An open letter to Anurag Kashyap: Stop using the media for your convenience

Anurag Kashyap, you claim media is a bully looking for headlines. Have you forgotten how this 'bully' stood up for you during Udta Punjab controversy?

Written by Sonup Sahadevan | Mumbai | Updated: October 19, 2016 2:20 pm
Anurag Kashyap, Anurag Kashyap media fights, Anurag Kashyap tweets, PM modi An open letter to Anurag Kashyap: You only brand media as bullies and headline seekers when you are facing flak for your comments and opinions.

Dear Anurag Kashyap, you say media is a bully looking for headlines. Have you forgotten how this ‘bully’ stood up for you during Udta Punjab?

Let’s try and dissect your perpetual hate for the media. You accuse us of looking for headlines when we reach out to you which makes me ask what exactly is a headline. Simply put, headline is something that you magnificently created by posting the Whatsapp screenshot containing the number of a female journalist who was only doing her job by trying to get an interview with you.

This headlining act of yours made sure the journalist’s personal number became public to a large number of strangers in the digital world, the repercussions of which she had to face for the rest of the day. That was the impact of your headline. And talking about impact, I am reminded of the infamous Udta Punjab row when our headlines helped your cause, something that you now seem to have conveniently forgotten. Just to spare you the trouble, I have pulled out a few news ‘headlines’ that you had retweeted during that period and I will start with the one belonging to Indian Express.

On June 22, you retweeted:

Rewinding a little, one can see how magnanimously you have retweeted positive headlines of all film critics who heaped praise on Udta Punjab. Little more down, one will see a retweet of Times Now’s flash headline outlining the observations of the Bombay High Court in the Udta Punjab case. Now let’s fast forward a bit. You have retweeted all news items that praise your film Raman Raghav 2.0. Ditto with Akira. Quite a predictable pattern.

So my question is – When did we become the bully? When did we become a ‘headlines only’ hungry medium? Didn’t we stand up for you, your film and the film industry? Didn’t we hail you for your extraordinary courage for raising voice against grave injustice being meted out to you by the CBFC? But I guess those headlines were in your favour and hence you didn’t brand media then as ‘looking for headlines’. You were more than happy to give interviews, attend press briefings and appear on various news channels. You were willing to talk to us then and didn’t label our phone calls as a waste of time. Why? Just because we supported you and your cause needed us then.

And now, when you are facing huge flak for your comments and opinions, you want to hide behind the veneer of Twitter and not grant interviews and instead brand us as bullies and headline seekers. I accept that you have the right to decide when to talk and when not to depending on which way the ball is swinging, but in the case of the journalist who you chose to ‘expose’ you could have simply told her right at the start of the conversation when she wrote, “You should talk Anurag,”‘ that you are not present in your house. That would have put an end to the so-called headline seeking act.

Also read | Anurag Kashyap clarifies tweets: I didn’t ask PM Narendra Modi to apologise

Your tendency to warm up to the media when praised and shoo them away when criticised is reminiscent of the child who angrily walks away with the bat after being given out in a game of street cricket.

Today, I believe not all of what you have tweeted, posted or uploaded in relation to the ADHM controversy are praise-worthy and certainly not the part where you tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Irrespective of whether you asked the PM to apologise or not, let me tell you India is not a centralised nation where the power to take decisions is vested only in a single authority. As a decentralised government, powers have been disseminated to the middle or low-level administration. Instead of trying your usual stunt of tagging Narendra Modi for every small issue, you should approach the relevant authorities in the state which is exactly what Mukesh Bhatt and others did yesterday with great success.

So the next time you think of tagging PM Modi in cases concerning ‘art’, ‘artistes’ or ‘ban’, please do yourself a favour by referring to your own tweet dated June 10 where you have yourself thanked Narendra Modi for putting it out loud and clear that art can’t have any restrictions or limits. And that remains the government’s official position till date given the fact that there hasn’t been any announcements suggesting the contrary. And don’t expect the PM to sit and reiterate the same thing for your benefit every single time.

And before I sign off, I just wanted to say your assessment of a party being redundant and irrelevant is not entirely correct. Haven’t you heard form is temporary, class is permanent. Just like Ranbir Kapoor will remain a superstar even if he gives 25 flops, Raj Thackeray’s say in issues that are political in nature pertaining to Mumbai and Maharashtra will make it to the top headlines. Even the story of him gifting Amitabh Bachchan a sketch made it to the front page of a leading city tabloid. Would you call this a headlining act, Anurag?

(The views expressed in this piece are of the writer.)

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  1. A
    Achal Gupta
    Oct 19, 2016 at 9:21 pm
    Anurag is a moron.....better he can stay back in France
    1. B
      Bunny Rabbit
      Oct 21, 2016 at 2:18 pm
      AK thinks the world revolves around him .
      1. B
        Bunny Rabbit
        Oct 27, 2016 at 6:11 am
        He should do whatever he is good at - making low budget movies . And not butt in every subject.
        1. U
          Umesh Suri
          Oct 19, 2016 at 11:45 am
          It shows the mind set of so called artists in India. Many of them think that they are above any law and Nation. They support artists who are not even our friends who do not even feel sorry when our people;br/gt;Shame.
          1. G
            Guru Yoga
            Oct 22, 2016 at 2:32 am
            In fact some of people in India think, they are real artists or directors of India. The fake people dare to blame anybody easily for their own mistakes in a pessimistic way. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;They forget that there are more powerful common people in Indian streets, who can blame them more powerful than them. Its easy to blame such people from the streets than from the offices. Its just a media stunt to promote movie which can bring few more rupees for the movie if I blame PM Modi directly.
            1. R
              Oct 19, 2016 at 5:06 am
              A timely write-up. Thanks for belling the cat. Some such holier-than-thou individuals are used to throwing their weight around, and manufacturing controversies for their convenience. The support he received during udta punjab controversy has gone into his head, and he is the one actually acting as a bully here.
              1. S
                Oct 19, 2016 at 1:38 pm
                seeing any country's film is not anti-nationalism or a great sin.
                1. I
                  Oct 19, 2016 at 9:50 am
                  Is this the guy who was quitting country for Bombay Velvet's ignominy? N why one should read his interviews?
                  1. S
                    sureshbabu sekharan
                    Oct 20, 2016 at 3:28 am
                    No terrorist had directly targeted film city or Bollywood people so far hence this kind of fashion statement will come up from kashayap, johar, khan and puri for publicity. Once they experience personally they will feel the heat and come out of their fantasy film duniya. Because I have witnessed once at a suburban;br/gt;Being a responsible citizen of India I firmly believe that despite disagreeing with their other ideologies, attacking stan and banning their celebratory goods in India by Modi government are completely justified. When soldiers die at the border, here celebs from both the countries together enjoying club and dance at five stars and tweeting this kind of rubbish from their luxury car are rediculous. Every kashayap is a kashyap because of us Indians. So speak for us not for the glamorous enemy people. Let the government do the job. Don't misuse the definition of democracy. Because we all are Immortal but not country and democracy. Stop opinion about serious matters which can't be sorted by you or your film brigade.
                    1. T
                      Thomas Joseph
                      Oct 19, 2016 at 5:25 am
                      PM and ruling party can use the media but not others. Well said, @S Sahadevan
                      1. V
                        Oct 20, 2016 at 6:38 am
                        He has every right to question the PM but not in an arrogant way. He cannot compare the PMs trip with tax payer money. Is he a PM or your istant? His tweet is filled with arrogance. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Modi visited stan for strategic reasons beyond the scope of your brain Mr Kashyap. You have shown your stupidity by comparing your argument with a visit made by the head of state. Please don't mix your stupid bollywood to things of National;br/gt;lt;br/gt; And regarding asking people to go to the border. Please lead the way Mr Kashyap, we will follow suit. And the reply to a tweet is made via a tweet. You have made ur point on twitter, others are making their's. Twitter does not say only Anurag Kashyap can tweet and no one is supposed to respond. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;These people change their thoughts according to their convenience. Have you not seen, Karan Johar started apologizing. Om Puri crying....they are just expanding the scope of their acting abilities beyond bollywood.
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