Have celebrities become tone deaf to the ongoing covid crisis which has resulted in the loss of thousands of precious lives in a matter of few days? This is the raging argument many are having across social media platforms these days.
The point is – Is it really the case? Are sporting and bollywood celebrities deliberately shying away from what they are expected to do – empathize, amplify SOS calls, or just be there with us in this pandemic. Or, are we expecting too much?
To understand why celebrities are not making the expected buzz on social media when they are supposed to, we reached out to veteran actor Shabana Azmi. As we all know, Azmi is articulate about social issues and her Twitter timeline is often replete with comments on a range of issues.
Sharing her side of the story Azmi says, “I really don’t know what is this need to play the blame game. Why push people into the defensiveness and make them publicly declare what they might not wish to.”
Azmi also said that in an unprecedented crisis like this “it’s best to encourage everyone to pool in rather than create a sense of guilt.”
“Let’s give up sensationalism and tap into humane values and compassion. The doctors and front line workers are sacrificing their lives for all for us and we need to honour them,” she added.
Not only Bollywood celebs, with the ongoing Indian Premier League, sports celebrities are also on the receiving end of criticism for continuing with the game, despite the heartbreaking reality across the nation where people are begging for oxygen and hospital beds.
Defending the ongoing IPL, Rajasthan Royals pacer Jaydev Unadkat in an interview said, “The IPL is not entertainment. It’s work for us. It’s our livelihood and also helps thousands who are part of the ecosystem.”
In a new development, IPL is now witnessing player pull-outs due to fear of bubble fatigue. Recently, Delhi Capitals spinner R Ashwin decided to pull out of the tournament citing personal reasons while RCB’s Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson decided to fly back home. Also, another Rajasthan Royals’ player Andrew Tye decided to quit midway through the IPL.
Commenting on the criticism that Indian cricketers aren’t doing their bit in the Covid fight, noted Sports journalist, academician and author, Boria Majumdar shared, “Who has said each one has to donate in public and declare on social media? If someone does it silently what’s wrong in that? I know several of them who have done or have been doing their bit for months.”
While we complain celebrities are not doing much in this pandemic, according to Business Strategist and Investor Lloyd Mathias, who said, “While it’s easy to point at celebrity influencers not doing their bit as India fights this second wave of Covid-19, one should also understand that each of them may be facing their own personal crises in these troubled times.”
“Having said which I would have expected some of our big names in sports, Bollywood to step up and lend their celebrity-hood to champion worthy causes and help as millions scramble to get hold of hospital beds, oxygen supplies, or basic medications to fight this pandemic. To that extent, there is some disappointment. Celebrities can’t be tone deaf to all the miseries around them. However, one would like to call out Sonu Sood for the selfless work he has been doing since the time Covid first hit us. Also laudable is cricketer Pat Cummins’ decision to contribute $50,000 to help victims. It’s moments like these that bring out the real heroes among stars,” explained Mathias.
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