During the devastating Chennai floods, top ranking celebrities such as Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and many others donated vast amounts of money to provide relief. And these people got shamed! People were either doubting their goodwill or criticising them for not paying heed to other catastrophes around the country. SRK who ironically saved a village from flooding in My Name Is Khan was showered with banter for not putting this money for the benefit of drought-struck farmers in Maharashtra.
Our first reaction at hearing about a celebrity and a famous personality working for social causes is of scepticism. We never buy it right? Like, why is this hot shot putting his money for charity when he could be sailing away in his yacht. We thought we could put some reason into how charity works isn’t always for show.
Having said that, hidden intentions, purposes or attention grabbing efforts can undeniably be the driving force for charity. And we have kept this tangent out of our argument.
One of the many reasons that could lead one to question the motives of a ‘selfless’ celebrity is all the glamour and glitz that accompanies them in their charity work. Some have charity fashion shows, fancy luncheons, art exhibitions, and some part-take in football and cricket matches that promote charity. Because, charity work means simplicity. Does it have to?
Our perception of celebrities and the life they live is set in such ancient moulds that we can’t think of them as humble, giving people. According to us, their lives are all about parties, mad money and luxury. If we keep this ideology aside, maybe we can see their charity works as genuine and heartfelt.
Another reason for actors and their highlighted labours towards a social cause is for the sole fact that the paparazzi and media keep a tab on each and every activity of the life of a public figure. So how can their charity work not come out in the open?
Would you suggest that ‘anonymity’ is an option too? Neki kar dariya mein daal? Surely, but again, our darling media is bound to get its hands on pieces of information and blow things out of proportion.
Simply put, there’s a little itch hidden in us which makes us questions the motives behind a good deed. And if it’s related to a celebrity, a double whammy for us. Do you think it’s essential to have this tendency?
Celebrities and their work for a social cause can be more than a call for appreciation. John Abraham, when labelled as the ‘gay icon’ was more than glad, his spirit sent out the message that homosexuality isn’t a thing to be ashamed of. Many such celebrities work towards debunking social myths and stigmas. Notions that the society might deem as ‘uncultured’, but they do so because they have full belief and the drive for a cause. Should we still be sceptical about acts such as these when humanity can use, even the tiniest incentives of warmth in this day and age?
Give celebrities and public figures the liberty to make this world a better place too!