Aamir Khan Intolerance debate: Have we proven Aamir Khan right?

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The Aamir Khan intolerance has boiled over from a press statement, into a national outrage topic. But it begs the question – did we prove Aamir Khan right that we are intolerant as a nation?

If you look into the matter closely, you’ll find that no where did Aamir Khan say that he wants to leave the country. In fact, he denounced the feeling of quitting the country. However, since it makes for spicy reading, media channels distorted the statement to make it seem like he said that he wants to leave the country.

What we don’t realize is we are all falling into the trap of the media. By outraging in the Aamir Khan intolerance debacle, by filling up our walls with status updates, we are actually generating fodder for media to come up with more articles, videos, and editorials on the subject.

And at the end of the day, we are all falling for the trap.

Firstly, I don’t understand why actors have to be asked political questions. Most of our biggest stars are barely educated. They got into films because of filmy families, and have been living in their own fantasy worlds for decades now.

You can’t expect them to have refined, nuanced political opinions. But that is what the media does. They ask political questions to actors, actresses, Babas, and other people who have NOTHING to do with politics. And when a foolish statement comes out, they play it on loop again and again, because they know there is a ready audience to lap up what is being said.

Having said that, let’s look at the statement that Aamir Khan made.

For years, he has been the most patriotic star in the country. He volunteered for national programs like ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’, ‘Incredible India’, and polio and cleanliness drives.

But by questioning their intentions, and asking them to leave the country, we are proving that we are indeed intolerant to listen to opinions that don’t match with our own. And look at how we reacted to the Aamir Khan intolerance debacle:

  • Nobody bothered to check the original video. To see what he ‘actually’ had to say on the matter.
  • We asked Aamir Khan to leave the country. Asking him to go to Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • Posters and effigies were burnt by political parties, calling him an unpatriotic traitor.
  • Some guys went one step ahead and began down-rating brands that Aamir Khan endorses, like Snapdeal, which now has 1 star rating on Google Apps.

In a way, we are proving Aamir Khan right.

India is a democratic country, and every citizen has a right to express his opinion. And by tarnishing an actor for his opinions, we are proving that we are like other countries. For example, in countries like Pakistan, you could go to jail for a public statement.

Let’s all realize that we can rise above hate.

Nobody benefits from hatred, except political parties and the media. And a nation where a person cannot express his views, is a scary country. We are not North Korea, or Taliban.

If you do not agree with Aamir Khan’s statements, it’s fine. Life goes on, get busy with your work, and move on.

But if we keep doing this, no important person will ever raise his voice ever again, fearing backlash.

And if THAT happens, we would have proved that Aamir Khan was right all along. Is that the kind of India we want to live in?

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