From Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati facing tough time to release the movie to movies such as Nude and S Durga being dropped from 48th International Film Festival of India, the entertainment industry is going through a big turmoil as of now, and this reflected at the stage of the opening ceremony of IFFI held in Goa on Monday.
All this has once again brought alive the debate of intolerance in the political spectrum. Here’s what exactly happened. Actor Rajkummar Rao, who was hosting along with fellow talented actor Radhika Apte for the event, took a jibe at Smriti Irani by linking her last name to director Majid Majidi’s movie which opened the festival.
He said it was a coincidence that film director Majid Majidi was an “Irani” just like the Union minister was. Of course, the Union Minister smiled and later while addressing the event, said, “Rajkumar Rao, this (incident) should be known to the rest of the country, that you poked fun only as a minister. And it showed as a government how tolerant we are.
Smriti Irani’s last sentence was regarding the leg injury faced by Rajkummar Rao last month. The injury hasn’t healed and the actor came to IFFI 2017 using crutches. Not just Smriti Irani, superstar Shah Rukh Khan also poked fun at Rajkummar Rao’s leg accident.
“I will not say much. I think Rajkumar Rao, the word should go around throughout the country that you have joked about Irani, which shows what a tolerant government we are. Thank you. I am thanking you so that at least no one should say that BJP walas broke an actor’s leg,” she continued.
She said she was referring to the joke because she doesn’t want people to point fingers at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and accuse its workers of breaking his (Rao’s) leg. “Rajkummar, I would like the whole country to know that you made fun of Irani a minister which shows what a tolerant government we are,” Irani said in her speech at the event.
Shah Rukh Khan who was also present there also hinted at the controversies in her speech. “There is a phrase in Sanskrit, ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, which means bringing the world together like one family. I believe no matter what your language, no matter what country your story comes from and no matter what your ideology is, storytelling and listening should be a familiar experience, which binds us all together, makes relationships stronger even in the face of dissent and discussion as it usually happens in a family, instead of tearing us apart. With that in mind, the International Film Festival of India’s slogan this year, hopefully, will make that come true,” he said. “Smritiji maregi Mujhe (Smritiji will beat me up),” he added.
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) November 20, 2017
Then, on a serious note, he spoke highly of his performance in the recently released film Newton. He said, “Rajkummar took the phrase ‘break a leg’ a little too seriously. But what a brilliant performance in Newton.” On the film front, Rajkummar Rao just had a release ten days ago, Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, co-starring Kriti Kharbanda.
His web show, Bose: Dead/Alive, has just been unveiled and has got great reviews. He’s currently shooting for Fanney Khan that also features Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Anil Kapoor.