This is one of those posts with a few interesting news stories, and one REALLY REALLY important news story.
First, the REALLY REALLY important story. A politician tried to make hay out of name dropping film stars and their controversies, and it backfired! Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar at a book launch said, as reported in Times of India,
“People have shown their power, an actor made this mistake, said his wife wants to go and stay in a foreign country. That was an arrogant statement,” Parrikar said late on Saturday. He added that “an online trading company”+ the actor was associated with as well “was “taught a lesson”.
Oh come on Parrikar! You’ve got to be more subtle than that! And also more timely, we were all over the Aamir quote scandal and the Snapdeal boycott backlash months and months ago. Bringing it up now just makes you look desperate for controversy. And it also highlights that you are talking about a non-issue, since the only example you can come up with is from months and months ago.
Today he tried to clarify that he wasn’t speaking about anyone in particular, which also just makes him look stupid, or makes him look like he thinks we are stupid, because obviously he was talking about Aamir! What other actor said that his wife wants to leave India? Oh, and the issue he was trying to raise was “I’m just saying that we should mount pressure, verbally condemn people who speak against nation”.
Which, I’m not sure I even agree with that! I KNOW 100% I do not believe in that argument when it comes up in America, in fact I find it one of the most unAmerican things someone can say, that we aren’t allowed to speak against the nation. But I’m not Indian, so I can’t say what is or is not unIndian. I can say that I find it very disturbing in general whenever speech is policed by the public, especially speech against an abstract concept like “the nation”. That’s a door you just don’t want to open.
But the main point is, Parrikar’s terrible tone-deaf and ill-timed remarks may end up swinging public opinion back to Aamir’s side, or at least confirming that no one really cares about this issue any more. Since the main response was “wait, what? Are we still talking about this?” Not, “I am OUTRAGED! Thank you for reminding me to hate Aamir Khan!”
In other news, smoking may no longer be injurious to health on film! I was wondering about this, since smoking was such a main element of Dishoom and the warning never showed up onscreen. But, that must have just been because it was an international print or something, because according to this story the former rules are still in place, as of right now. By Shyam Bengal formed a committee 3 years ago, which has finally presented it’s report on reforms to the Cinematograph Act, including a recommendation that the “Smoking is injurious to your health” disclaimer only appear at the beginning and end of the film, not slapped onscreen in the middle. This is after, of course, Woody Allen made a big stink about it with Blue Jasmine and ended up not allowing his film to play in India. I didn’t realize until I read this article that Woody’s objection was that the eye would instinctively read the words at the bottom of the screen and be pulled out of the film. Which is odd, considering if it was shown in India, presumably there would already be words at the bottom of the screen to subtitle it. Unless Woody only cared at the fluent in English Indian audience. Which seems unfriendly of him, but also likely.
Oh, and Ranbir is moving again! For the 3rd time since his Kat break up, as Times of India helpfully points out. He moved out, leaving her the apartment (or, “love nest” as the media continues to insist on calling it). He was in a temporary place pretty quickly, like within a week or so, then moved out of there while his permanent fancy new place was re-decorated by Gauri Khan. And meanwhile, he’s been living at Krishna Raj house with his Grandma. Okay, forget this is a massive historic golden age mansion, and just focus on the “living at his Grandma’s” part of it. That’s just sad, right? Broke up with your girlfriend and had to stay with your grandma for months while you found a new place to live? Poor Ranbir.
(I’m not saying it isn’t a very nice house, but it’s still living at your Grandma’s after a bad break-up)