Why many on the ‘right’ are not boycotting Dangal – no, they haven’t forgiven Aamir

Aamir Khan’s career is full of ups and downs. In Bollywood, he started off with a bang, then succumbed to trashy movies, and now is seen as the torch-bearer of method acting and thought provoking movies. He has also been quite vocal about his social views, and even here, he has had his fair share of flip-flops. From making polarising anti-Modi comments about the 2002 riots, to mildly praising Modi in 2014, even meeting him after he became the Prime Minister, then making the infamous intolerance remark, and most recently, praising demonetisation.

The latest support for demonetisation has come just near his latest movie Dangal, and even so, a section of the “Right Wing” is vociferously campaigning for boycotting Dangal. The reason is obviously their anger at Aamir Khan for his remark that his wife had though about leaving India due to the country’s rising intolerance.

This anger, can be understood. If someone in my house says something bad for our house, and if I don’t agree with him, I am bound to be peeved. Further, boycotts are a perfectly legal method (much better than stoning theatres) to express one’s displeasure. Don’t we all have that one uncle or aunty with whom our family doesn’t have great relations, hence we all “boycott” their functions?

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

Aamir Khan is the lead actor as well as the producer of this movie, so if you want to send a message to Aamir Khan, this movie is tailor-made for a boycott. But the moot question you need to ask is this: Do you want to send a message to one man who offended you with one sentence? Or do you want to send a message to lakhs of men who are trapped in their patriarchal mindset, not giving the females in their family, their due?

Dangal as a movie sends all the right messages to the viewers.

Dangal shows us a male Jat from the hinterlands of Khap-infested Haryana, the state having the reputation of having the worst sex ratio in India, the state where new born girls are still murdered, is a life-long wrestler. He first wrsetles real opponents in his youth, winning most matches. He then has to wrestle with his father, but fails. As a parent, he   has to wrestle with his patriarchal mindset of “sons are the best”, and then wrestle the society as a whole, and the system he is bound by, to ensure that his daughters are not left behind.

We are shown what it takes to be a girl from a village, to traverse the very tricky terrain of the inefficiency infested world of Indian sports bodies, to emerge at the pinnacle of a sport which unlike Cricket, does not get all the support it should get. And don’t forget, this is the women’s section of a forgotten sport, making it even more forgotten.

Aamir Khan plays a highly patriotic, nationalistic minded wrestler, who wants to win a medal for his country, so that his country’s national anthem rings in the pantheons of world sport.

All this is set in the 90s and early 2000s, when India was still not as progressive as it is today, making all the challenges faced even harder to surmount.

And to top it all of, this story is based on the real lives of the Phogat family. Mahavir Singh Phogat, the father and mentor of the Phogat sisters, has lived this life, and probably endured much more than what was actually shown in the movie. The fact that this movie is not fictional adds huge weight to the proceedings, and the message it delivers.

If you take out Aamir Khan and his statement from the equation, this movie is tailor-made for the Right Wing to embrace. It has the spirit of PM Modi’s Beti Bachao Beti Padhao movement, something which PM Modi has pushed at various important platforms. It has a huge dose of nationalism, mixed with the desire to excel at a sport.

But without doubt, the most important message of this movie its bold statement against patriarchal mindsets. Lets face it, “India” may have moved on in large parts, but large sections of “Bharat” are still chained to regressive practices. No-one can deny that women are yet to get justice in many fields in India.

When an A list star makes a bold appeal that too based on a real-life story, the chance that it may wake up that dying conscience in its viewers is fairly large. Even if 5% of the viewers of this movie go home with a changed outlook towards their daughters, their wives, their daughter-in-laws, and women at large, then it is well worth it.

But to be fair to the movie, it is not only about upliftment of women. It touches on the aspect of a borderline selfish father, robbing his children’s childhood. Or the tricky relation between a daughter and her father-cum-taskmaster-coach.

It is not a perfect movie, being a bit stretched and little contrived in parts. The usual cinematic tropes are thrown in to tug at your emotions. But the acting is A-grade, and there is a very authentic feel to the proceedings. The cast and crew have worked hard to get small things right, and it shows on the screen.

In such a situation, holding Aamir Khan by his one statement, would do great injustice to Dangal’s message which is the need of the hour. As far as sending a message to Aamir Khan is concerned, the boycott Snapdeal movement already had an impact on Aamir.

Governments would do well by making the movie tax free as well, provided Aamir Khan himself promises to donate a percentage of the proceeds to a cause which ensures the upliftment of women. If not, Governments could also promise to use the collections from taxes only for women-specific schemes. Aamir Khan too should step in to promote the Beti Bachao campaign honorarily.

But does this mean if you care about the cause of the girl child, you have to watch Dangal or else you’re a part of the problem? No. One can choose to take Aamir Khan’s message from PK as well, that of not donating to a temple and instead donating clothes to the needy. Instead of watching Dangal, we can also act to solve this gender bias problem by creating awareness, donating to the right causes etc. Finally, its all about working towards the cause, in your own way.

co-founder, OpIndia.com

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

Loans waived by Congress govt in MP, but here are the ‘conditions apply’ that farmers should see

One of the main poll promises in the run-up to 2018 elections was farmer loan waiver. Rahul Gandhi and all Congress leaders harped on farmer loan waiver.

Ghaziabad: Stray dog, mother of five puppies, raped and dragged to death by Nafees and Tauseef

Nafees, one of the accused, has reportedly confessed to the crime of raping the animal several times before dragging her through the streets

‘I was a communist, but I fail to understand how talking about Hindus becomes ‘communal’: Hadiya’s father joins BJP

He said that he was a communist since childhood but of late the party is playing dirty vote-bank politics eyeing minority votes.

No Rajdeep, there is no reason to thank Imran Khan for the homecoming of Hamid Ansari. Here is why

Rajdeep Sardesai has time and again proved himself to be a master of quackery

PM Modi makes a big announcement: 99% items to soon fall under 18% GST slab or lower

"Today, GST system has been established to a large extent and we are working towards a position 99% things would attract the sub- 18% slab", said Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Kamal Nath has given Congress ecosystem the job of demonizing UP-Bihar, and we can expect this

After fifteen long years, Congress has begun its innings in Madhya Pradesh on a message of hatred towards the people of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar by CM Kamal Nath

Read excerpts of Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge led PAC report slamming HAL for delay in projects while Rahul indulged in politicking

PAC, led by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge severely criticised HAL for the delay in projects while Rahul Gandhi accused PM Modi of 'taking away projects from HAL'

IT magnate Narayana Murthy and ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala root for Modi government in 2019

Narayan Murthy and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala both have praised Modi government’s policies in the last 4.5 years of governance

NITI Aayog’s vice chairperson slams Rahul Gandhi for his tweet on farm loan waiver

Niti Aayog vice chairperson Rajiv Kumar claimed that the current government has done more for farmers than any other previous government.

Surging India: PM Modi sets up the tone for 2019 campaign? Lists how India has developed a lot since 2014

PM Modi was giving the keynote address at Republic TV summit where he put forward his government's achievements in last four years

Latest articles

Connect with us

125,844FansLike
98,436FollowersFollow
6,394SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these