He is a good actor, in fact, one of the finest India has ever produced. He is known for choosing his roles sensibly and he has consciously created an image for himself that conveys the feeling of a self-made identity with some gravity.
That is for masses and he, no doubt, is a mass hero.
What he does in his personal life and what are his beliefs are things strictly falling in his private domain. Yes, like all human beings, he is susceptible to err, and we should not make a fuss about it, if it does not infringe on rights of others and if it does not speak for something that stirs the social pot.
And, in his public life, he has not done anything like that. Yes, the row over his intolerance remarks was something that he could have avoided given the sensitivity of the subject and the mass outreach of his words. We can say that in speaking so he didn’t consider many things but that doesn’t give us right to blame him or question his patriotism.
We may agree or disagree with his viewpoint but his worries were right even if he overreacted – because it happens. It is in human nature – to react and overreact on social developments with potential to disturb your personal life – at a time when we are facing very real danger of disturbed social balances on religious lines in different pockets of the country.
His fans love him. And his fans are from every religion. And every religion in India has made him a mass hero. And he has curated a self-conscious, clean image around it.
And that makes him a good face for the ‘Incredible India’ campaign – the award winning advertisement series that really impresses you with its everything – from concepts to storyboards to shooting to fine tuning to finished products.
So it was quite a letdown to hear yesterday that the government had removed him as the ‘Incredible India campaign ambassador’. Though the government today denied doing so (removing) saying the contract with the agency that was running the campaign had ended and as Aamir Khan was contracted to the agency, his association with the campaign came to an end.
Well, if that is so, that is so wrongly timed – especially immediately after the row over his ‘intolerance remarks’ and his virulent criticism by some BJP leaders – the party running the Government of India. And some of them did it even today.
The Government, instead, could have avoided this controversy. In fact doing so would have sent a positive message that the Government was open to different opinions (and difference of opinion) and was working holistically on concerns of everyone (including Aamir Khan’s) – even if it felt the concern was misplaced. It is the government’s duty to make its citizens believe so (that such concerns are misplaced).
Alas! It was again an opportunity missed!
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/