The BJP clearly faced an embarrassment when Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani said he was proud to be a chamcha (sycophant) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the middle of the controversy over mutilating the film---Udta Punjab---Nihalani counter asked: "Should I be a chamcha of the Italian prime minister instead?" [How AAP is determined to see an NDA-Mukt Punjab]
This open exhibition of loyalty forced the ruling party to initiate a damage-control exercise. Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said PM Modi doesn't need any chamcha for he considers himself as the pradhan sevak (prime sevant) of the country.
Shameless politicisation of a film
The politicisation of a film ahead of the Assembly election in Punjab has given rise to an ugly spat in the open. But it also shows how public life in India has deteriorated because of political influence that not a single soul has the gut to say the truth, apart from blaming each other. [What HC said on Udta Punjab row]
Modi era has seen rise of too many chamchas---some outright, some subtle
One of the worse aspects of the two-year of Modi rule is the shocking polarisation of the creative minds. While there are people who have suddenly felt an acute need to speak in an anti-Congress tone on issues like protecting the Kashmiri Pandits or naming of all projects after the members of the dynasty, there are others who have made remarks on an "intolerant" India in the most naive manner possible only to give birth to more sensationalism.
There are still others who have sat on the fence and played it safely so that the quarters that help their cause do not get upset.
And many of them are 'inspired' by Muhammad Ali!
This is the great Indian hypocrisy. The tragedy is: Most or all of these masked faces take inspiration from the great Muhammad Ali who passed away a week ago.
Therein lies another hypocrisy of the highest order.
Show loyalty or save your back or sit on the fence
It is shameful that Bollywood, which is one of the biggest identities of Indianness across the world, gets busy either to prove its loyalty towards the power centre or save its back in the name of exercising free speech. There are a very few individuals in the glamour industry who are seen to take a consistent stand through the thick and thin though none of them are without a opinion. When the biggest idol of the industry says that he is not aware of the Udta Punjab issue but advises against killing of creativity, it shows diplomacy is the rule of the game.
Can Bollywood actors question the Shiv Sena or MNS on why they attack people?
Another actor recently asked why every second project is named after the members of the first family.
Pertinent question. But what about the timing?
Why didn't the person raised the same question even on May 25, 2014, when Modi was yet to take over? Or rather let us ask him another question: Can you question the Shiv Sena or the MNS just now on their politics of physical attacks?
Genuine stand is difficult: High monetary stakes or too weak a heart?
Our demigods and larger-than-life icons are comfortable in saying "I admire Ali" but in reality, they are a perfect anti-thesis to the Ali phenomenon. May be the monetary stakes are too high or simply their heart is too weak. But whatever it is, this spineless and hypocritical propaganda of selfish and biased views in the name of free speech is what curses B-town today.
Nihalani's "proud to be chamcha" is not something new and unexpected in India's public life
Nihalani's 'chamcha' word is not unexpected in our politics today. During the years of the Congress dominance, sycophancy is something our political culture has nurtured with utmost care. Those who lost out during those days have found their opportunity today and this decadent tit-for-tat culture will go on till eternity. No Modi or Rahul Gandhi can arrest this decline for it has gone into our blood.
Modi or Rahul Gandhi can do little in arresting this willful chamchagiri: But they can always kick out the rotten elements from their suroundings
The only way out is to kick out the elements who propagate their leanings shamelessly despite occupying posts that demand a responsible behaviour. That way, we can only try to somewhat clean up our pathetic record.
But after the Gajendra Chauhan episode at the FTII, even the government's intention is not above suspicion.