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JAMMU: It is always a privilege for Indian audience, young and old, to read or watch, anything and everything, about thespian Dilip Kumar a.k.a Yousf Khan. He has ruled over a billion of hearts and shall continue to reign high in years to come as well. He is perhaps the only actor, who enjoys the good will and esteem of all, irrespective of region or religion. However, the myopic politics has led to aspersions against him, like many others belonging to various faiths, time and again. Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had foiled the malicious campaign over his patriotic credentials unleashed by Shiv Sena in 1999 when he prevailed upon Dilip Kumar to retain Nishan-e-Imtiaz, the highest civilian award in Pakistan. Having said that, the legendary actor of all the times, nonetheless continues to remain at the centre- stage despite his ailing health.
Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s meeting with Dilip Kumar and Shahrukh Khan in Mumbai has raised many eyebrows, with some describing these as playing to the galleries in Muslim dominated constituency of Kashmir. If grapevine is to be believed, the ‘zealots’ have been questioning the meetings and large scale media projection, saying the attempt is to bring home a point that the Mufti was harnessing the Muslim constituency across the country. They wonder why did not the Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh formed the part of group that called on the two leading actors, as he too was present in the tinsel town that evening.
The BJP activists, on the condition of anonymity, also questioned the rationale in ignoring the Big B, Amitabh Bachan whose films on Kashmir locale have been much more than the two actors.
Expressing anguish over actors being drawn into unnecessary controversy, on the basis of their religion, S. K Sharma, a retired senior officer told STATE TIMES that while attributing motives to the Chief Minister’s meeting with Dilip Kumar and Shahrukh Khan is sad and unacceptable, the Mufti should have shown the courtesy of inviting Bachan too to play his role in reviving Bolywood shootings in Kashmir. “This would have set in rest the uncalled for speculations and saved the actors of avoidable controversy”, he said, adding that politicians may have motives but the artists were far above such myopic considerations.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper