Since Aamir Khan’s movie PK was released in December 2014 it has set into motion, an unbelievable chain reaction and now is inching towards a silent revolution.
What was in that movie that evoked such strong reactions? Was it that good? Was it a message oriented movie? Was it a pure commercial movie? What was the movie about in the first place?
Let us evaluate the commercial aspect of PK, first before going into its content aspect. It was a movie made with a budget of approximately 85 crores. What were the world wide collections of the movie? Its World Wide collections almost touched 700 crores (680 crores to be precise) in its full run. Out of which, almost 500 crores came from the Indian Market. And 200 crores from the overseas market which included even China. By any yard stick or bench mark, it is stupendous collections recorded by any Indian movie in its entire or full run.
Indeed stupendous!! How much was the approximate remuneration of the movie’s lead actor Aamir Khan? It is confusing a bit here. Since there is a version which says that Aamir’s present remuneration is around 40-45 crores per movie. But, there is another more acute version which clearly states that Aamir has long shed the per movie remuneration model. Rather he has worked out a 30-33% Profit share model with his Producers since 2008
Now what would that work out to be as Aamir’s take home for a movie like PK or his present movie Dangal? Based on the full run collection figure of 700 crores, the Distributor share can be taken as 350-400 crore approximately. Distributor share means, the price at which the Producer sells his movies to the Distributors. Now taking out the budget of the movie from the price at which the Producer has sold to his Distributors, the movie PK made around 250-300 crore profit. Which effectively means, Aamir Khan must have taken home anything from 75-100 crores based on his profit sharing model just for PK alone. In fact, there is a version which claims that he has took 150-200 crores for that movie.
Fantastic so far! What is the story-line or theme of this movie which has encouraged such stupendous collections and hence such a windfall for its lead actor? Well, the story line of this movie was pure Hindu bashing. The story line basically mocks at everyday Hindu religious rituals and customs. For example, it questions the bathing of the Shiv lingam with Milk. It directly hit at the so called God men of today. It directly hit at the underbelly of the ‘aastha’ of Hinduism. It questions the various advises given by the god men to their disciples who approach them in times of despair. For example, if my wife goes to the temple today, and is advised by the priest to fast for a few days to clear a ‘dosha’, it is deemed as silly, as per the theme of this movie. Its blatant target of Hindu god men made one wonder whether we are actually guided by rapists, cheats, murderers and frauds in the name of religion. Where, the fact being that, out of the various Acharyas, Swamis, Sadhus and Sadhvis, only 1 has been arrested on charges of rape (Asaram Bapu) so far. One another (Nityananda Swami) has been exonerated completely by a higher court as incapable of such an act as rape. The entire sordid saga surrounding Nityananda proving to be one big conspiracy.
It is not that Aamir Khan tried this theme in PK for the 1st time. He flirted with this theme subtly in his movie ‘3 Idiots’ to check the pulse of the people and various Hindu outfits. As expected he caught them napping. Scenes that depicted students ‘foolishly’ praying to God before results were shown rampantly in the movie 3 Idiots. A student praying to ‘Gau Mata’ to pass him in exams was shown. Another scene showing another student praying to Naga Devata to help him with better marks. And in yet another scene where a student is shown doing aarti before pictures of deities to give him a good ‘Electronics Paper’. He got emboldened and went ahead and tried a tango in his TV Program based on a Social Theme called ‘Satyameva Jayate’. There too he caught everyone napping, while he was raking in the moolah. Yes! A whopping Rs.3.00 crore per episode. The theme of each episode of Satyameva Jayate being how the common man and Middle Class were being harassed and tortured through various Hindu customs, like dowry, male child demand, khaps, female feticide, honor killings, rape, domestic violence, untouchability, alcoholism etc. The opinion being formed for any avid watcher of each and every such episode was that all these problems had its roots in some whimsical Hindu Custom. And Hindu customs being the root of all evil in the country.
It was evident from both of Aamir’s attempts, which being the movie ‘3 Idiots’ and the Social TV Program ‘Satyameva Jayate’, that, he was testing the waters of Hindu Patience and readying himself for a bigger and wider assault, while also raking in the big bucks from such attempts which were giving him a bigger audience. It was clear to him that there is no such thing called as ‘The Hindu Patience’, which perhaps was deeper than the deepest of the Pacific, and he could have a free hand in doing what he wanted to do. The Fabled Hindu Patience was just a ‘myth’ and ‘totally non-existent’. This was when he guided his director of 3 Idiots, Rajkumar Hirani for a bigger canvas called as ‘PK’. While 3 Idiots and Satyameva Jayate scoffed at Hindu rituals and customs, PK trashed them, derided them and rubbished them openly. The average cine goer who was well fed on his previous 2 attempts lapped up his PK canvas, like a child does to a lollipop candy, and raked him an unbelievable 700 crores. 200 crores of which coming from an International Audience from Pakistan and Gulf.
Aamir being a Muslim, could have tried to showcase failings in his own religion first before even thinking about Hinduism and its failings. This is, in case he wanted to divert himself from being an entertainer to a Social Reformer. If not showcase the failings in his religion, at least he could have tried to showcase both religions on the same level, on the negatives or positives, if any. But no. All his attempts were brutal attempts of highlighting the negatives of Hindu religion. Not a single positive. And all the while making a killing in crores as an entertainer while doing so.
All this was prior to 2014, with PK being in the making since 2013 to be released in December 2014. The movie was released under the watchful lens of a new government and the even more watchful lens of an electorate which had just kicked out a minority appeasing and nepotism filled old government. Though the movie raked in the record collection numbers from his loyal fans of 3 Idiots and Satyameva Jayate and specifically Hindu women who usually feel that they are always the receiving end of Hindu Customs, the rumblings had set in.
Social Media started bustling with anti-PK and anti-Aamir activity. The anger suddenly seemed to explode when Aamir undeterred by such trivial opposition over stretching his own value uttered the now famous ‘Intolerance dialogue’. That simply took him and his buddy SRK, who also seemed to utter something in those lines after taking cue from Aamir, to the cleaners for their next ventures. SRK bore the brunt of the Hindu anger when his next 2 movies were shunned by angry Hindu fans. This seemed to have halted Aamir in his tracks, and as a smart marketing move (for which he is considered very famous) changed tack and chose the life story of a Sportsman Mahavir Singh Phogat as the theme for his next movie. As expected the movie struck a chord with fathers and daughters throughout the country and he again had Hindu families cueing at the ticket windows for a watch. But, here is where there was ‘Divine Intervention’. Something neither he nor anyone must have dreamt in their wildest imaginations happened while the movie was raking in its moolah and everyone including Aamir with is 30-33% Profit sharing deal in place were laughing their way to the bank.
As a selection process for the roles of his daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari in the movie, approximately 65,000 girls were interviewed for those coveted roles. Finally a 16 year old Muslim girl from Kashmir was selected for the role of young Geeta Phogat. It so happened that, that this sweet girl sought an appointment with the present J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti in the aftermath of her newly achieved fame. The agenda as claimed was to discuss girl child education and how the State can utilize her newly acquired fame to propagate the same in the State. As is always the case with new celebrities of any State like Saina, Sania, Sindhu, etc. But, what happened afterwards, was mayhem. The fanatics from the Valley and other parts of the country and some from abroad brutally trolled her for visiting a CM who is friend of the Hindu BJP. Some even abused her for crossing her limits. The poor girl was so traumatized that she was forced to apologize for meeting the CM.
While all this was happening our Hindu bashing hero Aamir Khan stayed tight lipped. But, Social Media erupted like a volcano, and questioned his silence? Where was his sense of Social Awareness that he had been depicting since the past 5-6 years? The intense pressure took its toll, and he was forced to issue a public statement of support, which was nothing short of a joke. Without naming anyone in particular (a liberty which he took blindly in his movies while naming and degrading Hindu Gods and customs), he requested ‘everyone’ to leave Zaira alone. Who are those ‘everyone’ no one knows.
The statement told everything. It told that come what may, he won’t attack or comment against anything which he belongs to or represents. and hence, it is a question mark to all Indians, should we still respect and allow such an acutely hypocritical entertainer to keep entertaining us and make his crores because of our lack of common sense?
This is a question which crores of Hindus should ask themselves from now on. The PK and Zaira Wasim issue should turn into a ‘revolution’.