Tag Archives: mumbai

We Are All Shah Rukh Khan

my name is khan

Theatrical Poster of MNIK

I get intensely agitated as I read about Shiv Sena anarchy in Mumbai. Such is the level of my distant yet emotional involvement in the ongoing Shah Rukh Khan-Shiv Sena standoff that, as it happens with most of the Nepali people, I want to give a tight slap to the freaking gang-lord called Balasaheb. The film My Name Is Khan will be released tomorrow and vowing to let the screening not happen the Sena has already vandalized some theaters that opened advance bookings prompting the state government to deploy heavy security in theaters. I am filled with anger to see the right-wing ‘political’ gang of Bal Thackeray targeting a vulnerable actor for saying nothing but the truth. Reports say Indian Rs 1 billon (100 crore) is at stake for the filmwallahs.

Fox Star Studios acquired the distribution rights of the movie for about Rs. 81 crore, including prints and publicity. “The film has to net at least Rs 60 crore in India to recover the investment,” said trade analyst Amod Mehra. “The Mumbai circuit with Maharashtra contributes about 40 pr cent of the country’s total collections, which would be Rs 20 odd crore minimum.” Komal Nahta, a trade veteran, said, “Approximately Rs 2.5 to 3 crore per day is at stake in Mumbai city and Maharashtra. Although Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan have sold the film to Fox Star, it doesn’t mean that their responsibility is over. At a press conference in London, Shah Rukh apologised to Karan and Fox Star and promised that he would make up for the losses they might incur because of the stand he’s taken.” (source)

That makes Shiva Sena even more powerful making them think: See, we can damage you that much. It’s clear the group wants cheap attention. I know trillions of people in Mumbai don’t like Sena. They hate the fascist organization. So what can they do now? Continue reading

Shah Rukh Khan: Don’t Apologize to Shiv Sena

Update (04-Jan): Speaking in London where he is promoting his movie My Name is Khan, Shah Rukh Khan today said:

“I don’t know what the issue is all about…I don’t know what I am supposed to retract. Am I supposed to retract the fact I’m an Indian but I don’t want anyone to come to my country. What all that I’ve said is that I would like people to come to my country to participate in the biggest event and it scarce me to say anything because our stakes are very high. I have no idea what people would like me to say. If somebody could tell me this is what you would want me to say, I’ll say it. What all I have been taught by my father who was a freedom fighter for this country is wrong and my kids are steering wrong. It’s not a stand or a statement against anyone. It’s actually a sort of what I individually feel and normally when a film is releasing-to be really honest and I wouldn’t comment on it on a larger scale because it’s not nice when a Hindi film hero who is thought of as an icon, to say this. I am really sorry. I would like to apologise Karan Johar, to Kajol and I am immensely sorry to all our business partners that because of what I said, or what I believe in, their film and their work is going to be affected.”Karan Johar, producer and director of the film and co-star Kajol were present. (source)

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We’ll Watch Your Movie Twice

There are limits to political hooliganism. The two ‘political’ gangs of Mumbai- Shiv Sena and Maharastra Navanirman Sena- have crossed those limits more than once. The Indian state and its much revered Democracy are mute spectators of the Sena anarchy. It is shameful that the Senas have taken the city of Mumbai hostage and rest of India is unable to do anything. So much with the super-power dream of new India.

I am not an Indian but as an admirer of Indian democracy, lover of Indian movies and songs and observer of Indian politics, I find the Shiv Sena’s latest threat to Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan absolutely preposterous and downright condemnable. So many other people, inside India and outside, share the same feeling. Yet, as of today, Khan finds himself virtually isolated. No one, not even from his own film industry, is daring to speak for him who expressed nothing but truth while commenting upon the recent IPL fiasco. Khan had recently regretted publicly saying that it was humiliating for him as an IPL team owner that no Pakistani cricketers was taken by any of the teams despite the fact that several talented Pakistani players were up for auction. He also praised the Pakistani cricket team, current T20 world champions, as being, well, the world champions.

I see nothing wrong with that. The Shiva Sena sees nothing right in that. They feel the actor shouldn’t have praised Pakistani players and expressed regret over their exclusion from the tournament because, according to them, it’s a matter of patriotism. Now the Sena is demanding that Khan should either retract from his statement (apologize) or go to Pakistan, as in leaving India for good. As if India belonged exclusively to the Thackeray clan and their goons at the Senas.

It is clear why Shiv Sena is targeting Shah Rukh. Shah Rukh Khan, the mega star of Indian film industry, is a Muslim. Shiva Sena, who plays the politics of Marathi Manoos, is a right-wing ultra-Hindutva outfit. That is the sole reason for the latest Sena outrage against Khan who has the right, constitutionally speaking, to say what he said in Indian democracy. The Sena’s act is clearly an example of religious chauvinism and highhandedness. Look at this statement by Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi, a former speaker of Indian parliament: Continue reading

Bombay. Day II

Crossing the Bombay sea bridge

Here is first part of this entry and photo album

10. Wondering where’s Sandra in Bandra 🙂 [btw, dats interesting documentry screened in Film South Asia some yrs ago.

11. The great Indian railway bazaar, as appeared in yesterday’s Kathmandu Post: http://tinyurl.com/nr48wj.

12. Inside a local train to VT. Destinations: Gateway of India and Colaba area. Then to Bandra-Worli sea bridge. No time 4 Dharavi though.

13.Frm dis local train, tall, grand Mumbai buildings r cnstantly blokd by view of filthy slums,horribly dirty railway track-side hms. Contrast.

14.Railway track’s so ‘unmumbai’, it fils like travelin in path full of shit n other dirts. Parts of same city dat boasts Marine Dive skyline. Continue reading

Bombay! Second Edition

This post talks about events happened in July 11 (yesterday, the first of our two days in Bombay):

Last time when I woke up inside a Goa-Bombay train compartment, I was in Victoria Terminus (CST), right in the heart/lung/or whatever of the city. That was in October last year. This time, on Saturday 11 July afternoon, I got off at Kalyan Junction, sub-urban Bombay from Goa-Bombay train.

From there we went to Bandra in a local train as we were scheduled to catch 12 July train to Delhi from there. Then, after booking a hotel room and eating in a Dhaba outside, we went to Marine Drive in a local train.

Here are the tweets from Bombay. Some of them migh sound too cryptic. I’ll elaborate them, along with relevant pictures, in the next few days: Continue reading