RSS mouthpiece pans Aamir Khan, pats Ajay Devgn

Aamir Khan. File   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

Bollywood has come under the scanner of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s mouthpiece Panchjanya with the cover story of its latest edition making a frontal attack on certain film stars, including Aamir Khan, as not being nationalist enough.

Magazine editor Hitesh Shankar told The Hindu that while it was true that Mr. Khan had made films such as Lagaan, Sarfarosh and 1857: The Rising, his current actions were not of the nationalist hue.

“The meeting between Aamir Khan and Turkey’s first lady Mrs Erdogan hurt feelings in India as the Erdogan government has been opposing India’s legitimate actions in Jammu and Kashmir. We also wanted to decode why Aamir Khan was so popular in China compared with other Indian film stars, why Dangal did better there than Sultan (starring Salman Khan) which had almost the same content. Aamir Khan also endorses particular Chinese brands, and no one flourishes in China till the Chinese state decides to promote them,” Mr. Shankar said.

‘Lost tradition’

The title of the write-up, Dragon Ka Pyara Khan (“The Khan beloved of the dragon”), is self-explanatory and lauds stars like Akshay Kumar, Kangana Ranaut and Ajay Devgn for continuing the “lost” tradition of making films based on nationalist sentiments or brave deeds of the armed forces.

“After Indian and Chinese forces faced off in Galwan Valley, film star Ajay Devgn announced a film on the incident. This was enough for a few English-speaking intellectuals on Twitter to mockingly state that after Akshay Kumar, the bug of nationalism seems to have bitten Devgn. It seems Devgn’s move sparked some vested interests,” the piece says.

Streaming platforms have been lauded for a number of web series on issues of “nationalism” such as the Manoj Bajpayee-starrer The Family Man that the same magazine criticised when it first came out, on the grounds that some dialogues indicated a sympathetic view of the origins of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

The criticism of Mr. Khan also mentions his comments at a journalism award function a few years ago where he spoke of growing intolerance in India and fears for his family’s safety. At that time too his remarks had created a controversy and Sangh Parivar outfits had termed them as politically motivated.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 9:50:55 AM |

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