By Aditya Thakur:
India is a country full of celebrities. Mostly these belong to either the film industry or the cricket industry. Other sportspersons, musicians, artists, social workers etc. do come into the lime light ever so often but actors and cricketers are the only real stars in our country. Politicians manage to rival the air time given to movie stars but they are more notorious than famous.
We Indians don’t do much but when we do, we do it with great gusto and exuberance. So when it comes to worshiping mere mortals, we do that in an extreme way as well. We take these talented (mostly) individuals and put them on an ivory tower so tall that their heads are in the clouds. We want to know every little thing about them, from what they had for breakfast to where they are planning to party at night. We worship our stars in every possible way of the word. We don’t even fall short of building temples for them.
So being a star in India is a tough business. The love of millions that makes you fly high can also make your head dizzy. You are always in the danger of falling from that very tall ivory tower and into the slums of history where old stars rot and die. Many can’t handle this pressure. They act out and behave like children, throwing tantrums whenever they are denied a candy.
But there is a certain responsibility that comes with being a star. Whether you like it or not, you are a role model for millions of people. Your actions are followed and emulated my millions. So if you could resist from getting drunk in parties and fighting with each other, it would help many people. Killing rare wild animals or not so rare pedestrians under your Audi is a definite no no, Even if it’s something small like smoking in a public place, being a star you are expected to not do it. In a country where every hero is casted in the mould of Rama, being a star means making no mistakes. That’s part of the deal and it’s time stars realise this fact as one of their responsibilities.
But coming to a more serious topic, there is another responsibility that most stars don’t acknowledge. That’s the responsibility of being the harbinger of social change. A society is a living organism and like every organism it needs to grow and change with time. The societies that don’t change stagnate and die. But if the change is not controlled, then the society can go in unwanted directions. Stars are trendsetters and it would be nice if they start setting trends in more than just fashion.
One star that seems to be fulfilling this responsibility is Amir Khan with his show Satyamev Jayate. Some people have been accusing his huge fees for each episode and calling his tears rehearsed. But isn’t that the wrong thing to focus on? Here is a star who is using his immense popularity and god like status to make people listen. Even if the impact of Satyamev Jayate is not much, still it would make a difference. If every superstar started using his ivory tower as a platform to spread awareness, half of India’s problems will be over in a few years.
I don’t mean that everyone should start a show like Satyamev Jayate, but everyone can still somehow do more than just supporting certain charities. And a lot of them already have been doing this but if the rest of them can also accept these responsibilities of being a star then our society can become a healthy and growing society again.