Note: The views expressed in this article do not reflect the views of BollySpice.com’s staff or owners. They are solely the views of the writer of this opinion piece/blog.
Dear certain members of the media,
On Thursday, the 5th of December, Ranbir Kapoor was caught in a, as you would call it, “camera snatching incident”. Ever since then, a lot has been said and written about this incident. Due to many variations in the story of what happened on that particular night, misinformation and incorrectly influenced sources are tarnishing Ranbir’s reputation in front of fans, non-fans and other audiences. We are not blind fans who’ll support our favourite actor, no matter what. And while taking the journalist’s camera might have been a slightly harsh expression of Ranbir’s disapproval, we have sufficient reasons to believe it was not entirely unjustified.
The importance of the media in an actor’s life is undoubtedly very high. We’re glad you’ve been supporting Ranbir since his debut in Bollywood; you’ve written numerous articles about him and his films and this is highly appreciated. However, let’s not forget that whilst being kind enough to do this, you were also the ones to give him tags such as ‘casanova’ and ‘heartbreaker’, and report so many link-up rumors. But all that is fine. As Ranbir says himself, “it comes with the territory”.
Having heard the story from both sides we have seen how Ranbir’s reaction of taking the camera away from one journalist has been highly misconstrued in most reports. If you were to read Ayan Mukerji’s account of the incident*, you would realize that Ranbir didn’t just take the camera as a prank or to be mean. A certain source who recalled a part of the incident shared that there were paparazzi cars chasing the car which RK was in and it got to a point when the chase could have resulted in an accident. The way Ranbir reacted and handled this situation may have not only been out of frustration and as an act of protection, but also pure human instinct.
Time and time again you have invaded his privacy by climbing trees and focusing cameras into his house, chasing his car – yes, this is not the first time it has happened – and not once has he retaliated or reacted in any way. Nor has he spread news about himself when he has been extremely caring on certain occasions. For instance, there was an event in Jaipur earlier this year in which Ranbir was promoting Besharam. As he was leaving, something happened due to which bouncers began hitting fans. Ranbir turned back and asked the bouncers not to do this. Another is concerned with a reporter who was trying to interview him at the airport. While Ranbir did not answer any questions, the reporter who had been walking along with him tripped up on something and lost his balance. He instantly helped the reporter regain his balance and told him to be careful.
To believe that the same guy was out snatching things and using abusive language is a little hard to digest. Moreover if so many other journalists who are now giving eyewitness accounts were present at the spot, why didn’t any of them record the incident on their cameras? In today’s day and age, if you can take photos of him, chilling in Spain with your smartphones, you can easily record a video of him in Mumbai.
A certain journalist wrote an open letter to Ranbir, saying that a video camera is a reporter’s “bread”. But cameras are also one of the most important aspects of Ranbir’s own profession – without cameras, the film industry would not exist at all! So from the kind of person he is and what he has achieved, we can truthfully say that he would not disrespect this in such a way without good reason.
The aforementioned open letter went on to address how the journalist must’ve been under a lot of pressure considering his boss must’ve given him the job and expected him to complete it. Would you – the journalist, your boss, or your seniors – like it if people were constantly following you around and prying into your life? Would you not mind being followed around at 2am? Would you not mind being stopped in the middle of the road during the middle of the night? Let alone any of this, you would probably snap at the camera people even if they took a single snapshot of yours without your permission. So please try to understand it from Ranbir’s point of view as well as your own.
In a short span of 6 years, Ranbir has achieved humongous success through sheer hard work, perseverance and dedication. He has gained a lot of respect and made a name for himself. You, we continue to maintain, have made a major contribution to that. However, when certain such untrue or only partially true reports come out, it really takes away from what he is trying to achieve as an actor, as an entertainer, and it leads to unnecessary conjectures.
We enjoy seeing pictures of RK at restaurants, leaving in his car, going to watch a movie and we know you work really hard to bring those pictures to us. What we ask of you is not to stop doing what you are doing but to continue doing what you do ethically and without crossing a certain line. Please try to respect your own profession and perform your job with dignity.
We hope you will take all of this into account in the future.
“Media ki azaadi humaare liye aatank nahi ban sakti” – Samar Pratap (Raajneeti).
Sincerely – but unfortunately not respectfully,
* Ayan Mukerji’s (who was present throughout the entire incident) account of what really happened:
“I want to speak about it a little bit because it is distressing. I was feeling quite bad about what happened, Ranbir was also feeling very bad about it, but firstly right off the top off our head we love the media, we need the media, the media needs us, we use the media, it’s amazing. Of course we live in a time where the paparazzi are very strong, which is fine, but still there is a line. Yesterday, Ranbir and I went to a club to meet some friends. We were clicked when we were entering as well as when we were leaving the venue. Then we left the location. Ranbir had to take an auto-rickshaw because there was such a mob of people. And you know, when you find one or two people from your fraternity who just want to create a bit of an issue. We were outside Ranbir’s house, we were meant to go to someone’s place and suddenly four bikes and a car appeared and they just started following us, clicking pictures, which generally never happens. Once you leave a place, the media gives you your privacy. We continued to drive for a bit but they just did not give up. They continued to follow us. We took a u-turn. It’s Pali Hill in the middle if the night and suddenly one of their cars just came and swerved in front and stopped the car right in the middle of the road. So it was a big violation of privacy, it felt very insulting, they were being very rowdy, so Ranbir very normally said to one of the guys, “Yaar, I want your camera.” He took the camera and I don’t think the journalist realised what was happening. Ranbir sat in the car and told the journalist to ask his boss to please call him so that he could explain to him, how these people were behaving with us. So I hope that whoever hears about this story, I hope the media takes this story in the right way. I hope we encourage journalists to not cross a certain line. There’s a line above and beyond which you’re really insulting someone’s dignity.”
** We are in no way affiliated with Ranbir or his management. This letter is purely out of our support for Ranbir.