Friday August 05, 2022

#BoycottLaalSinghChaddha: Bollywood star Aamir Khan under fire ahead of release of new film

#BoycottLaalSinghChaddha: Bollywood star Aamir Khan under fire ahead of release of new film

Bollywood actor Aamir Khan pays respect at the Golden Temple during his visit for the shooting of the upcoming film 'Laal Singh Chaddha.' AFP

Rlixa Report

“My momma said, Life is like a box of chocolates because you never know what you're going to get.” Twenty-eight years ago, Tom Hanks made this profound statement sitting on a bench in the blockbuster Forrest Gump. Now, those words have come back to haunt the makers of Bollywood movie Laal Singh Chaddha, a remake of the 1990s movie directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Except that it is not raining chocolates but brickbats for its leading star, Aamir Khan.

The 57-year-old Khan is one of the country’s megastars with hits such as "3 Idiots" (2009) and "Dangal" (2016) in his kitty.

The film is slated for an August 11 release in India.

Supporters of a political party have been calling for the movie’s boycott over years-old comments made by Khan.


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In a 2015  interview Khan expressed a growing "sense of fear" and that he and his then-wife discussed leaving India.

"She fears for her child. She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day," he said. Now clips from the interview have resurfaced and gone viral on social media.

More than 200,000 tweets have been shared since last month calling for people to spurn the movie with the hashtag #BoycottLaalSinghChaddha.

"Aamir Khan married two Hindu women, yet named his kids Junaid, Azad & Ira. (Hindu co-star) Kareena (Kapoor) married a Muslim & promptly named her kids Taimur & Jehangir," said one tweet, referring to the children's typical Muslim names.

The films of Mr Perfectionist of Bollywood go beyond the traditional terrain of song and dance. They deal with social and cultural issues, such as Taare Zameen Par, which tackles autism.

His chat show "Satyamev Jayate" handled topics such as rape, domestic violence and corruption.

The furore over his new film is such that this week Khan kept insisting he loved his country. He dismissed charges that he was someone who did not like India, and asked his fans not to boycott his film.

"There is no doubt that Aamir is being targeted by those spreading hatred towards Muslims," one commentator, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of becoming a target himself, told Agence France-Presse.

Critics say that the world's largest film industry have been tweaking their themes so that they do not step out of line where government needs are concerned.

Some movies, particularly based on the

forces, have been promoting nationalism, all guns blazing, out to wipe out enemies both within and outside the country.

Film critic and author Anna MM Vetticad says, “India's tragedy is that a majority in Bollywood... are apathetic, opportunistic or afraid.”

 

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