He is a good actor, in fact, one
of the finest India has ever produced. He is known for choosing his roles
sensibly and he has consciously created an image for himself that conveys the
feeling of a self-made identity with some gravity.
That is for masses and he, no
doubt, is a mass hero.
What he does in his personal life
and what are his beliefs are things strictly falling in his private domain. Yes,
like all human beings, he is susceptible to err, and we should not make a fuss
about it, if it does not infringe on rights of others and if it does not speak
for something that stirs the social pot.
And, in his public life, he has
not done anything like that. Yes, the row over his intolerance remarks was something
that he could have avoided given the sensitivity of the subject and the mass
outreach of his words. We can say that in speaking so he didn't consider many
things but that doesn't give us right to blame him or question his patriotism.
We may agree or disagree with his
viewpoint but his worries were right even if he overreacted - because it happens.
It is in human nature - to react and overreact on social developments with
potential to disturb your personal life - at a time when we are facing very
real danger of disturbed social balances on religious lines in different
pockets of the country.
His fans love him. And his fans
are from every religion. And every religion in India has made him a mass hero. And
he has curated a self-conscious, clean image around it.
And that makes him a good face
for the 'Incredible India' campaign - the award winning advertisement series
that really impresses you with its everything - from concepts to storyboards to
shooting to fine tuning to finished products.
So it was quite a letdown to hear
yesterday that the government had removed him as the 'Incredible India campaign
ambassador'. Though the government today denied doing so (removing) saying the
contract with the agency that was running the campaign had ended and as Aamir
Khan was contracted to the agency, his association with the campaign came to an
Well, if that is so, that is so
wrongly timed - especially immediately after the row over his 'intolerance
remarks' and his virulent criticism by some BJP leaders - the party running the
Government of India. And some of them did it even today.
The Government, instead, could
have avoided this controversy. In fact doing so would have sent a positive
message that the Government was open to different opinions (and difference of
opinion) and was working holistically on concerns of everyone (including Aamir
Khan's) - even if it felt the concern was misplaced. It is the government's
duty to make its citizens believe so (that such concerns are misplaced).
Alas! It was again an opportunity