As if outrages are in short supply in this outrage-happy nation, Indian diplomats and babus have got their knickers in a twist over Airlift!
Look around you. There are so many things to outrage on. More than a quarter of our billion-strong nation still does not have access to sanitation, clean drinking water, healthcare, education, electricity, transportation even 67 years after Independence.
We rank 76th in corruption index. A slight improvement in recent times but still pretty damn awful. A parallel government runs on corruption. We are grappling with population explosion, poverty, high inflation, female foeticide, gender inequality, caste system, child labour. And instead of fighting all these, we fight each other as Hindus, Muslims, Christians.
Comedians are put inside a jail while hardened criminals bitchslap us, laughing their way to a kursi.
Hell, the traffic in Kolkata sucks, I can't finish talking over the phone for five minutes without the call dropping thrice and a mufflered Arvind Kejriwal roams around wearing sandals with a pair of socks. Outrage!
Amid all this, you are telling me that the babus and diplomats belonging to the government of India are pretty upset about a Bollywood flick? What, are we talking about a bloody dossier to nail Hafeez Saeed or Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi (not that anyone takes India's dossiers seriously). Or is it even a documentary that promises to remain faithful to the actual event? Did the filmmakers or the artistes claim that this is an "accurate account" of how 1.7 lakh people (Indians, people of Indian origin and even some non-Indians) were evacuated during the Gulf War in 1990?
It says it was "inspired" by the event. Is artistic freedom not a thing? What's wrong with taking liberties in the script, dear external affairs ministry and ex-diplomats?
And don't worry about a movie spreading wrong messages about your 'image'. We weren't even aware that you had one. Thanks to the movie, some of us may actually get to know the role you played.
So instead of cribbing about it, thank Raja Menon and Akhsay Kumar.
Now let's turn to the other group who are very piqued about Airlift. They were also irritated by Baby. This species of Indians, who like to call themselves "liberals", are intensely allergic to anything remotely patriotic. They generally avoid anything in this genre like bubonic plague. They'd rather show solidarity with Pakistan who has jailed a 22-year-old boy for hoisting the Tricolour on his roof in support of his idol, Virat Kohli.
Their congenital cynicism has reached such proportions that even a feel-good Bollywood movie presents a threat. And they are additionally irritated because the "trolls" they like to hate — average, idiotic Indians who still feel pride in being an Indian — like this movie and have already made it a grand success. Their objection of Airlift is basically a dog whistle.
What's wrong with being patriotic in this nation where all the time we are facing forces that are threatening to tear us apart? Why can't we, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, sit beside each other and revel in an albeit fictional moment of glory? What's wrong with that, dear "liberals"?
I have a simple suggestion. Don't watch the movie if you are allergic to patriotism. But spare us the outrage. Please.