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Accepting a lifetime achievement award, Hollywood icon Meryl Streep hit US president-elect Donald Trump with stinging dissent. Inspired, many wonder why Bollywood doesn’t speak up against the sly and mighty. Perhaps, our stars’ speeches might sound slightly different.
Here’s a possible sample: “Devotees, thanks! I’ve reached this pinnacle of art by keeping my head down and mouth shut. Obedience starts at home, so I want to thank my parents, grandparents and all my relations who trained me with a friendly stick. Thanks are also due to my school teachers, whose company I enjoyed till class five, my esteemed director-sirs, even more esteemed producer-sirs and beyond-esteem financier-sirs.
Not just gharelu, there are many national inspirations too! I thank our freedom struggle for struggling and making us free. I thank our government for ensuring our freedom continues, no questions asked, just full-on vikas. I thank my MP, MLA and corporator for building bridges to studios, for being there to broker a deal when someone threatened to stop a screening. I thank the soldiers on our borders for ensuring my beauty sleep; I thank the bully in my gully for waking me with rocks hitting my ivory walls. I thank the police for facilitating cordiality with dadas and trolls, the censor for snipping sequences that might hurt holy gaus in our great land. I thank the media for making my PR team so happy, Parliament for offering me a gilded seat, regardless of when I occupy it. Finally, I want to thank our traditions for keeping me straight and narrow and our marvellous culture of salaam-ing power, which produces a national fabric smooth as a Botox-ed forehead. Without all these, my art would mean nothing. Thank you, all.”