Use Your Voice

It's been a couple of weeks since I've last put up a post, but what can I say, life gets in the way. I actually have a bunch of ideas that I'd like to write about but I thought I'd put this one at the top of my list since I'm slightly heated.

An organization in North America recently hosted an event and had a popular Bollywood celebrity, Rakhi Sawant, make an appearance. Seems like a typical Desi event right? Well I saw a clip of the event with content that was less than appropriate for families (twerking and whatnot). I'll just leave it at that. I'd like to keep the organization anonymous because there's no need to point fingers. I always say everyone has different opinions and mindsets and I respect that, so I can understand why they would have booked her. This event, as I've been told had a very family oriented program for most of the day, until this clip that I saw. When a member of the community spoke her mind on Facebook about how she found what she saw inappropriate she was ostracized for being judgmental and not knowing the full story. Why is it that this well-known person in the community has to deal with so much hate for sharing her opinion?

There are certain events that should be done for families and certain events that should be held at clubs. There are certain things that should not happen at a family event. Specially since desis are somewhat conservative, this was a bit much. If you don't want your family watching a certain person on TV, why bring them to a platform in front of hundreds of other families?

At this event there were scholarships given and local families who had gone through tragedies were given donations from the community but from my perspective, no matter how many good deeds you have done, it doesn't give you the excuse to do something less than respectable like have an inappropriate performance on stage. Media outlets in India are now talking about this incident calling it disrespectful and shameful, so clearly the few who spoke out against it weren't wrong.

When I commented on the post my motive was not to tell this organization what had been done wrong, but what they could do in the future to improve their events. Here was my comment: "I'm not from the (city) area, but I'd like to make a suggestion. Regardless of what was and wasn't done at this event, maybe the committee could try to bring someone whose a more positive role model for our community? Again I don't know much about the (association name) and I'm sure they're working hard to do great things for the community, so it's just a suggestion. As someone in the younger generation it would be great to see organizations of all kinds focus on bringing more positive and influential people to these events to inspire the youth"

I thought that was as diplomatic as it could get. Usually I wouldn't bother to get involved but it's sad to see such behavior coming from elders in our community who should be setting an example for future generations. I then got a response saying " Please don't judge people based on how the media projects them. I found this celebrity to be a very down to earth person who says what's in her heart and doesn't twist words". My take on that was instantly- okay so a celebrity like her can speak her mind but not your own peers? That's extremely hypocritical. By this time I was just annoyed and my response to this was the following: "Having been a part of the media since I was a child, I know how it works. (Local figure who posted the original video) can attest to that. So yes, I do understand that people are portrayed differently in the media from what they really are. I made a general statement and was not at all judgmental towards anyone, but rather a suggestion, as stated, on behalf of my peers who have a similar interest on shedding light on role models who will inspire the youth in our community to be active, positive and influential members of society..."

There's so much more I could say but I think this post is long enough. It's just sad that our community preaches discipline and respect, but this incident was filled with disrespect from every angle. I truly hope that family events can truly be called FAMILY friendly and that people's opinions are taken as constructive criticism as they should be and that rather than starting feuds. There are a lot of changes that need to be made in our community. So next generation, let's be that change! Speak up for what's right and don't hesitate to give your opinion.