“Kaabil just released in Karachi tonight. India gave it so much love. Hope it gets the same love from Pakistan as well,” tweeted Hrithik Roshan on wednesday. It’s an innocent tweet celebrating the success of his latest movie in a foreign country. It’s a great thing actually. Two countries enjoying and cherishing each other’s culture and art (not that Kaabil can in any way be called art), is something that should be encouraged.
Kaabil just released in Karachi tonite. India gave it so much love. Hope it gets the same love from pakistan as well. ❤️— Hrithik Roshan (@iHrithik) February 1, 2017
Of course, one has to go to some lengths to explain that to the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), but that attempt would be a quixotic one. The MNS who made life hell for Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, because of the presence of a Pakistani actor in the movie, should naturally be angry at an Indian movie trying to earn money from the “terrorist” neighbour of ours. But really, no one seems to be concerned. Which seems odd.
In fact, just a few days ago, Kailash Vijayvargiya, the national general secretary of BJP, tweeted on January 21: “Jo Raees desh ka nahi, wo kisi kaam ka nahi. Aur ekj Kaabil deshbhakt ka saath, toh hum sabhi ko dena hi chahiye (The rich who don’t belong to the country are of no use. The able patriot is the one we should all support)”.
The Islamophobic BJP leader’s comment, praising a Hindu actor and berating a Muslim one, also begs the question, if Hrithik Roshan is “deshbhakt” by your standards (basically by the virtue of being Hindu), does his promotion of his film in Pakistan not make him anti-national? After all, anyone who says anything nice about our neighbours is deemed anti-national and seditious by our own political leaders.
Imagine a scenario if Shah Rukh Khan or Aamir Khan went all out in promoting a movie in Pakistan wouldn’t the nationalists like Kailash Vijayvargia and Ashoke Pandit happily tweet an inappropriate comment about the actor being from Pakistan or belong there? But I guess double standards don’t matter as much as one’s religion.
Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil and SRK’s Raees should and most likely will be huge success in Pakistan; as they should be. It is after all, one of the few ways in which the people of these two nations still connect with each other. And the lack of a political mudsling on Hrithik Roshan is heartening. But perhaps what the best thing would be is that our politicians stay out of the lives of entertainers.
From attacking directors for hiring Pakistani artists, to assaulting directors for allegedly tampering historical fiction, politicians have no business being moral guardians for a country where everyone can make up their own mind.