E-commerce giant Amazon on Monday restricted review submission for Bollywood entertainer Sonu Sood’s memoir “I am no messiah”.
As per the blurb of Sonu Sood’s book, instead of expressing his generosity through remote control, he got off the ‘ivory towers’ and came face to face with the trauma of India’s migrant labourers. He also ‘understood’ how “a food packet was a woefully inadequate substitute for a ride back home.”
During the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, as per the book’s blurb, Sonu Sood spurred into action for the value of ‘seva’ to serve the mankind. However, Sonu Sood’s heroics don’t seem to have gone down well with readers.
Readers not too happy with ‘I am no messiah’
Out of the 21-odd reviews on Amazon, about 75% reviewers gave it 1 star rating. One reviewer said that it would be better to use the money to feed a poor than buy this book. Another reviewer found the memoir outrageously cringeworthy. “Even secret lives of Bollywood wives was perhaps less idiotic than this. His charity started (if at all) probably May and within a few months a book is getting released. Hopefully Coming Filmfare He gets Most Selfless “Star” of the Year Award along with dada saheb phalke and nobel peace prize nomination. As a generation we need to introspect deeply,” he said while giving it 1 star rating.
Some reviews were quite brutal.
However, soon after Sonu Sood’s memoirs started getting negative reviews, Amazon has suspended reviews for the book.
Sonu sood and Chinese coronavirus pandemic
During the lockdown that was imposed to curb Chinese coronavirus pandemic, many migrant workers who live and work in other states were stuck as buses, trains and flights came to a halt. Later, the government arranged for Shramik Express to facilitate the migrant workers to go to their home states. Many individuals, like Sonu Sood, also came forward to help migrants reach home.
Earlier in May, Sonu Sood was accused of being a BJP stooge for arranging transport for migrant workers from Maharashtra to other parts of India who were stuck in Maharashtra due to coronavirus lockdown. The attack on social media from ‘liberals’ and Islamists came after he met Maharashtra governor. Soon, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut attacked him and questioned how he managed transportation for migrant workers amid lockdown.
However, a day later he met Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son and minister Aaditya Thackeray. The Maharashtra government run by Shiv Sena-NCP and Congress alliance had received flak over mismanagement over handling coronavirus pandemic in the state, especially the treatment of migrants.
Sonu Sood and the ‘help’ that never was
In September this year, Sonu Sood ‘promised help’ to 350 boatsmen in Varanasi. He made the promise while responding to viral images. Some videos were shared on social media where claims were made that the boatsmen in Varanasi are facing financial crunch and that as many as 350 families are forced to sleep hungry. However, the truth was far from what is propagated.
Speaking to OpIndia, members of Nishad community clarified how they have never had to beg for food and the media reports of 350 families being hungry are all rumours. Local councillor Narsingh Das was engaged in distributing ration even when OpIndia contacted him.
While it is true that coronavirus pandemic has hit us hard, the above media reports of boatsmen and their families sleeping hungry were incorrect.
Sonu Sood and ‘UN award’ that never was
In September this year, various media portals reported that Sonu had been awarded the SDG Special Humanitarian Action Award by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
There have been two recent incidents (West Bengal’s so-called UNWPA recognition for Mamata Banerjee and the case of ‘Drone Boy’) when awards that people claimed to have won were either proved to be fake, or the name of the organization was misleading.
When OpIndia tried to find any announcement about the said award on the UNDP website or SDG Action Campaign Awards website, there was no info about it. The social media accounts did not have any information on the award presented to Sonu Sood, either. SDG Action Awards were still accepting applications, and the last date was 9th October 2020. The previous winners’ list has winners from 2019 and none from 2020. At the time of this report, SDG Action Awards have only given the list of finalists, not winners.
So when Sood, in his memoirs, writes that he is not a messiah, he is being quite honest.