Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Open Letter to Mr Bachan

Dear Mr Bachan

You have every right to endorse any brand. It is perfectly legal and nothing should stop you.

Smoking cigarettes is perfectly legal. You cannot however deny that cigarettes are a cancerous idea. Your endorsement of Gujarat Tourism’s brand falls into this category. You did after all accept the offer at Mr Modi's invitation.

Corporate India will not be able to thank you enough. The corporate world has been looking for somebody who can help them move to Gujarat without having to be embarrassed or apologetic about dealing with Mr. Modi. You made it look like the right thing to do.

The timing is equally bad. Just as the law is catching up with Mr. Modi, you start making Mr.Modi look like a victim rather than the accused, You have the media batting for you as well. You managed to begin the process of changing the general perception about Mr. Modi. He, more than most, needs as much help as he can get in managing his image.

You have done nothing wrong as far as this episode is concerned. This is not about right or wrong. This is about the shades of grey between the two. That said, you will be judged by the company you keep. Some people will applaud you for keeping such company and some people will not approve (me). At the end of the day it is a choice that you will have to make. Whether you like it or not, choices that you make publicly do influence others.

I disagree not just with the choice but your vehement defence of the choice.


  1. I think AB is matured enough to take independent decisions.
    Do you approve of what happened to Sikhs in 1984?
    While on the subject, should you have not mentioned that too?
    It is time we gave up double standard on passing judgements.


    Thanks for the comments. Allow me to respond.

    In case you missed it, I also defended AB's right to chose to endorse anybody or any product that he chooses. If that his choice, he should be allowed to exercise it.

    Second, I don't see how - critiquing Bachan can be equated to being an apologist for the Congress and 2002.

    That said, in my opinion there is no DIFFERENCE whatsoever between the BJP and the congress when it comes to the question of state sponsored riots. They are both as guilty as guilty can be. Both parties are right wing neo-liberal in their outlook. One chooses to assert religious identity as an electoral plank in broad daylight (BJP) the other does it in the darkness of the night (Congress).

  3. Anand:
    A case in point: Both Kamal and Rajni have never endorsed anything via advertising all these years.Considering their fan followings, they'd have reaped gold mines. Shows their maturity and awareness of their public roles, doesn't it? Something AB clearly lacks. As you rightly point out, choices made by public figures do have public consequences. And to think that the man is getting so much undeserved publicity over this!!

  4. Just curious (seriously and rationally): Is there any proof, publicly available, or otherwise of Modi's involvement in the Gujarat massacre?

  5. @anonymous

    Mr Modi is a picture of dripping innocence. The guy pulp a tomato if he needed to make a Rasam.
    Folks like me are just evil and waiting to hang an innocent man. His only crime was overseeing a genocide (a la congress style).

    And before you respond with the congress theory - I think the BJP and Congress are exactly the same.

  6. You cannot imagine the degree of my personal, animal, reaction to Modi. I am not in love with him as you might imagine. So your words are wasted.

    The thing is my question still remains unanswered, at least for me. (You do not have to write a rejoinder to this.) I guess I have to seek the answer myself.

  7. @anonymous
    Allow me the rejoinder anyway :-)

    A good place to start maybe to see who was at the helm during 2002 in Gujarat. Unless of-course he is not accountable for happened on his watch.