Aren’t you controversy’s favourite child? Frankly, I do not think that you deserve being addressed as dear, or called a bhai at all, but I’ll try to be formal here.
To be very honest, I used to love your movies once. Andaz Apna Apna, Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, what wasn’t there to love? You knew how to be funny, witty, romantic, and with just a couple of movies, you won the hearts of the millennial.
But that was the end of it. After that you took the route to monstrosity – beating up your girlfriends, killing an endangered animal, running your car over people and killing them. But, you still remained the hero of thousands of people.
This does not regard any of those, though. You have never outrightly respected women, so it surely did not come off as a shock to a lot of people like me when you compared your exhaustion because of a shoot, to a victim of rape.
You said, and I quote, “While shooting, during those six hours, there’d be so much of lifting and thrusting on the ground involved. That was tough for me because if I was lifting, I’d have to lift the same 120-kilo guy 10 times for 10 different angles. And likewise, get thrown that many times on the ground. This act is not repeated that many times in the real fights in the ring. When I used to walk out of the ring, after the shoot, I used to feel like a raped woman. I couldn’t walk straight.”
Even though you realised that your comment was barbaric immediately after saying it, that does not nullify the statement, which you knew would be carried forward. You, Mr. Khan, have been put on such a high pedestal by your fans that whatever you say influences them in a huge manner. You are responsible for these people who stand by you no matter what. By making such comparisons, you are trivialising a very inhumane act (which you have no right to) and embedding in people’s mind that it is okay to create rape analogies.
Well, according to your manager, you were misquoted. Of course, you were. If not misquoted, then you must have been possessed by a demon or something, because who in their right mind would say something like that?
But, you will get away with it, just like you got away with murder and harassment.
Your comparison of your training to a rape victim is as futile as the movies you do. Can you even imagine the horror and mental trauma a woman goes through when she is raped and her soul is ripped into pieces?
For starters, a rape victim does not call for the rape and the pain that follows, but YOU wanted to do the movie and the rigorous training because of the money that will flow after that.
A woman who is raped gets nothing but degradation, which is in direct contrast with the glorification and love you will receive after this movie.
While the society is gruesome and unforgiving in the case of a raped woman, who has to carry the burden and stigma of rape all her life, you are treated like God, where people jump up to defend you even after every miserable thing you do.
A woman, who is forced upon, does not expect the pain, but you knew exactly what you were getting into.
So no, you COULDN’T HAVE felt like a “raped woman”. You need to understand that you cannot just drop such a strong word like “rape” without even understanding the state that rape puts a person in, and then apologise for using it. A spark ignites a fire, we all know that.
But, you are THE BHAI and you can do anything you want to and people will continue to worship you.
Bollywood stars don’t speak up against you, as they are afraid of having the same fate as Vivek Oberoi. (remember him?) Even though Kangana Ranaut accepted that your comment was “extremely insensitive”, she had to add that the whole society has to take responsibility for it. Why? Because if she doesn’t stand with you, she might not find a place for herself to put her foot on in Bollywood.
When Sona Mohapatra tweeted calling out how you still remain the hero of people even after doing everything you’ve done, she was slammed by your beautiful fans, who went on to follow your path of respecting women and called her a slut, a randi, and a 40 year old aunty.
Subhash Ghai called you a baby, who’s too innocent to be held accountable for his acts (of course), and your father had to apologise on your behalf.
When asked if YOU would say sorry, you smirked and avoided the camera. (Maybe that’s what happens when a baby is not under adult vigilance.)
Your loyal fans continue to defend their idol and abusing and name calling everyone in their way. This is what you have created, Bhai.
If people are turning a blind eye to whatever you do because “Bhai toh Being Human chalaata hai, he has a good heart, galti ho jaati hai”, that does not mean that you continue to speak whatever your heart desires.
While your movies are such gems (which you should really consider keeping with yourself because of how precious they are), if you could please try to control your tongue from spitting out such wonderful words, that would be delightful!
A dejected HUMAN BEING
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.