Watch your mouth, SRKFebruary 5th, 2010
Everyone has a mouth, including me. And we all talk. Nothing wrong with that. It’s meant for that purpose. The trouble begins when you talk without thinking. And that’s exactly what happened with SRK. The question which was posed to him was - Why didn’t IPL teams pick Pakistani cricket players in the auction? Quite innocently he replied that he would like to see Pak players play in the IPL. Well, to be fair to him it was the most correct response from a person who apart from being a team owner in IPL is also a movie star with an international appeal and interests. But he never realized that this line would be picked up by Shiv Sena to play politics not only with him but his films as well. It was quite natural for Shiv Sena to do so as they are looking to wrest their initiative back from Raj Thakeray’s MNS of being the sole representative of Marathi Manoos. Had they not done this you can be rest assured that Raj Thakeray would’ve grabbed this ‘opportunity’.
But you don’t need to be correct all the time. Do you? Actually, SRK should’ve realized that in the press conference this is going to be the most logical question which the media will ask. And he should’ve prepared himself for it with a reply like this one.
“We would like the atmosphere to be more conducive to allow the extremely talented players from Pakistan to participate in IPL freely without any fear or strings attached. We would like the BCCI to guarantee the availability of these players and we would also request the govt to resolve issues of visas and security of the players to enable them to participate in IPL”.
Now that’s a statement which no one can pull him up for. Nowhere in the statement does it say that he wants Pakistani players to play or not to play in the IPL. But I guess SRK is still learning the tricks of the trade, the hard way I might add.
Having said this I wish to add that the kind of support SRK has drummed up in the last few days is also not exactly to his credit. What his supporters have failed to appreciate is that what he said was absolutely inadvertent and at the spur of the moment. After having said this when Shiv Sena picked up those lines there was no way he could’ve retracted his statement without losing a lot of face not just in the country but abroad as well. And losing face means losing money as his movie My name is Khan is due for release shortly, which is anathema to a businessman like him. Pertinent to mention that Shahrukh’s Red Chillies Entertainment is also involved in this movie. Secondly, if he really wanted Pakistani players to play in IPL he would’ve bid for them in the auction but he didn’t. All these issues which are now being talked of are just an eyewash. I know I only used them above but that’s just an example to show you how English can be used for this purpose, ie an eyewash. But guess what? SRK has managed to fool his fans and supporters without having to use an eyewash, even though it is only by default as this situation was not of his own making. And his ’strong stand’ is only creating more publicity for his movie. Well, all I’d say is that he’s pretty smart to have realized his own mistake and converted it into his advantage. Good going, for sure.
Lastly, it would be in order to note that there is only one person in the entire industry who has come out openly in support of SRK, Amir Khan. No other Bollywood star or superstar had the gumption to take on the Sena. And that too when Amir is not exactly too friendly with SRK. It’s high time SRK thanked him for this support. But I guess that doesn’t really affect his ‘business’ of him being a star.