In a recent write up, the Qatar-based news outlet has blamed right-wing groups’ boycott campaign for the failure of Aamir Khan-starrer ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’

“There is no good or evil. There is only power. And those too weak to seek it” is a famous dialogue of Lord Voldemort, the draconian villain wizard of famous ‘Harry Potter’ movie series, made out of fantasy novels of British author J K Rowling.

The Qatar-based news outlet, Al Jazeera seems to have taken words of Lord Voldemort seriously and applied them to a journalism that is thorough and insular, biased, and prejudiced. It does not miss an opportunity to stoop to the lower level, just to make news. It is apparent in the case of Bollywood actor Aamir Khan’s Hindi film ‘Laal Singh Chaddha.’

Made at an exorbitant cost of Rs 180 crore, the film failed to deliver. The audience did not like its content. But the Qatari news outlet saw the social media trend ‘Boycott Laal Singh Chaddha’ as the key reason behind the failure of the Aamir Khan and Kareen Kapoor-starrer film at the box office. It did not stop at that alone. Rather wilfully displaying its jaundiced editorial approach towards India and Indians, the Qatari news outlet described handlers of social media accounts (that gave ‘#BoycottLaalSinghChaddha’ a trend for over two weeks), upper-caste Hindus. Not only that. In its attempt, to drive a wedge in the Indian society, it termed boycott posts “blatantly Islamophobic.”

Ignorance seems to be a bliss for Al Jazeera and this appears to be the reason why it forgets that India is a country of over 1.35 billion people where there have been many Hindi films which have earned huge money despite boycotts and protests. Sanjay Leela Bhansali directed film 'Padmavat' was a huge success at the box office despite facing boycotts and protests in 2018.

In the first week of its release itself the film, based on the epic poem of Malik Muhammad Jayasi, had earned over Rs 100 crore. However, this is not the only example of a boycott and success story of the Indian film industry. Aamir Khan’s 'Dangal' movie in 2016 was one of the biggest all-time hits in the history of Indian cinema. This movie had to face a boycott trend on social media because Aamir Khan had made infamous intolerant remarks around that time. Despite this, the film whose production cost was Rs 70 crore was a huge success at the box office. It earned Rs 2,024 crore. This shows that it is content which is ultimately the king. Aamir Khan himself is aware of this fact and he has tested it in films like Sarfarosh, Taare Zameen Par and Three Idiots.

In fact, it is not a person’s identity but the combination of direction, acting and story which makes or breaks a movie. Al Jazeera blames Indian "majority Hindus" for the flop show of Amir Khan's official remake of Tom Hanks starrer 'The Forrest Gump.’ The movie was a flop because Amir Khan is no Tom Hanks and Laal Singh Chaddha is no Forrest Gump. The problem of Bollywood is its disconnection from the soil. When Bollywood makes a movie, to which Indians fail to connect themselves, the movie would eventually face rejection.

Eventually, it is Al Jazeera’s way of thinking about India and its people that comes in between fair play of journalism and its objectivity. Instead of informing people or presenting worth reading analytical articles, it comes out with a write up which usually happens to be selective in approach, propagandist in its tone and tenor and prejudiced in its presentation. Blaming the present government of India for the failure of the film ‘Laal Singh Chadhha’ is like holding actor Jackie Chan responsible for Donald Trump’s loss in the US presidential election in 2020.