Amir Khan, versatile actor, producer cum director is the pride of Bollywood. Through his various films he has carved a niche for himself and of late he is thinking on the lines of producing films in other Indian languages also. His ‘Three Idiots’ walked away with the award for the most popular film by National Film jury headed by Ramesh Sippy for 2009. Kudos a galore to him.
There is a popular saying ‘All that glitter is not gold’. Sorry, I am not deviating from the subject about which I am going to write about. But I have to mention it here, as the subject is in one way or other connected or related with that adage and I shall come to it later .
Nowadays, thank God, I am lucky to watch Amir Khan daily in TV channels. The handsome man still looking quite young, seems to be a mellowed chap being chosen as brand Ambassador to endorse a sensitive and significant matter concerning all of us for conveying the message of imparting a sense of responsibility and advice of treating and entertaining foreign tourists by our broadmindedness by extending a helping hand, need for a good and pleasant behaviour thus producing a defining, refining pleasant image among them. Body languages of brand ambassadors differ while endorsing various products, particularly at a moment market forces reign supreme across our land and the world as a whole.
Worthwhile here to mention here the controversy over the selection of Amir Khan as our Ambassador to spread the messages of ‘Athidi Devo Bhava’ (Treat your guest as God) and the Incredible India. Politics played its dirty trick on the controversial matter. Amir Khan being a close relative of Dr. Najma Heptullah, BJP leader and former Chairperson of Rajya Sabha – she was a Congress woman then – his selection sowed seeds of discontent and anger among a section of Congress leaders who are in the saddle at present. But luckily Amir being the blue-eyed boy of Ambika Soni, Information and Broadcasting Minister stuck to her decision to appoint the versatile actor to don the role of India’s Tourist Ambassador.
With all love and affection towards him, he like many other shining stars of the tinsel world, Bollywood, Tollywood, Mollywood, cares two hoots for principles and integrity shines in countless roles as brand ambassadors of various products in the market only for the sake of money. Greed for money is unlimited- human nature? While continuing to keep thickened purses stacked with money the Super stars in the celluloid world get ‘addicted’ to it like confirmed drunkards. Donning the roles of principled good samaritans in films when it comes to real life the basic instincts lay bare the tentacles of selfishness, greed, avarice, lust, arrogance and what not.
Let it be so. At on the outset I dwelt on the saying ‘ All that glitter is not gold’. What compelled me to mention is nothing but the concealing the real picture of India before the public across the spectrum. Remote corners of our country already wearing a pathetic picture with famine, drought, starvation, lack of clean drinking water, sanitation facilities at a bare minimum, suicides among farmers a daily phenomenon and even our cosmopolitan cities are no exception. Even New Delhi while remaining, our capital city, carries a shameful image. As we come closer and closer to Nizamuddin and New Delhi Central stations we can very well witness a wide area of slums with skinny children, men and women holed up in their tents and outside, stealings and robberies, women being whisked away, raped and shot dead, accidents under the very nose of our rulers as per the reports streaming in. As the Common Wealth Games coming nearer and nearer, the slumwallahs are made to flee, their dwellings demolished by JCBs without providing them alternative accomodation as a part of beautification of the city and it is heard that fly-overs a dime a dozen have already been built to conceal the dirt from the foreigners and media community landing from abroad to take part and report the games.
Mumbai even while remaining my fond and affectionate city the memories associated with it are lush green in my mind, still whenever a chance to visit the city – where I spent a few years – enthusiastically I get ready to catch the train to the ‘hallowed’ city and make merry go round watch, enjoy the tremendous changes brought about by time as also feel sad on watching the harrowing section of Mumbaites who struggle each day to make both ends meet – those sleeping in the railway platforms, beggars, leppers, street-children in muddied torn clothes, emaciated men and women living on the street sides, hundreds of them defecating in between the railway tracks, no sanitation facilities whatsoever, the emigration spree from other States, tourists from abroad covering their noses talking to themsleves watching the ‘wretched lot’, ‘nasty bloody’, ‘illegally begotten products of bitches’ while walking along the pavements and I remaining a silent witness to all such sights. Still Mumbai to me is like my home State and always remains a fonded dream.
Amir Khan, brand Ambassador of our Incredible India is very much aware of these stark living truths he must be witnessing such sights daily while driving down the roads and I am quite baffled when his eulogies of our land come pouring out of his mouth, why can’t he take it as a mission to better the living conditions of at least a section of this so-called ‘wretched lot’ before playing the role of India’s Tourist Ambassador?