I hope all of you had nice Dussera vacation this year before heading back to work. This Gandhi Jayanthi was celebrated with a fervor of different kind. Our honourable Prime Minister announced on this day with a mission to clean up India - Swacch Bharat Abhiyan. October 2nd is also observed as the birth anniversary of another great human being and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri who is more remembered for the slogan 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan'.But his birthday is always overshadowed by the same of the father of our nation.
On October 2nd this year, along with Gandhiji, another celebrity who made into news was our singer K J Yesudas. He was invited by a voluntary organization to deliver a speech for Gandhi Jayanthi celebrations. Had he made a general speech about Gandhiji and services that voluntary organizations deliver, the news item might or might not have appeared in the local page. We would not have known that he went and gave a speech. But now, everybody knows that he went and gave the speech thanks to his controversial statements. Why should a revered singer suddenly be concerned that when women wear jeans it is a cause of 'trouble' for others and that those parts that need to be covered should be covered. He did not touch the point that men wearing jeans (the more torn the jeans are, more fashionable) is also alien to our culture, and that they should be wearing dhotis and jubbahs all the time to adhere to our culture. Had he generalized this statement commenting on both the genders, would it have created so much row? I do not know. Maybe his intentions are good. Nobody knows. Media organizations and Women's groups are quick to react to his sensitive (or insensitive) remarks telling that it is unfortunate that he should talk like that when there are so much atrocities against women going on in our country. Who has succeeded or won in these at the end of the day? Media groups, women's organizations, public? You guessed it right, it is Yesudas himself. He has succeeded in creating a needless storm to be in news and social media for sometime. Did he resent or apologize having made those statements? No. I may be right or not, but he may be silently enjoying all these reactions around him. Had we all remained quiet and ignored his remarks, would he have felt the same way? I doubt it.
Famous personalities, politicians, or celebrities making controversial statements is nothing new. If they are men, mostly the topics will be related to women so that the sensation will be more. A few days back, Hema Malini made a comment related to Brindavan widows. It did spark a row. Why do these celebrities make these statements? Do their statements improve the functioning of our society? I doubt it. They succeed in stirring a series of heated arguments and discussions for sometime until the next major incident turns up. Social media and TV channels will be full of angry responses and demands for apology from that personality. Are these all waste of energy and time? Celebrities who are used to media and public attention, crave for the same when they grow old or forced out of the public arena. They look for ways to be in the news once a while and this is one of them. Sometimes, the best reaction to their statements is no reaction. So folks and social media, as much as possible please minimize the discussions and heated arguments when those so called controversial remarks are made and live as you please. Nobody wins here except the person who made those statements.
So Shri Yesudas, thanks a lot as your talk about what should be and what should be not about our Indian culture made me write another article to add to my blog. :)