With Bollywood stars being targeted for their views on intolerance and free speech, director Rajkumar Hirani says celebrities have become cautious about what they say in public.
The debate on intolerance has taken over the industry with Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, filmmaker Karan Johar facing flak for their comments.
When asked if he feels freedom of expression is at risk in the country, the "PK" director said he has become careful with words now.
"Every filmmaker, everybody now speaks very carefully because they are worried how they will be quoted and if they are misquoted then there will be a lot of slamming on the social media," Hirani told PTI in an interview.
The director said while every opinion can and should have a counter point of view, there is growing tendency of giving knee-jerk reactions that get magnified on social media.
"If there is one opinion then there should be a balanced and dignified point of view from the other side. But what if other side's point of view is not balanced and is 'Ok, you say this. I am going to send you to Pakistan'.
"From where does this communal thing get into it? 'I am going to slam you' cannot be the reaction. And that is primarily coming from small social media forces."
The director said he was worried as this kind of hatred would end up creating more divisions in society.
"We as human beings try to find scapegoats, pass the blame... It is an environment which is being created. And I hold media responsible for it. Its repercussions will be seen after 10 years... We will end up creating a society where people are hating communities. It has already started."
Hirani's last film "PK" had to face objections and protest from certain sections for its depiction of godmen.
"During 'PK', some people would go to theatres and protest and they would inform TV channels and if they didn't come then they won't protest.
"I think as a policy, journalists should not report something if it is being done for personal attention. When things get reported slightly wrong, then the venom spreads, hatred spreads. I can see that within social media, which was not there earlier. We as citizens should be blamed. No individual should be blamed."
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