollywood catching up as other members from the fraternity have been fearlessly expressing their opposition towards various government decisions.
One such instance was the controversial appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). Expressing his disappointment with this decision, actor Rishi Kapoor had tweeted: “Advice. After all the protests and controversy, Gajendra Chauhan, the FTII Chairman should voluntarily retire. Will do good to the students.”
Actor and former Censor Board Chief Anupam Kher had said: “FTII needs somebody who is much more qualified than whatever Gajendra ji's qualifications are coming across.”
The country also witnessed the unison of the film industry to support Udta Punjab and fight the diktat of CBFC. It did not take long for Udta Punjab to become a hash tag (#UdtaPunjab) symbolizing the fraternity’s struggle against what it believed was unjust. Actor Arjun Kapoor tweeted: “You (sic) know a lot of people in our fraternity speak up for other causes, it's time we stood up for our own. #UdtaPunjab deserves a proper release”.
Karan Johar showed solidarity with the film and tweeted: “#UdtaPunjab speaks of the reality of our times...censoring reality amounts to delusion...the fraternity has to stand by what's right!!”
The Indian film industry is one of the greatest influence in our country and has billions of admirers which give the people of this fraternity a unique platform to express their views and opinions. However, the flip side of making such bold statements is inviting criticism that result in public backlash.
Yet every day, we notice these celebrities to educate and inform people with the help of the connection they have with the masses, even when it means putting their neck on the line. Alas, the members of the fraternity do have the courage to risk their reputation and fame for a cause they believe in. And, that is what makes them a “hero”.