Snap out of it!
While surfing on Facebook a few days ago, I spotted Tanmay Bhat’s ‘Lata vs Sachin Snapchat. As neither the topic, nor the Lata-Sachin morphed Tanmay, nor the medium enthused me, I scrolled through. Today, it is all over the news, and why, I don’t know.
The hullabaloo everywhere made me go and actually watch the video.At the end of the 1-odd minute long video, three thoughts ran in my brain,. One, had Bhat worn Sachin & Lata masks instead of Snapchat filters, the video would have looked more appealing. Two, the phrases which kept popping on the screen were not only a distraction, but absolutely unnecessary. Three, had he written a better script with more realistically looking warring celebrities (as everyone knows, Sachin & Lata rarely quarrel. Now, Sachin vs Kambli, or Lata vs Asha would’ve been a logical choice) and avoided the multiple, unnecessary references to old age and death, we would have found the video passable, even entertaining. Instead, he dared to, in what seems to be in an inebriated state (solely my speculation) make a video starring India’s most loved celebrities fighting over a third. The fact that news channels devoted debates & discussions on it and even played opinions of people absolutely unrelated to the entire issue (PV Sindhu? Seriously, what does she have to do with the issue? Either ask her about her preparation for upcoming tournaments and maybe tips for youngsters, or just let her focus on her game and getting more laurels for the country) was all the more baffling.
At the same time, reports of a group of Africans being beaten up in Delhi, resulting in the death of one surfaced. As usual, the government and its set of ministers termed it a ‘ minor scuffle’ and kept reiterating that the attacks weren’t racist. The residents of the particular area went a few steps ahead and said that African students didn’t understand the ‘Indian way of life’ and that a lot of them had overstayed in the country, despite the expiration of their visas, but all the while, maintained the stance that they weren’t racist.
Now let’s face it – discrimination & judging people is quite present in the society. If one sees a dark skinned person, he automatically becomes a South Indian. If they see a south Indian, they assume that they’re extremely studious and that it is because of the sambar they eat (yes, I have actually heard of this reason). If a Southie sees a Northie, he immediately assumes that he will be uncouth (yep, heard this one too). When we tend to go against people of our own country, what prevents us from going against foreign nationals? And is this not more worthy of coverage than a stand-up comedian’s badly made video? Does this not affect the image of the country internationally? On what basisi can we say that our country is safe for foreigners, when they are more often than not cheated by shopkeepers and in certain cases, beaten to death?
A report of a cab driver being beaten up by a bunch of African nationals in Delhi for refusing to carry extra passengers on board emerges. All I remember in this case are Gandhiji’s words “ An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind”. When one Indian, in the early 20th century, could have these thoughts, why can’t we, having been born in free India, with a plethora of information at our disposal, be as evolved?
There is only one solution to all of this, and that is education. Not trigonometry and calculus (though that is useful too) but on respect and equality. Telling our children to respect other’s cultures, and not judge them for that and adapt the ‘live and let live’ motto might make us a better country for the future.
As for the Tanmay Bhat issue, dear mediapersons, celebrities and random people burning effigies of the AIB founder, stop giving the man unnecessary coverage. Please learn to distinguish between issues of importance and issues of non-importance, and then proceed to blow it up with catchy hashtags and multicoloured graphics. For once, dear news channels, emulate DD News! Also, please let’s not waste time trying to get Tanmay Bhat arrested and tried. There are quite a lot of criminals, actually persecuted criminals roaming out free. Please get them into jail. Remember Vijay Mallya?