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I’m Stumped looking at my Twitter feed that tells me that Salman Khan is the new good will ambassador for the upcoming Rio Olympics. All the righteous outrage begins to ooze out from my index finger on my phone. Hello, how can a Baghi, an alleged Partner in crime, be appointed as the Sultan of Olympics? I tweet like a sparrow in a tizzy, “Who the hell appointed Bhaijaan as the good will ambassador for Olympics?” Soon enough, when relentless Bhai fans Kick my Judwa ass in Andaaz Apna Apna, I have a Jagruti moment.
Much as there is little point in tweeting if you can’t annoy people, there is little point in being a brand ambassador if you can’t create a buzz. With all due respect, if PT Usha was appointed as a good will ambassador, no feathers would be ruffled. Peace. But it could well end in Nil Battey Sannata.
Right or wrong, Salman controversy ensured awareness about the fact that Olympics are round the corner. At a time when the country is suffering from IPL syndrome, if that ain’t an achievement, what is? Deservedly, the gold medal goes to Salman. And so, in that moment my outrage attained Veergati.
So what’s the hullabaloo about? Well, it is more than a coincidence that Sultan Khan plays a wrestler in his upcoming movie Sultan. While the sport fraternity is crying foul, Salman’s appointment has ensured that Aamir is writhing on the mat even before the wrestling match has begun. Given that Aamir too plays a wrestler in his new movie Dangal, Raja Hindustani will now have to think of a novel way to promote his new movie.
Once the controversy was alive and kicking, it was the usual spectre of taking positions across the fence. Why can’t we have Rajyavardhan Rathore or PT Usha as our ambassadors, people raged? Track legend Milkha Singh joined the chorus when he said, ‘Salman has no contribution in sport, so why make him the ambassador?’ Wonder if Milkha Sir Ji would have felt the same way, if it was Farhan and not Salman. But the IOA said, Hum Appointment De Chuke Sanam. Go outrage.
Given that the controversy demanded views of the two important ladies, Katrina Kaif and Aishwarya Rai, the media was quick to oblige the nation. Katrina Kaif rebuffed the reporter by saying that Salman Khan has long been the very definition of controversy. Kat done, the microphone wielding fidayeen rushed to the other post card perfect ex who has been suffering from Panama-itis. The nation heaved a sigh of relief when Mrs B supported her ex Sanwariya. We now wait for an enthusiastic reporter to get us the views of Somy Ali, Sangeeta Bijlani, Zarine Khan and other Sanam Bewafas.
To judge Salman’s appointment by the yardstick of sport, rather than his popularity is to miss the purpose of appointing a goodwill ambassador. If the idea was to popularize upcoming Olympics and bring sponsorships, the controversy ensured that Salman had scored a goal.
The sad reality is that we live in a world where popularity and glamour bring sponsorships. We live in a world where selling a product is the only moral. So, how do we popularize sport without crass commercialization? Well, therein, my friend, lies the dilemma.
Bye, Phir Milenge!