The Trolling And Bullying Of Star Kids Is Bad. But Sonam Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha’s Reactions Are Doing More Harm Than Good
The death by suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput has opened the floodgates, and what is streaming in now is a mix of the wanted and the unwanted. The conversation around mental health? Most definitely wanted. But Deepika Padukone posting unhelpful Instagram Stories that start with ‘Repeat after me’ and being trolled mercilessly for it? Not wanted. A healthy debate around how outsiders don’t feel welcome in Bollywood and the pressures of living a dual life to keep up appearances? Encouraged. But forcefully pushing personal agenda, encouraging cyberbullying of star kids and trending hurtful rumours? Most definitely unwanted, and perhaps even punishable under cyber laws.
Naturally, while Karan Johar, Alia Bhatt and most other targeted Bollywood insiders chose to remain mum on the matter, there are several who have reacted to the situation in their own way. Salman Khan has urged his fans to stand by SSR fans over the emotional turmoil they must be feeling over his loss, instead of going by the harsh words and curses they’ve been spewing online.
A request to all my fans to stand with sushant's fans n not to go by the language n the curses used but to go with the emotion behind it. Pls support n stand by his family n fans as the loss of a loved one is extremely painful.
— Salman Khan (@BeingSalmanKhan) June 20, 2020
Sonakshi Sinha has quit Twitter, followed by a bunch of other stars like Aayush Sharma, Saqib Saleem, Zaheer Iqbal (Notebook actor) and Sneha Ullal. The coincidence that all of these actors have had their careers launched by Salman Khan is a point not many have missed. But sure, since the bullying and trolling has gotten vicious, deleting one’s Twitter might be a decent step to preserve mental sanity. But to make a video about doing it, thereby drawing attention to something that should’ve been quiet and gracefully done, seems a little too theatrical.
And then, there’s Sonam Kapoor, who chose to corrupt the purpose of a sweet Father’s Day wish for dad Anil Kapoor by trying to infuse it with a lesson on ‘privilege’ and ‘karma’ for those nepotism haters.
To be his daughter.
— Sonam K Ahuja (@sonamakapoor) June 21, 2020
When I read this tone-deaf tweet, I silently shook my head in disbelief. What could’ve caused this lapse of judgement?
I’ll be honest, I am a realist who understands that nepotism isn’t entirely a wrong concept, as long as it isn’t monopolising all the good opportunities. To be practical is to accept that balance would be when nepotism and talent can coexist. Furthermore, while we can all agree that Bollywood needs a systematic dismantling of its existing hierarchy, to use bullying and trolling to do so would be counterproductive. You never know what your words might do to someone who is already in a vulnerable state of mind. And to assume that star kids have no problems in their lives and can deal with all you unload on them because they are privileged seems like the stupidest notion of all.
But how most of Bollywood, particularly the insiders, is dealing with this situation suggests a major case of reading the room wrong. Sonam’s tweet might’ve meant to indicate that a father’s goodwill and hard work furthering their child’s career isn’t wrong. Which is true; we work hard so that our kids can lead easier, more comfortable lives than us, and never have to compromise for their dreams. Everyone who is complaining now about nepotism wouldn’t think twice when they have to succeed their parents in the family business or recommend their relative for a job.
But the way she worded the tweet has now drenched it in casteist privilege, and invited the ire of the people who can poke holes in her argument with rational arguments of their own. Her tweet reeks of the ‘karma theory’, which allows Brahmins to assert supremacy over other castes and posits that the family you are born into defines you for the rest of your life. It renders your actions, your choices, your aspiration as unimportant. And Twitter is all over it.
One of the most revolting caste discrimination I've faced is the teaching of karma theory and it's justification by UC profs in the class. Sonam and many of her likes do not understand how powerfully casteist such statements are. https://t.co/9RoIoZf77o
— shripad శ్రీపద్ (@shripad__) June 21, 2020
She gave a very modern yet true definition of casteism and classism, Tejas. 😂
— Nikita (@nikitanikitata) June 21, 2020
Sorry but also isnt all birth entirely accidental ? Why shd privileges not earned on ones own account be worn like a badge. Karma is perhaps more the work we do not what our parents did ! Trust me throwing the privileged badge about is the last thing this country needs .
— Richa Lakhera (@RICHA_LAKHERA) June 21, 2020
We get it, the other side is not handling this the right way. But the way Bollywood has handled this situation is not helping either. Now is the moment of quiet reflection and silently implementing the changes that you’ve screamed hoarse that you would. If there is a way you want to own your privilege, do so by being more graceful than others, more mature than your trolls, and more empathetic than your bullies.