Meeting your favorite movie star can sometimes be hazardous to your health or even cause death, be it Jackie Chan or Rajnikanth or in THIS PARTICULAR CASE, Shah Rukh Khan.
Yes, you heard me. A fan of Shah Rukh Khan lost his life in his bid to meet the superstar.
Now, the case here is a rather tricky one. Let’s analyse the As and Bs of the situation before judging the man and holding him or his PR team responsible for his fan’s death.
Now the incident was a part of an apparent “film promotion strategy” as SRK was promoting his latest film “Raees” by taking a train journey and meeting crowds from different cities between the Mumbai-to-Delhi route. One of his fans got injured in the stampede at the Vadodara station and was rushed to the hospital and thereafter declared dead.
Although the family of the deceased has said nothing against Shah Rukh Khan and the actor himself has called the incident “unfortunate”, does it really sound appropriate to value a human life in such a small domain?
Now, I’m not exactly a human rights activist but this whole “promotional strategy” is total horseshit baloney to me.
For a man who’s on no shortage of resources to conduct press conferences and fan-based events, using a public transport in the name of promotion (KNOWING that the fans are gonna go ape shit, BECAUSE INDIA) is literally a stupid gimmick.
SRK is not some average actor who needs to promote his movies day and night in order to get a good response. With the longevity of his career as it stands, people will watch his movies no matter what.
Now the maintainece of his SRK brand is where he needs to do more research and select his promotion teams quite delicately.
People in India almost worship their actors, era by era and they’ll bend hell and earth to catch a glimpse of them in real life. With multiple known cases of civil chaos in the past due to Bollywood superstars, it’s a vehemently idiotic marketing strategy to use a public transportation medium causing a situation of panic and stampede at the train stations.
Not only that, imagine the ordeals that the general public had to suffer with the delay in train schedules and the ensuing drama at the stations due to these modern day showbiz shenanigans.
No, I don’t blame Shah Rukh Khan because Shah Rukh Khan is not his marketing team. And those are the people that I blame.
Human life, no matter rich or poor should never be taken for granted or subjected to negligence in case of a predicted hazard. And that’s what this was, indeed. A hazard.
And no matter how the Bollywood celebs coming in favor or support of SRK and his team, it doesn’t change the fact this whole incident could’ve been avoided had a normal promotion tactic been used.
Being a celebrity doesn’t give anybody the right to juggle with the life and death of any individual and the sooner they realize it, the better.
Owing to our obsession with the Hollywood trends, it’s about damn time that the actors and PR firms here learn some stuff of value from them in order to promote the movies that they do to minimize any unnecessary collateral damage during their marketing.
Simpler tactics for on-hands fan intercation could include a live Q&A session (online or offline, with the offline session placed at a reasonable entry fee) or any other medium which doesn’t involve the usage of a public commodity or any sort ofinconvenience to the general public.
People in India are VERY emotional about their actors, often comparing them to Gods and what not. So when you’re in a country which thinks of you in a manner as serious, try to adapt accordingly to showcase and promote your work among them while you’re at it and avood tactics which make the public go bat-shit crazy in stampedes.
Or good luck explaining unofrtunate and accidental deaths to the media.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.