Which part of the world will look up to film celebrities for their excellent take on politics, society, culture, rights, duties, liberalism, conservatism, animal rights, caste, creed, colour, gender and every class distinction known to human kind? Yes, that’s right, India. In India, the cine stars double up as social justice warriors as well, but there is a pattern to their social justice warrior antics. It happens only when a big release is around the corner. It is not uncommon to see Bollywood celebrities make controversial statements, turn into environmentalists, become activists (for the cause that suits the narrative of their soon to be released movie) or don the robe of social justice warrior without even knowing what social justice actually means. They do all sorts of things just before the release of their movie. They do everything in their capability to birth controversies which can lead to a series of arguments, counter-arguments, rebuttals and generate some social media buzz. Instant promotion and massive collections guaranteed!
The Actor-director duo of the recently released movie Mulk employed the tactic but to their utmost surprise this tried and tested formula didn’t work this time. Mulk was supposed to be about the alleged prejudicial treatment of Muslims in India, but it ended up becoming a Hindu bashing slugfest.
Read our review of the movie here – Honest Review of Mulk – Hypocrisy, Minority Appeasement, Hinduphobia – in that order
The lead actress Taapsee Pannu and the director of the movie Anubhav Sinha routinely indulged in social justice warrior stunts most of which were borderline inciting intended at the sole purpose of infuriating Hindus to ensure good collections for the movie. Just like before the release of her social drama Pink, Taapsee left no stone unturned to promote her film. She turned anti hate crusader in order to ensure the success of her new movie. Mulk film cast did every possible thing to incite right-wingers but strangely this the right-wingers of India remained oddly calm and hardly anyone reacted to nonsense and overdramatized promotional videos of the movie.
As a result, the movie didn’t get much publicity and now at the end of the week one, the collections of Mulk stand at measly 11.5 crore. It won’t be an exaggeration to call it a box office disaster. All the attempts by the director and actor of Mulk to provoke right-wingers and gain publicity for the movie has gone in vain.
Cheap tricks to promote movies is nothing new to Bollywood. Remember the promotions for Udta Punjab? The four main actors and producer Anurag Kashyap had turned into anti-drug crusaders and talked at length about the drug menace that affected Punjab and went about crying hoarse when the then Censor Board committee head Pahlaj Nihalani ordered more than 13 significant cuts in the movie.
However, once the movie was released, and their prime target, i.e. the Shiromani Akali Dal – BJP coalition was ousted from power in 2017, the anti-drug activists went coolly about their business except for Diljit Dosanjh, who is still vociferously battling for an effective solution to end the drug menace.
Basically, these Bollywood stars follow the philosophy of “Apna Kaam Banta Bhaad Mein Jaaye Janta.”
The major takeaway from the Mulk episode is that the Indian right-wingers have finally learned their lessons. And most importantly they have taught a very important lesson to the film fraternity. Movies like PK, Veere Di Wedding and many such movies went on register good collections riding solely on the overreaction of right-wingers and the promotion done by them. Indian right-wingers were kicking a stone in anger were hurting their toe. It’s good to see that have learned the art of jumping over the stone.