Why Aamir Khan’s Apology for Hurting People’s Sentiments In PK Has Disappointed Me

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When PK had just released, it instantly earned the ire of several groups for hurting the sentiments of the people, for the film took a dig at godmen and ubiquitous religious practices across the country. However, at the same time, it earned the praise of a large section of people, for the same reason too. The film had dared to challenge the unquestioned authority of religious fraudsters who continue to dupe people with fallacious notions of dharma and morality even in this age of reason.

Both Aamir Khan and Rajkumar Hirani have successfully made powerful statements through a number of their films by picking up social and political topics of relevance. The film’s producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra too said that with PK that they were trying to push the limits.

While we may have problems with the film-its direction, its storytelling technique, etc.-but few can deny that the film was a bold take on a social aspect that few dare to touch upon. The fact that the film did so well despite the ginormous backlash it got, goes on to show that the Indian audience too is ready to consume bold messages through cinema, that the Indian audience is, in fact, desperate to watch stars do more than just sing and dance to love songs on the big screen.

However, to everyone’s surprise, and disappointment, if I may add, Aamir Khan has apologised for this boldness. “The film has been loved by the majority. Personally I want to say I feel bad if I hurt a single person… that was not my intention at all. What we wanted to tell we told that because it was an important point. But I want to apologise if I hurt people,” Aamir said at the DVD launch of PK.

But what is Aamir Khan really apologising for? The film was an honest take on the perverse truth of the society. Is he then apologising for uttering the truth through his work? While making this film, was he expecting the bigoted fringe elements of the society to pat his back in encouragement?

With films like 3 Idiots, Rang De Basanti and Taare Zameen Pe, and a show like Satyamev Jayate that has become a mirror to the maladies of the Indian society, Aamir Khan has become one of the few sane voices of the film industry that otherwise seems to be immersed in its own world of glamour and glitz, removed from the realities that beleaguer the society. Why then is Aamir Khan destroying his image by apologising for what is right and rational?

A few days back, when the entire film industry stood in solidarity against what was largely perceived as an unacceptable ban on the All India Bakchod Roast, Aamir Khan surprised everyone with his conservative response to the controversy. “My opinion is that it was a violent show. Karan (Johar) and Arjun (Kapoor) are my friends and I scolded them and told them that I was not impressed with it,” he said.

As his ardent fan, I have loved Aamir Khan most for his ability to call a spade a spade, even when most shy away from doing so. I have loved him for being a sane and liberal voice in times of extreme intolerance. As a woman, I was heartily impressed when he and his wife, Kiran Rao, decided to give their son both their last names (his name is Azad Rao Khan).

However, off late, it seems that like most others, Aamir too is trying to play to the gallery. With a film like Dhoom 3, he has ventured into a terrain that few of his fans would have wanted him to. Moreover, with this apology, he has disappointed all those who looked up to him for his courage to say nothing but the truth. He might have been politically correct in doing so, but as someone who has loved him for his political incorrectness, this apology has been nothing but a major disappointment.

Sanya Dhingra

Image Source: The Viewspaper