In an earlier post there is reference to film-maker Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘celebrity tourism’ to the terror-ravaged Taj , in the distinguished company of the (then?) Maharashtra C M Vilasrao Deshmukh. The First Post, UK-based online news magazine speaks of ‘an extraordinary row’ that has broken out in Bollywood over the incident.
Actress SimiGarewal is quoted as saying, “It is not a tourist site or an exhibition”, in reference to the film-maker’s visit to the Taj Palace Hotel.
Mr Varma can’t be blamed for taking up an opportunity to take a ride in CM’s convoy. Wonder how many in Bollywood would have passed up such a chance. Mr Ram Gopal Varma would have us belive that it “just happened” when he was visiting his actor friend, who happened to be CM’s son. The film-maker was at CM’s house when they, father and son, were about to leave for a tour of the Taj on Sunday morning. Whether RGV was/got himself invited to join the tour or he just tagged along is not clear. We have The First Post quoting CM as saying, “I had neither invited him (Mr Varma) nor knew about his presence.”
The electronic media, kept at a fair distance from the scene of action, telecast blurred visuals, marking out Mr Varma with a red circle on the film footage. Not the kind of exposure Mr Varma would have relished. I recall the TV channels using the red-circle technique to show up a gunman in the blur of the terror strike footage.
The ‘red-circling’ by the media wouldn’t be lost on the film-maker, whose next film – Rann – is believed to be on our media excesses. Included in the cast is Ritiesh Deshmukh.