The trailer of Veere Di Wedding, a film starring Kareena Kapoor, Swara Bhaskar and Sonam Kapoor among others came out this month. Shortly after, in a bizarre tweet, Shefali Vaidya urged “Hindus with self-respect and dignity” to boycott the film. Why? Because three female leads dared to protest against the horrifying Kathua rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl. Ministers from BJP, with whom Vaidya is associated, had supported the accused in this case.
Dear Hindus, if you have any self respect or dignity left, PLEASE do not watch any movie that stars @ReallySwara, Kareena Kapoor, @humasqureshi Kalki Koechlin, Sonam Kapoor and all other placard wala B grade actresses. Hit them where it hurts.
— Shefali Vaidya (@ShefVaidya) April 16, 2018
Citing the recent incident where Amazon India deleted an endorsement tweet by Swara Bhaskar, Vaidya urged her entourage of trolls to build on this ‘economical boycott’. She claimed that the ‘Bollytards’ or ‘B-grade actresses’ did not want justice but a vilification of all Hindus.
There are multiple things that are wrong with everything that she and her followers have been saying. They are of the belief that the Kathua rape case has been an outrage merely because the perpetrators are Hindu. They think that rape cases where Muslims are the perpetrators are accepted by Bollywood and the general public.
Shefali Vaidya claims that ‘Bollytards’ or ‘B-grade actresses’ do not want justice but a vilification of all Hindus.
Notwithstanding the fact that none of these cases have ministers and members of the ruling party defending the accused or obstructing justice, you may have noticed one tiny detail. She managed to make the Kathua rape case a central issue without actually talking about rape.
Vaidya’s nonchalant attitude about women’s rights is obvious from one of her own responses to the same tweet. To a Twitter user who says, “Couldn’t expect anything better from a woman who calls these ladies B grade actresses. You just proved your class @ShefVaidya”. She replies: “At least I called them ‘actresses’ which is being extremely charitable actually. But then, I am a kind soul 🙂 try some antacids”.
Vaidya tries to attack the sexuality of these women, who are without a doubt among the lead actresses in Bollywood (especially Kareena Kapoor). That is the easiest way to disagree with a woman when you have no logical or rational argument.
There are many male and female celebrities who spoke up against the Kathua rape. These include Farhan Akhtar, Richa Chaddha, Sania Mirza, Abhishek Bachchan, and surprisingly even Virender Sehwag. But Vaidya shrewdly chose to pick actresses from a movie in which they play women who are independent, opinionated, and openly use swear words.
Even though the film is touted to be an Indian version of Sex and the City where the characters are too privileged to be relatable to the average woman, it nevertheless comes across as a progressive film. The women talk about sex, marriage and patriarchy openly. It’s easy to get support from people who oppose that.
A movie where a manipulative harasser forces a woman to be with him would not have been such an easy target. It’s also easy to make a group of people feel victimised for being a vast and overwhelming majority of the population, apparently.
Shefali Vaidya managed to make the Kathua rape case a central issue without actually talking about rape.
Somehow, Shefali Vaidya manages to make Hindus feel like victims because the rape-accused are Hindus. It’s a war between ‘outrage over Hindu rapists’ vs ‘outrage over Muslim rapists’. Then, empowered by victory over spineless companies like Amazon, her bullying tactics are further aggravated. She chooses targets like movies about modern women, which her core fanatic Hindutva followers are bound to oppose.
On platforms like Twitter, where there is ample space to express and abuse, the likes of Shefali Vaidya and BJP stooges get to create their own narrative. And they are using this space to talk about issues like the Kathua rape case, which bothered all of us.
What bothered everyone else was the brutality. What bothers them is the treatment of the poor, hapless criminals. Shefali Vaidya is up for talking about the Kathua rape case: as long as it doesn’t involve talking about rape. Because then she will have to face the undeniable fact that minorities, women and children are not safe under the current regime.
Featured Image Credit: India Times