Aamir Khan on AIB: Taking the high-road or hypocrisy?

By Aparna Mudi | Last Updated: Feb 13, 2015, 10:06 AM IST

All India Ba****d roasted actors Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh as they sat and guffawed at all kinds of abuses being hurled at them. An incident that has grabbed the headlines since the last two weeks made everyone have an opinion about it.

Some loved it. Some lodged an FIR saying it hurt Indian sentiments. The end result – the show was taken down from YouTube and later an unconditional apology was issued to (specifically) the Christian community.

While the entire film community has supported Karan, Arjun and Ranveer's stand for the show and said things that amounted to 'don't like, don't watch', Aamir recently said in a press conference that he found it abusive and violent. The result is that now Aamir is being criticised.

Aamir Khan is one Khan in Bollywood, I have always been fond of. As a child I used to like him because he was cute. Now I like him because of the causes he supports and that he has grown a conscience. Perhaps, something that irks me at times that he acts 'holier than thou'. I personally think that his tone at every press conference has been a lot more condescending.

In an episode of 'Satymeva Jayate' focussing on 'When masculinity harms men' they showed a clipping which also featured Aamir himself. He also said that he now understands that the scenes he has acted in were in poor taste and harmed the community. Hmmm...so a man actually accepted that he has done movies in poor taste – he had showed something that was against 'Indian culture' and was willing to take responsibility for it.

In the press conference Khan said 'I WAS deeply affected by that (AIB Show)', 'I didn't find that funny'. 'I PERSONALLY have a problem with what they have done' He said that he felt there was a lot of 'violence' in the event in the form of abuses – and since he is not 14-year-old anymore, he did not find it funny. Notice how in every statement he talks about himself and his opinion and not of his 'community' and 'culture'? Or have we all just learnt to ignore the context? His right to criticise the AIB show is as much a freedom of expression as AIB's right to roast Ranveer-Arjun.

Or can't the 'liberals' who support AIB's 'freedom of speech' take anyone's opinion that differs from theirs? Or have we all just decided that you must support our stance or be called either 'libtards', 'sickular' and 'against Indian culture' or be called 'uncouth', 'right wing extremists' and 'hypocrites'?

What most people seem to be saying now is that since Aamir acted in 'Ghajini' (a very bad violent copy of 'Memento') he has no right to criticise the verbal abuse of AIB. Also, since he backed 'Delhi Belly', an adult comedy featuring the famed 'Bhaag DK Bose' he now has no right to say that he did not like the blatantly racist or sexual jokes.

Incidentally he also said, 'I believe that there must be many youngsters who would have enjoyed the roast and they have a full right to their opinion.'. May be many did not really reach this point of the press conference before outraging and venting on Twitter. Because that seems to the newest thing with all of us. Most people would happily abuse a star because he said something differing from what the herd is saying before even hearing him through because he 'deserved it' and he's shielded by the fact that he is 'rich and famous'.

What he said about AIB – I don't fully agree with that. I, in fact, quite enjoyed the roast. The humour was not in the abuses but the fact that here were a bunch of 'superstars' bearing the brunt of some really clichéd jokes on themselves and joining in the 'roasting'. Sanjay Kapoor stood up and cheered himself when one of the roasters indicated that he was the worst actor in the Kapoor dynasty. Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi and Deepika all joined in with peals of laughter when all kinds of nasty things were being said about them. I loved most of it.

All the classless humour was directed at people willing to take jokes on themselves. If Aamir is not happy with it – it is his opinion.

As far as the teams’ apology is concerned – I wish they hadn't but I am not at the receiving end of the death threats they must have been receiving from religious extremists. I am no one to judge.

The 'lynching' AIB and the stars are receiving is also something that Aamir condemned. He said there was nothing wrong in telling people if you didn't like something they did. But one should limit their interference there. Why is this point being ignored?

One thing must be said– Aamir is being attacked today because there is no other scapegoat for the social media outragers right now. Give me a new star who says that she doesn't want men to say sexist things about her and front pages of leading dailies will again tell you about the last movie she featured in where she played a belly dancer showing off her midriff and say that she is an actress who deserves sexist attacks.

Note to Aamir: Even if you did not want to watch the entire video you should have watched the beginning before saying that they did not give a public warning before airing the roast (like you did “going out of your way” for 'Delhi Belly') – they did. You could have stayed away from this with just scolding Karan and Arjun. Be careful, Shah Rukh and Salman may be offended by that. It is a season of taking offence.