Theatrics of the theatre artists: Naseeruddin Shah leads a befitting sequel to the #awardwapsi drama of the last time

Many social media researchers have openly pointed out that filmmaking in Bollywood is majorly financed by money-launderers sitting abroad and has mafia links from the Middle East. And hence, if for any reason people boycott TV and cinema, say for a year, the black money generation would dry up and thus will have a major impact on the bodies that spread terror in India. I never took it that seriously until yesterday when a group of theatre artists including some Bollywood actors lead or perhaps inspired by Naseeruddin Shah have decided to campaign against PM Narendra Modi to safeguard India from disintegrating. In a statement released, the 616 signatories appealed to people to “vote against the BJP and its allies” and to vote for a secular, democratic and inclusive India.

Wasn’t that shocking? Secular – that very word sent a chill down my spine. To me, this episode of theatrics by the theatre artists brought in such shock that for a while I perused through the list of people who are part of this congregation.

I, as an informed citizen, with no political affiliation, have admired Narendra Modi for his strong persona, positive vision and tangible performance in governance over the past five years. His workaholic lifestyle to polish India to shine better every day has always been the talk among the youth. His unparalleled oratorical skill has inspired many to look up to him as a strong and ideal leader. His able team of ministers have delivered so well over this tenure that they are now perhaps the first Indian government to hand over to the common people a printed report card of their performance while they campaign for the General Elections 2019.

1) The rupee has consistently performed well.
2) Inflation is under control.
3) Roads and railways have prospered like never before.
4) Corruption and scams have dried up like never before.
5) The Ganges is getting into better shape.
6) A solid attempt has been made to educate people about the need for cleanliness as part of the Swachh Bharat campaign.
7) Toilets have been provided to most of the needy.
8) Close to 100 per cent electrification of India has been done.
9) Direct benefit transfer via Jan Dhan account has been made possible, weeding out the middlemen.
10) India’s international stature has grown like never before.

These are some of the popular things that an informed citizen has seen happening. I am sure there are many more to add to make it a comprehensive list.

Yet, why a congregation of 600 plus artists is behind Narendra Modi? It was unsettling until someone triggered the thought that many of their direct benefits in cash and kind have been curtailed after Narendra Modi’s ascendance to the PM’s chair. The Padma and other awards that usually have a lion’s share of these artists as recipients, much to their dismay, have flown the common man’s way. And also, this is perhaps a befitting sequel to the #awardwapsi drama of the last time.

Why else will someone loving India unconditionally would forgive someone feeling ashamed to utter ‘Vande Mataram’ and go against this government? Why else will someone feel intolerant in a country like India, which is home to the people of the most tolerant religion? Why else will a bunch of artists go against a man who is working tirelessly to take their country to greater heights? Why else will someone question PM Modi’s secularism when the Islamic nations like UAE certify (#Zayed award) that India is the safest place for Muslims? Don’t you smell an agenda there?

Yet, as long as the informed youth is clear about Narendra Modi’s intent and passion, such theatrics by the theatre artists would end up as a flop show beyond the first-day.

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