Recently, Bollywood stars turned out in big numbers for the inaugural ceremony of the 28th Kolkata International Film Festival. One of the most popular celebrities to attend the evening show was Shah Rukh Khan. Without directly addressing the ongoing ‘Pathaan’ and ‘Besharam Rang’ controversies, SRK did make some bold statements, without making it clear if he was addressing Pathaan controversies or not.
According to TOI, while addressing a star-studded gathering at the KIFF, SRK criticized social media’s tendency for negative reactions to Bollywood and said the trolling was, “making it divisive and destructive. Internet is now dividing.”
SRK was not clear if he was referring to the controversies surrounding his next release Pathaan and the political debate about Deepika Padukone’s avatar in the new song Besharam Rang, SRK said, “Hamare jaise positive log zinda hai (We are positive and alive).”
Those in attendance at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata instantly took SRK’s words as a direct response to the criticism of his upcoming movie with Deepika. Protests have been staged in various parts of the country, alleging a community has been offended by the film’s song Besharam Rang.
Power of films
Speaking more about the power of films and the respect they should be afforded, SRK added, “Cinema is the best place to sustain a counter-narrative that speaks to the larger nature of humankind.” While SRK doesn’t usually engage in political opinions, when he does, he always makes a straight and impactful point.
Revealing further about the impact cinema can have in general, SRK also said cinema was a vehicle “for people of different colors, castes and religions to better understand each other”.