Social media is synonymous with outrage. Every day there is something new that India’s Twitterati are up in arms about. On occasion, the outrage has been productive, forcing real change, such as for instance, the recent decision by the Times group to withdraw Tarun Tejpal from a panel at its Mumbai Literature Festival.
However there are other times, when social media is ominously, disappointingly silent. Like with what happened to model and actor Gauhar Khan, who was slapped by an audience member while she was hosting ‘India’s Raw Star’, a reality show, at Film City in suburban Goregaon on Monday.
The accused, identified as Mohammed Akil Mallick (24), slapped and touched her inappropriately during the break of the show, but was immediately overpowered by the security guards deployed there, following which the police were notified.Gauhar Khan was attacked and threatened by an audience member who said that, “being a Muslim woman, she should not have worn such a short dress”, Aarey Colony police said.
Only a handful Bollywood celebrities reacted to the news and took to Twitter to express their anger.
However, most of the celebrities, who are usually known to express anger or at least an opinion in such matters, remained silent.
One would expect Salman Khan, who is the host of Bigg Boss to come in support of Gauhar Khan who won the show last year. But Khan was oblivious to the incident and decided to tweet about the garbage outside BKC instead.
Aamir Khan, the host of popular television show Satyamev Jayate which has talked about women harassment among other issues–also chose to keep silent on the issue.
Sonakshi Sinha, who recently tweeted that she wanted to hang Kamal R Khan for his absurd tweet where he was trying to compare Kim Kardashain’s butt with Bollywood celebs’ butts, didn’t tweet anything on Gauhar Khan either.
In September, when the Times of India “found” Deepika Padukone’s cleavage, theFinding Fanny actor shot back saying “Yes! I am a woman. I have breasts and a cleavage! You got a problem!!??” But this time, there were no tweets from the actress.
In fact the Padukone incident created a lot of social media buzz and many of her peers also utilised it to support her.
Karan Johar was “appalled…shocked and disgusted.” Homi Adjania, her Finding Fanny director called it “regressive shit”. Arjun Kapoor called it “ a new low”. Priyanka Chopra praised her, “Well done @deepikapadukone ! Taken a stand for all of us. Xoxo”
In fact, celebs started a Twitter trend with #IStandWithDeepikaPadukone.
This time, it wasn’t the same. There was no hashtag started and there were barely any tweets to support the actor. Is it that Gauhar Khan isn’t as big a star as a Deepika and therefore not entitled to the same expressions of concern and outrage? Dear celebrities, where’s the outrage now?