By Subhash K Jha
We all love your spirit, your zest for life and celebrations. But there is a time and place for everything. Dancing and making merry at UP’s chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s electoral constituency Saifai at a time when riot victims of Muzaffarnagar are reportedly dying of the winter cold in places ironically known as relief camps, smacks of an inhuman insensitivity .
I wonder what prompted you all, A-listers with choc-a-block diaries and commitments to fulfil from morning till midnight and beyond, to make that trip to the far-flung village which, I am sure, none of you had ever heard of!
One of you Bollywood revellers in Saifai did tell me that you were clueless about the plight of the Muzaffarnagar riot victims.
Of course, the the young CM flew you all in private jets. Seven of them in all, I am told. And he paid you all the kind of money that most Indians only dream about. I am sure what you all picked up for your hour-long appearance at the Saifai tamasha could have fed, clothed and sheltered all the riot victims of Muzaffarnagar.
But why should you think about that?
It’s the state government’s job to be sensitive to the pain and suffering of the people….right? Why should you Bollywoodians bother with the cruel irony of a chief minister making merry at a pricey razzmatazz in his home constituency while in another corner of the state little children rendered homeless after the communal riots of Muzaffarnagar, are dying of the cold starvation.
After all, didn’t Nero fiddle while Rome burnt?
The riot victims of Muzaffarnagar want to go home. But they can’t. Because if they do they fear they may be attacked and killed. So they shiver and starve in “relief” camps while you shimmied and pirouetted in Saifai, a village that would never be the same again because you all, stars and role-models,descended in their midst .
You created a heaven on earth for Saifai while elsewhere not too far away the riot victims of Muzaffarnagar are at this very moment living out the worst nightmare imaginable.
But like I said, why should you care? You made Saifai happy.What if people elsewhere were wretchedly unhappy? Life and its primeval pleasures don’t stop just because tragedy strikes a corner of the earth. The show just went on….and the riot victims were forgotten. Jai ho!
A prominent actor who reads the newspaper and also contributes actively to social causes exonerated you all, saying, “Forgive them. They know not what they do, where they go, how they dance and what they sing. Most of our stars live in a bubble. They’ve probably never heard of Muzaffarnagar.”
But spare a thought for those who look up to you as role-models and icons. You speak about being human and make films about the aam junta’s fight against corruption. And yet you don’t think twice before disregarding the sentiments of poor homeless people who look up to you as purveyors of an escapist reality. You give them dreams and hopes and you connect them to the real world while momentarily disconnecting them from the suffering and pain of the real world.
Please don’t snatch away their little piece of clear sky .
In your defence, most of you Bollywood babas and babes who showed up in Saifai didn’t know about the Muzaffarnagar riot victims. This is the difference between an Aamir Khan and Salman Khan. This is the difference between Satyamev Jayate and Jai Ho.
Think about it.
Subhash K Jha