I already put up the kind of dull industrial news for the day, but there was some other news, of the more personal and gossipy variety.
Raj Thackeray has now issued a statement in response to Salman’s statement about the Pakistani artist ban. On my last post, I gave some background on the IMPPA, this time I want to give some background on Raj Thackeray and the MNS (I know a lot of readers from India already know this stuff, feel free to skip it). Raj is Bal Thackeray’s nephew. He broke off from Bal’s Shiv Sena group in 2006 to form his own group, the MNS. Since then, he has mostly been in the news for stuff like this, attacking everyone famous from Jaya Bachchan to Shahrukh Khan for some perceived slight to Hindu/Maharastrian sensibilities. And then there’s a statement and a protest and a call for boycotts and Raj gets his name in the newspaper again. Meanwhile, his cousin Uddhav (Bal’s son) is running the Shiv Sena party, which has much more “real” power in terms of actually winning elections, and therefore is slightly less eager to chase after headlines. Although also not to proud to join in on one of Raj’s crusades if it starts to get enough press.
Anyway, now Raj is, as Bollywoodhungama puts it, “miffed” at Salman for making a statement. I’d put up the exact quotes, but I can’t find a source I trust for them, so I’ll just give you the general sense. He argued that artists should be patriots and stand up for the country. That there is plenty of talent in India, no need to go across borders to find it. And then he made a comment about how he hoped Salman didn’t make his remarks “at night”, taken to be implying that Salman might have been drunk. Which is a bit personal! Oh, and then not Raj, but Manisha Kayende, a Shiv Sena leader, pulled out the usual “if [prominent Indian Muslim] doesn’t like India, they can always go to Pakistan” argument. So I guess Shiv Sena is dipping its collective toe into these waters to see what kind of a response they get. But mostly I like this story because Bollywoodhungama described Raj as “miffed”, which I find hilarious.
In other news, Kareena Kapoor Khan has been hacked! By a super boring person! Who filed a fake tax return? Why can’t I ever get hacked by someone who would do my taxes for me? Or reconcile my bank account or pay my rent check or do any of those other boring things? I’m assuming the point was to try to trap her in some funky financial shenanigans with the fake return, but it’s still a funny image.
And then a less fun story, Nawazuddin Siddiqui has been named in a police complaint about domestic violence related to dowry demands by his sister-in-law. I’m torn here. Because normally, I would say “always believe the victim”. And I’m mostly still saying that. But also, there are those times in the past when it has been shown that people really do go after movie people because they are soft targets, wealthy, and yet still someone the police and media are willing to believe the worst about.