Bollywood is rattled by the rising wave of anger against Pakistani artists. Recently, an exhibitor's group, Cinema Owners and Exhibitor's Association of India (COEAI) suggested a boycott on playing Karan Johar's upcoming Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. The reason for the boycott, they said, was to protest the presence of Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in the film.
Director Anurag Kashyap spoke up on Twitter to provide his two cents to the discussion. In a series of tweets, which he later got massively trolled for, he said why he was on Karan Johar's side.
On October 16, he tweeted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Sir you haven't yet said sorry for your trip to meet the Pakistani PM. It was dec 25th. Same time KJo was shooting ADHM? Why? why is it that we have to face it while you can be silent?”
He then suggested that Modi paid for the trip on “our tax money, while the film shot then was on money on which someone here pays interest”.
Just to make it clear, I complain because I expect my government to protect us, I question the PM because I have every right to..— Anurag Kashyap (@anuragkashyap72) October 16, 2016
His rant went on: “I am not going to address a party that has become redundant and irrelevant and is trying to find relevance again by using the film industry. We have been vulnerable for long, and have been paying the price by being used by every one to find any kind of standing. And the real trade between the two countries across the border has not faced any kind of opposition, but we must pay the price for it. And anyone who questions my love for the country by shouting, must prove there [sic] love by representing the country either on the border. Or prove your love by representing the country in a honourable way. Not by shouting here. And yes sir @narendramodi we need protection. It's really high time. I refuse to live in the fear created by blind fanatics that you cannot have a conversation with your PM or question him or expect from him. I would rather ask my questions directly to the PM than trying to impress him by fake nationalism of banning 'what puts you in news'”.
By the end of it, trolls were all over him, tearing apart his words. Among those who were against Kashyap, a few coherent voices spoke out:
Every citizen including @anuragkashyap72 has right to question the Govt. But is it right to blame the priest for failure of one's marriage?— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) October 17, 2016
Paresh Rawal tweeted, "Unwarranted utterances of mr Anurag Kashyap infact is damaging KJo s film n industry", while singer Abhijeet asked how Kashyap could "fall so low", and added that "Indians won't leave you Pak-lovers alone".
Union minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted saying, “A new fashion has developed in India. A student or a film person can put a question or speak against PM without any logic to get into news. You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. Read whole tweet. This PM is accessible 2 citizens. So please put LOGICAL questions.”
However, Anurag Kashyap wasn't the lone man against the wind. Several others supported him and his right to question the PM.
Don't understand this fracas over Anurag Kashyap. In a democracy, anyone can take a jibe at the PM. Why are BJP leaders going into a tizzy?— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) October 17, 2016
To put trolls off track, a fake account posing as Modi posted this:
And then there were the funny ones who couldn't resist pulling his leg...
Bhakt: I have backache. Nehru caused it. Milk spilt. Damn it, Nehru!@anuragkashyap72 : PM Modi, can you-— Nehr-who? (@threeinchfooll) October 16, 2016
Bhakt: YOU DARE BLAME MODI?