Aamir Khan yesterday decided to use his celebrity and position as an actor and a creative person to support freedom of speech. Or did he?
Khan has not yet seen AIB Knockout, by his own admission, but he has seen some clips and like all good Indians, he does have an opinion on it. Khan says he was deeply affected by the dialogues and most “disappointed”. He felt it was a very “violent event” and clarified that “violence” is emotional or verbal also. When you insult someone, you are perpetuating violence. He believes everyone has different opinions and should be allowed to have them.
He believes AIB Knockout was a violent show. He scolded Karan Johar for taking part in it. You see, he is not impressed by bad language. He only likes jokes which don’t hurt anyone and if AIB has indeed broken the law, then they should face the consequences. But nothing should be banned. According to Khan, if you don’t like someone’s work, you should tell them so in no uncertain terms and appeal to them not to do such things again. He also thinks an age lock should exist, so children don’t see the video. In his words – “As a creative person do I have the liberty? Yes, I do. But do I have the responsibility? Yes, I do. As creative people, we have freedom of speech, but we have to know how to use that freedom of speech”.
There is certainly something to be said for actors and performers making responsible choices, but is Aamir Khan really the one to claim this higher moral ground? Especially since he hasn’t watched the roast in the first place.
Only seeing clips was enough to convince Khan it was a “violent event” and he kept reiterating this statement and talking about the impact it has on viewers. It would make sense if this wasn’t the same man who made films like Ghajini – trust me it doesn’t get more violent than that. And I’m not talking about the shoddy script.
Does Khan realise far more people get to see Hindi commercial cinema with ticket prices ranging from Rs 5 in small towns to Rs 200 in metros? On top of that, his cinema is in Hindi, a language understood by far more people in India than English. Contrast this to AIB Knockout, to see which you had to buy tickets costing Rs 4000 each or have an internet connection, knowledge of YouTube and All India Bakchod. I’m not even getting into the truly violent assault on the senses which Mela and Fanaa were.
Speaking of responsibility, Khan should also realise that it’s not very responsible to be making films with a convict who spends more time out of prison than inside. As far as I recall, the said convict, Sanjay Dutt, is in jail for safeguarding a slew of “violent” items. As for an age lock to be put on the video, there was a massive disclaimer in the videos of AIB Knockout. Maybe if Khan had watched the video he would have noticed it. As for complimenting himself on how responsible Khan was as a creative person when he made Delhi Belly and insisted on an A certificate, let’s rewind a little and see what kind of a warning Khan issued to his audiences.