Anurag-Kjo : Classic Good cop Bad cop, or age old subtle Back Stabbing?

Twitter has been buzzing frantically ever since Anurag Kashyap tweeted to PM Modi on Sunday asking him to apologize for his Pak visit last December (a claim, he has seemingly back tracked on since then).

While the industry seems to be divided on the issue, the majority of ‘India waale’ are voicing their opinion strongly against anything to do with our arch rival neighbours this time (a few select left liberals notwithstanding, as always). This makes one wonder, how is it that an industry which thrives on understanding public perception, can have such a divided opinion on an age old debate. After all they are not politicians, right!!

Did Anurag really feel that the PM will pay any heed to what can be best described as groggy tweeting, if not drunk tweeting like he himself said. Obviously he knew fully well the only thing that would come out of this episode would be more criticism against some sections within the film fraternity, if not the entire industry altogether. So, why did he still go ahead and seek an apology from one of the most popular PMs in recent history?

If Karan Johar’s message citing the investment and jobs riding on release of ADHM is anything to go by, did Anurag and Karan plan this good cop bad cop strategy? Because Karan’s statement that the film was shot when attempts were being made by Indian govt and PM to pacify and improve relations with Pakistan, is exactly similar to what Anurag tweeted 48 hrs earlier, albeit with a much more politically correct tone and statement. Isn’t that how a good and bad cop work together?

Having said all this, if one scratches the surface of the Anurag – Karan professional bonhomie, it would come to light this camaraderie was not always the case. Coming from two polarly opposite type of cinemas within the industry, there were a few instances of war of words between the two directors and they rarely saw eye to eye.

So were Anurag’s tweets, while supporting ADHM on the face of it, actually a subtle way of stoking the tempers against its release? That is how it seems, because the opinion against the movie has only grown stronger since Sunday morning (especially within the myopic regional political outfits). One wouldn’t blame him for this after the debacle of Karan’s debut as an actor in Anurag’s ambitious directorial venture – Bombay Velvet.

And ‘BTW’, although snapping ties with Pakistan and their artists is a welcome move in light of strained and ever deteriorating relationship between the neighbours, the diktat by some Bollywood organisations to ban the release of movies already made with Pakistani artists is surely avoidable. But seeking an apology from the PM of the country is even more avoidable and prepostrous – for, even though an apology was never required because the PMs visit to Pakistan was well intended, with the surgical strikes he has corrected his attempt at finding a Anurag – Karan kinda brotherhood with the ‘mother-ship’ of terrorism.

Or, may be this entire episode is neither of these things and just a good old publicity stunt as two big ticket movies are clashing at box office this Diwali. After all, negative publicity is……

(written by Neeraj Ashok, author of ‘The Linchpin’ – first of the Political Thrillers from Kabir Sood series)

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