The morning started with the typical knee-jerk reactions to Aamir Khan’s public confession during the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards in New Delhi that there is an air of fear and apprehension in the country and the situation is so grave that his wife suggested that maybe they should move out of the country. He said:
For the first time, my wife, Kiran has spoken about moving out of the country. She fears for her kids, and for me it is a very big statement.
Here is the video of what he said:
I’m not going to go into the endless loop of whether there is actually “extreme intolerance” in the country or whether Aamir Khan has the right to express himself because plenty of stuff has already been written. It’s not about agreeing with him or disagreeing with him, it’s about making an impact if you really want to make it. It’s no use abusing him and accusing him of signing the petition that urged the US government not to give visa to Narendra Modi or being a part of a conspiracy to malign India just to make things difficult for Modi or trying to prove his pseudo-secularist credentials. Of course Aamir Khan was bullshitting, but this is not the point.
Abusing such people only benefits them. It turns them into martyrs and after a couple of weeks, it’s business as usual. This is needless, unproductive venting out.
A better way is the Gandhian way.
Again, I’m not saying I’m a big fan of Gandhi, I’m just saying that starting #NoToSnapDeal and #AapWapsi campaigns is an excellent way of showing your discontent for the reckless statement made by the actor. If carried out properly, these forms of protests can hurt where it really matters. Abuse them, insult them, and it gives them intellectual high. Hurt them monetarily, and they panic.
Don’t agree with them? Do you feel they are harming your country by such alarmism? Don’t watch their movies. Don’t watch their programs on TV. Don’t do business with companies who hire them as their brand ambassadors. Render them obsolete. Turn them irrelevant. Make it unprofitable to be associated with them. This is the only way you can get back at them, not by abusing them and digging out their dirts. Such a movement was effectively used by Gandhi when there was no connectivity. These days most of the customers of these companies are connected and therefore they can take collective decisions. As shown by this Business Standard news report, the Snapdeal app — at the time of writing this — has been downgraded by the users on Google Play Store by one-star ratings and negative comments. It’s being reported that more than 100,000 (at the time of writing this) users have already uninstalled the app from their mobile phones. Godrej clarified on Twitter that their contract with Aamir Khan ended in March 2014 and his current views are his personal and in no way connected to the company:
This, is the way to react to the smear campaign being carried out by this particular class of intellectuals, writers, actors and the so-called public figures. Hopefully, for everyone this will be a learning experience.
Image source: The Indian Express