What a week this has been. India is out of the world cup and a fellow actor is being booked for rape. Both the episodes have left me with a real bad taste in my mouth. A journalist just called me, and asked me for my comments on the rape incident. The thing that struck me as odd, was that she wanted me to pronounce the man guilty, and ask the world to boycott this actor’s movies and work henceforth.
I reminded her, that that was the court’s job. And the media is purely to report events and not pass a judgement on anyone. Anyway quite a few people from the press called me, and asked me to comment on this so called dark side of fame and about the need to indulge in this dark side.
This is something that has fascinated me. I mean, we keep reading about celebrities and their bizarre behaviour. It’s almost a given that if a person is famous then he must have his deep dark secrets and abnormal behavioural patterns.
It seems that the world believes that when you are famous enough, you are no longer simply a human being somehow. Though the world is real quick to pass judgements on celebrities, they see you holding a glass of an aerated drink in your hand and assume that it is an alcoholic drink and one of the many you will have for the night.
When I tell people at a social event that I don’t drink they look at me puzzled and then almost always blurt out disappointingly, “But you are an actor, and don’t all actors drink to get drunk. No we don’t. And so it was with this journalist, she somehow wanted me, to say that fame really makes people go crazy and lose the plot, making monsters out of normal people. What came as a real shock was one journalist asking if this actor had done this to garner publicity.
No matter how hard up one maybe for publicity attempting a rape is something even a Rakhi Sawant would deem foolish to attempt. So why would a reasonably successful actor? The truth is they are simply human. Even though our success at work dictates perceptions of ourselves, at the end we are all driven by human emotions. That make us a man,or a monster. The press build celebrities up, just to knock them down and everybody is entertained in the process.
People in all walks of life succumb to pressure, or an emotion and behave in an inexplicable, eccentric manner, and sometimes even like monsters. It’s part of the human DNA. I think what needs to be addressed though about bad celebrity behaviour is the fact that they seem to have a sense of entitlement. They seem to act like they pretty much own the place, because they’re famous, or because they’re celebrities.
At times they even think that they are above the law. That is to be condoned. Rape is a serious crime, and one that needs to be condoned and punished. But judging someone because of who they are and what they do and only for the sake of entertaining the public by the media circus is something I condone just as much.
If the parameter were the crime, then every rape would have made national news and the front pages of newspapers. Sadly it isn’t about the crime but about the entertainment that follows in the case of a celebrity.