Papon Ka Paap, Or Just Over-Affectionate?

 A  kiss of death,is how Papon’s colleague from the music fraternity describes the  kiss that has cost the Moh moh ke dhaage singer  very dearly. In his defence Papon says he is a demonstrative affectionate man and the kiss was “fatherly”

But  the nation and  its favourite news anchor are not buying this justification for his utterly untoward  conduct towards a  girl who is just a  child and must have been bewildered by the selfstyled Papa’s unwanted attention. In India fathers don’t kiss their daughters on their lips. Mahesh Bhatt had done so with his daughter Pooja and all had broken loose.

This was 20 years  ago when the prudes were  not professional protesters.  Today everyone is  a closet social activist running a  private samaaj sudhaar NGO. We are constantly focusing  on the  irrelevant, targeting celebrities because that’s where the headlines stick. Swara Bhaskar’s vaginal  monologue hit home because it was about Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film. Luv Ranjan’s Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety(which by the way, I just loved) has  a lot more to raise hackles  about including a heroine who is painted in the most tainted colours and a song that goes ‘Bum bum boom boom’ where the leading men are seen slapping women’s posteriors.

Koi nahin bolega,kya phayda hai?” says a middleaged highly successful director. “Because Luv Ranjan is not as headline-frinedly as Bhansali. No one will publicly speak up against Papon from the  film industry  because he is a popular playback singer today.And there’s an unwritten rule that the film fraternity closes ranks when one of them  gets into trouble.”

 This  director is right. I asked all the leading lights of Bollywood to comment . No one responded. Except Tapsee Pannu who said she  would want to hear the victim’s version before saying anything.

 Fair enough. Why isn’t the victim saying anything? The victims’ parents have spoken in Papon’s defence saying the singer has  always played the mentor to their daughter scrupulously. But  some of  Papon’s colleagues in  Bollywood secretly feel this defence  is an eyewash.

“At this  juncture the  girl’s parents do not want to jeopardize her future by making her seem controversial .They want to win the reality show. I believe there’s some amount of pressure from  the  Channel as well  to ‘sort out the matter internally’. No one wants this to blow  up into a  ‘perverted Papon’ campaign,” says a  leading  music composer who has worked with Papon.

In  the meanwhile the  nation’s favourite watchdogs are baying for his blood. Senior cops see “naked lust” in Papon’s body language  towards the girl.

 Sorry, I missed that.If you ask me I really don’t think the singer meant to show a lustful warmth  towards  the child. Papon  is not a pedophile, that’s for sure. But he is a celebrity of sorts(though, to be honest, I haven’t heard  any  of his songs except Moh moh ke dhaage) and celebrities specially  in our country are allowed to  get away with outrageously  improper  behaviour.

 I know of at least two A-list superstars who talk most improperly about their female co-stars  before their  cronies and  friends who laugh loudly as Superstar talks lewdly. Then there  is  this intense serious actor known for his masala and offbeat films and married to one of Bollywood’s most accomplished actresses, who would tell his hangers-on in graphic detail what he had done to/with actress X or Y on the previous night.The descriptions were sheer porn.

If only our filmy heroes and  other entertainment icons  did not make the correct noises only in public ,they wouldn’t be caught with their guards down when they feel no one is listening. Decorum  is not only for the CCTV cameras.

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