A Bollywood charade
The case filed by Bollywood biggies against two TV channels looks suspiciously like what we call ‘Noora Kushti’. It is a charade like the World Wrestling Federation bouts, a spectacle without any substance. There is no earthly reason why the petition should not have claimed damages for defamation. Instead, all that it asks is for direction to the two channels to stop maligning the film fraternity and call them names. A far more effective remedy, and an exemplary one at that, would have been to ask for damages worth Rs 200 Crore or more to be used for the technicians, extras and thousands of daily wagers depending on the entertainment industry for a living.
The film industry, like other industries, have always been beholden to the Government, which is everyone’s ‘Mai Baap’ in this country. The industry’s relationship with the media, especially TV channels, has been incestuous. They thrive on each other. It has rightly been said that these same producers, actors and musicians who have sued Times Now and Republic TV will happily attend events organized by the channels, accept awards given by them and literally dance at the events.
The suspicion that the case is a red herring is strengthened by Akshay Kumar being one of the petitioners. The actor is known for interviewing Prime Minister Modi before the last election and asking him questions about how he liked eating mangoes. This is the same actor who is a fan boy of the BJP and if he so wanted, he could have easily got the PMO and the Government to call up the TV channels. The campaign against Bollywood would have stopped in no time.
It is also noteworthy that after Mumbai Police summoned Republic TV officials for interrogation in the TRP case, almost the entire BJP rallied to its defence. The party had done no such thing in case of Bollywood.
The entertainers cannot do without TV channels and the Government. That is the hard reality. And there is much more to the civil case than meets the eyes. Surely, the announcement of an indefinite boycott of the channels till they tendered an apology would have been far more effective?