If Mumbaikars want to see the latest Shah Rukh Khan-starrer My Name is Khan in cinemas, they better start making a bit more noise than what they’re making now. Actually, there’s a very specific decibel level they’ll have to reach: higher than the one made by the Shiv Sena. And no, talking heads on news channels and op-ed pages won’t do the trick. That will just be preaching to the converted and fuelling more smirks. It’s time to bang a gong for India’s still funkiest city, Mumbai.
Going by the demographics and voting patterns — not to mention the reported popularity of SRK even in Mumbai — this would seem an easy task. There’s just one problem: Shiv Sainiks are a more dedicated lot and the
seriousness with which they react to things they don’t like (such as Khan’s statement about ‘allowing’ Pakistani players to participate in this year’s Indian Premier League) finds much more play than the disaffections of non-Shiv Sainiks (such as cinemas not showing an SRK blockbuster). The fact that a lot of us may not agree with Khan’s suggestion of calling out to Pakistani cricketers has little to do with prohibiting his films from being watched — or as some jokers have suggested, sending India’s most famous face to Pakistan. Going by that logic, should we start a campaign to send all Shiv Sainiks and their mutant forms to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, a north Indian spot that is likely to be full of north Indians?
Yes, that sounds totally silly — as does the Sena’s twisted outburst against the Bollywood star. Our suggestion on taking on the Shiv Sena: go watch My Name is Khan — even if you, a Mumbaikar, have to see it in a cinema not near you.