Two days ago, there were media reports that in an event, Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan said that intolerance is rising in India & he is considering to leave the country. I was not at all shocked. I know how Indian mainstream media reports. I tried to search for the video of that event, which was not a difficult task. As per my belief, those were not the real words of Aamir. But what he actually said was no less than that. Now it was really shocking. Such statements coming from the Aamir Khan, the brand ambassador of Indian Tourism, pride of Indian Cinema. Below are his actual words:
Kiran (his wife) and I have lived all our lives in India. For the first time, she said, should we move out of India? That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make to me. She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day. That does indicate that there is a sense of growing disquiet.
At first it may seem that Aamir is quite innocently narrating his chit-chat with his wife Kiran. But if one knows what his status is, at what platform he is sitting, how media is desperate to prove that India is facing rise in intolerance; the gravity of this statement can be understood. I humbly refuse to accept that Aamir made these remarks in innocence. Now coming to the point that he didn’t say that he was considering to leave India, but her wife was. The question is who was saying these things on a national platform? Here is an analogy: What if I say on a public forum where Aamir is invited “For the first time my friend says that Aamir is an asshole. That’s a disastrous and big statement for my friend to make to me.” I don’t think it needs an Albert Einstein to understand what Aamir wanted to say.
Almost everybody on social media felt the same, filled with anguish they started ridiculing Aamir Khan’s statement. Their anger was completely justified. No one has the right to defame our country. Meanwhile some intellectuals started defending this pathetic statement by giving an example: saying “Air of Delhi is polluted” is not defaming Delhi, but it means the person is really concerned about the environment of Delhi. This statement is as funny as “terrorism has no religion” which we hear after every Islamic terror attack.
First & the most important thing: intolerance is not rising but falling, as facts suggest. Second: intolerance & pollution are not similar. If you say pollution is increasing, it shows your concern & it may lead some people to be cautious about air pollution. But to say “intolerance is rising” on a public platform, by a celebrity, causes intolerance to really rise. It’s like flooding the streets with paper pamphlets to raise awareness about misuse of paper or it’s like shouting 27×7 on PA systems to ask people to reduce noise pollution. And when it comes from a celebrated person like Aamir Khan, only purpose it can serve is: Give India a bad name globally.
I again refuse to accept that Aamir was not aware of the consequences. Especially when we all have seen similar incidents in recent past. Once questioned by media, his long-time co-star Salman Khan gave a perfect reply: “Who is spreading the intolerance? You, the people in media. If you think it’s rising, then don’t do it.”
Now it was time to register my protest against this condemnable behaviour of Aamir Khan. The first & most popular protest method is: light candles & sit at India gate. This is the method most of our intellectuals want us to follow. Being an aware citizen I strongly oppose this method. Burning paraffin wax candles emit varying levels of cancer-causing toluene and benzene, as well as other hydrocarbon chemicals called alkanes and alkenes, which can irritate respiratory tracts and trigger asthma. Candles are also known to produce soot and this microscopic airborne pollution can lodge itself deep in the lungs. Soot exposure can harm all of us, but soot specifically harms babies, as it can cause premature birth and low birth weight. Burning a candle in protest will be as ridiculous as defaming the country. Aamir Khan, me & intolerance will not exist in coming years but those harmful chemicals are going to stay forever in the environment. NEVER EVER DO IT
The next option came to my mind was stop watching his movies. But I already don’t watch movies. Even if someone stops watching Aamir’s movies it will cause financial damage to the producers or distributors not Aamir. Sitting on Dharna is not good for my health. After all I am also a human resource for the country. My bad health is a loss to nation too. The leftist way of burning public property sounds pretty effective but it causes a lot of financial loss to the nation. Throwing stones at Aamir’s house or throwing ink on his face are non-viable as these will raise the intolerance further; which will contradict my protest at the first place.
After thinking for a while it came to my mind that Aamir is brand ambassador of India Tourism & Snapdeal. I should target one of these two. Actually it didn’t come to my mind first. Some were already tweeting about it. And some were questioning that if Snapdeal then why not India Tourism. Again, any loss to India Tourism is a loss to the nation as its national venture. A tourist who is planning to visit India, if changes his/her mind and choses another country; it is a financial loss to our country.
What if I uninstall the app of Snapdeal & motivate others too to not buy products from this online store. It has many positive points & I couldn’t think of any negative aspect of it:
1. A buyer will buy the product from another seller. In a larger perspective, nothing changes. The manufacturer & buyer will not see any difference, only the channel changes.
2. It is not causing any kind of material or financial damage or environmental pollution.
3. The profit which should have gone to Snapdeal will go to some other market-place/kart. The poor seller who runs his store on Snapdeal will face a drop in his sales but at the same time another poor seller who runs his store on another site will see a high sales.
4. Snapdeal being a billion $ company can easily handle a fall of some lakh in sales.
5. Snapdeal may ask Aamir to compensate for the ‘losses’. This is very important. It’ll ultimately convey my message to Aamir.
6. Some other big companies may advise their brand ambassadors not to give such nation defaming remarks in future. An added advantage!
All of us who are in this protest, never want to cause any damage to Snapdeal. We love our country & Snapdeal too. It doesn’t mean that we’ll never use its services. We are just using it as a channel to convey our protest. As I explained earlier, among all the methods it the best as it’s not causing any kind of loss to the nation & global environment. We are common people, we cannot reach Aamir directly to say that he was wrong, so we are using this most harmless method. In fact it sounds perfect. It is better than those silent protest marches too, which causes loss of productive man-hours. And it’s a billion times better than that candle-march thing, which burns valuable energy resource & releases toxic chemical in the environment for ever.