“They don’t give a shit about this industry. This industry with so many taxes etc. is still treated so badly,” said Salman Khan in an interview with Mid-Day today June 20, 2016. Salman was referring to the indifferent attitude of the government towards the film industry. “We are soft targets. And when they need us in drought situations and all, they come. But we get no protection when people for the silliest reasons come and vandalise our theatres and disrupt screenings. Nobody should have the right to stop a movie from being screened. With every ticket bought, the government benefits,” Salman said.
It has been seen in the recent times when CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani tried stalling the release of Udta Punjaband subsequently the film was leaked online with a ‘For Censor’ watermark. The industry has been unitedly asking for Mr Nihalani’s ouster but Information and Broadcasting Minister Mr Arun Jaitley apart from issuing a ‘stern warning’ to Nihalani has still not taken action. The screening of Shah Rukh Khan‘s Dilwale was forcibly stopped at several places and little was done to prevent it. Now Sadhvi Prachi and other rabble rousers are making inflammatory comments about causing problems in the release of Aamir Khan‘s Dangal but no firm action has been taken against such miscreants.
Salman added on to his dissonance with the system by saying, “If there is a controversy surrounding me, and you don’t want my movie being screened, go to the court. The officials have failed in terms of safety, economy and taxation.” Khan is not satisfied with the unity showed by the industry during the Udta Punjabcontroversy. “The film industry is not working together. We are not working in one direction. We are trying to stop one’s growth if he’s doing well. They don’t back someone doing a good job, rather it is neeche kheencho saale ko. Once we start working together things can change,” Salman said earnestly.
Here’s hoping that the government and the film industry will take note of this earnest outburst of Salman Khan. He’s known to speak his heart out, doesn’t mince words and has absolutely no agendas. It is imperative that both the government as well as the film industry itself starts taking Bollywood seriously. It is also important that people like Anupam Kher take up the key issues of the film industry with the same passion as he does with various other issues.