Well, 2017 is almost about to end and my takeaway is that Shah Rukh Khan (his dimples) is the only saving grace that keeps me sane in this maddening world filled with keyboard warriors. That and we are an easily outraged bunch that doesn’t wait for trends. Instead, we create our own and often bad than good ones!
No, I’m no holier than thou. In fact, I’m equally responsible and accountable for the damning verdict but there is no turning away from the fact that tolerance has left our midst and social media is no more used for socialising. Ji janab, believe it or not, every discussion somehow ends up in a heated debate over nationalism and that is not even the worst of our problems *coughs politics*.
I’m sorry to be the one to burst the bubble but we are reproaching our way back into the caves and mind you, selective modernism or progression is as dangerous as half knowledge.
If you are still not convinced, I have a list ready and well, it’s time to look in the mirror! So, shall we?
1. Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi
This time, last year, the entire country was fixated on the name of Kareena and Saif’s baby boy- Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi. And what followed was a whirlwind of tweets (even death wish/threats for the toddler) that bordered on Islamophobia, to begin with. So much so that, Saif literally considered changing Taimur’s name but so much for what? Still figuring the answer to that one!
2. The Hrithik-Kangana row.
I don’t know about you but I haven’t met one soul who isn’t aware of the Hrithik–Kangana debacle, most infamous fallout of 2016-17. Something that divided the internet into more than two camps. Now, while a lot was said and written about both the concerning adults but the kind of mudslinging that took place in the aftermath was the worse kind of all. Be it Kangana’s character assassination or Hrithik’s, every aspect of their being was discussed online and no intrusion of their privacy was called so! Plain sad, if you ask me.
3. Regressive remarks over Irfan Pathan’s wife’s arms!
Out of all, this is the worst kind of moral-policing I have seen all my life. If your memory needs a little help, let me remind you, Irfan Pathan’s wife was trolled because she revealed her arms, while she was under a burkha! There’s more- because she wore nail polish. In fact, the hate brigade schooled Irfan for ‘allowing’ her to do so. Yes, he did shut haters down in his style but I witnessed all the regressive remarks and I hated the internet that day!
4. Dera supporters justifying violence after the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
While the outrages discussed over were restricted to the by-lanes of the inter-web, there is one that spewed beyond the virtual corridors and took place as riots on the streets Panchkula-Sirsa in Haryana. Civil unrest and mockery of law order. And for what? Because of the conviction of a self-styled Godman who is behind the bars on charges of rape. What world are we living in?
5. Mallika-Akshay spat.
Briefly, after the #MeToo movement swept social media, Mallika Dua, comedian-actor, exposed the casual sexism in the industry when her father, Vinod Dua and she dissed Akshay Kumar for his ‘Aap bell bajao, main aapko bajata hun‘ remark. As clear as its connotation was, Bolly-buffs stripped Mallika of her dignity online vehemently especially when Akshay’s wife, Twinkle mocked Mallika with ‘lame jokes.’ Yes, she gave it back to trolls (including Twinkle) but nothing takes away from the fact that a voice was tried be to muffled because it was from the presumably ‘weaker sex.’
6. Mahira Khan slut-shaming.
If you weren’t living under a rock, you’d have seen pictures of a nonchalant Mahira Khan and Ranbir Kapoor smoking, plastered all over the internet. That was not all that there was. While it was two consenting adults doing whatever they deemed fit, Mahira was slut-shamed by trolls. Several insinuations were made about Mahira, Ranbir and their alleged relationship and while the internet assumed the worst, the rest of the world got down to dirty limericks. Yes, her friends, like Ali Zafar and Momina Mustehsan even Ranbir for that matter, stood for her but it was too little, too late.
7. The ‘Padmavati’ controversy.
Up until now, I thought that ‘Udta Punjab’ had gotten the worst treatment of all, hoping there wouldn’t be any other attack on the spirit of art that is cinema. But I stand dejected and wronged at the sight of everything that the cast, crew and soul of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmavati‘ has been put through. From boycott to death threats, especially for Deepika, the outcry is beyond repair because first the Karni Sena, and now sympathisers including the Royals of the regime think that the film portrays queen Padmavati in a bad light. Yes, before seeing the film. The dignity of a woman is being upheld by vilifying the dignity of another. If this isn’t ironic, what is?
Need I say more?
Having said that, It’ll be a shame if we didn’t try to redeem the stature of the peace-loving nation that we really are. Irrespective of the way we use social media. So, whose’s in for the challenge: 2018? Hoping to see you out there!