Shah Rukh Khan: Why do we hate to love him?
If anyone remembers their schooldays, they will remember that one person who always stole the show. That one person who got the accolades and the admiration of parents, teachers and peers. When being in school meant achieving the limelight, that one person would do it with ease, finesse, filling you with admiration and even jealousy of his/her ability, luck or both.
But as we grow up, most of us get acquainted with the fact that aspiration, hard work and perseverance consists of most of the struggle to achieve success. One also gets accustomed to the term 'shit happens' because the final ingredient - luck, is anybody's game. If it shines one you, you're happy, if it doesn't, you never stop hoping for it.
Recent incidents involving Shah Rukh Khan and even the victory of his IPL team has drawn some of the strangest reaction from our media elites. Similar to the school losers criticizing the school jocks from a distance, they have expressed a sense of outrage over something millions in this country end up facing on a daily basis. If tabloids, magazines and entertainment shows go mad covering SRK, splitting and analyzing his behaviour, it's nothing new. Both they and their audiences thrive on such mundane and inconsequential jargon. But I am disheartened when the subject reaches the famed studio of Arnab Goswami's , The Newshour. I am disheartened when the channel that pursued the Commonwealth Games scandal with tenacity and integrity, which compelled the authorities to take action, turns to discuss a possible criminal act behind SRK's verbal fight with a security guard. On top of that, the channel organized a panel of Z-list personalities who were nothing more than eloquent enough to grind an axe against the actor. After becoming aware of the existence of Fox News' ridiculous programming, I have not seen such opinionated yellow journalism as I did on The Newshour.
Who doesn't get into a fight in this country? I understand that celebrities are victims of their success, but their behaviour which may be similar to that of any Joe on the street should not be scrutinized by serious news channels. It diminishes their credibility which is very valuable to them, especially when they campaign and debate with politicians in the interest of the nation. If TIMES NOW was so concerned about justice for the security guard, why didn't they apply their tenacity to prove their case?
In my opinion, the reason is that those individuals who excite people's imaginations with their words and work enjoy a love hate relationship with the same people. SRK is an actor loved all over the world. His movie projects make millions and he runs a successful IPL team. He is an eloquent speaker who gets invited to illustrious institutions like Yale to deliver talks. He seems to have got it all. As society puts such people on a pedestal, there is a constant attempt by different people to bring them to an 'average' level through speculation and even lying. When they are up we loath them, when they are down we sympathize. The media in all genres, to a great extent, gear their programming according to what excites people. When celebrities like SRK seem to step out of line, the media cashes in by putting the actor under the microscope to satisfy the trivial curiosity of their audiences.
Be it SRK's victory's or failings, we will love and hate him, but the spotlight will still be on him. The media will take our cue and take scrutiny to different levels every time. It's inevitable. But I appeal to the respectable news channels not to quench our trivial pursuit of knowledge with such programming. I implore them to do what they do best of making us aware of much more important issues and holding our political leaders accountable when we are unable to. To the rest of us - let's treat SRK with the same grace we expect of him. He's famous, but he's human after all, prone to the same situations any one of us may face. So let's not tag him as a social delinquent for it. The guy can make us laugh, cry, leave us amazed and even unimpressed through his work. We can love him and criticize him, but let's not make it personal. Let's emulate his passion in whatever we do and hope that his good fortune shines on us as well.
More about Ayushman Jamwal
Ayushman Jamwal works on the foreign desk at CNN-IBN.
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