On screen the quintessential ‘Ma’ might evoke a lot of emotions, but off screen mum seems like the favourite word for Bollywood. It comes as a surprise, laced with indignation, that most of the big Hindi film stars choose to turn their eyes away from issues that could prove to be ‘unsafe’.
It is a known fact that barring an example or two, mainstream stars of the industry, most of whom are also looked up as icons, refuse to come on record on any controversial issue, thus happily confining themselves to a cocoon of safety.
Nerves of steel
The latest example is that of Preity Zinta’s. She went to the cops to complain about alleged harassment by ex-boyfriend, Ness Wadia, who’s the scion of the Wadia business empire. Zinta, as anyone who follows the personal lives of stars closely would tell, is known for never being short of courage even when she was at the peak of her career.
This was the girl who stood up as the only witness who didn’t become hostile to the prosecution during the Bharat Shah case, where she told the court that she had received her extortion threats from the underworld.
Thirteen witnesses, including superstars Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan had retracted their statements in the court. She stood alone at that point of time. Looks like she is standing alone now too. Very few of her colleagues in the industry have come out in support of her. Most brushed it off as saying it is a personal matter between her and Ness.
Agreed. But what might perhaps have worked is when a girl is cornered after filing a physical abuse case; her close friends could at least talk about their opinion of her. But this is perhaps expecting too much from an industry, which is known for quickly brushing unpleasant and risky topics under the carpet and continue keeping their opinions and voices to themselves, unless they themselves are in the centre of a controversy.