Tiger Shroff in Baaghi 2 Image: Facebook
In April 2017, an Indian citizen was tied in front of a jeep as a human shield and paraded around Kashmir for six hours — and roughly a year later, the perpetrator behind the incident got a filmi nod in Tiger Shroff's Baaghi 2. Remember Farooq Ahmad Dar? The 27-year-old Kashmiri shawl weaver who was beaten up, and tied to a jeep, as a warning to stone pelters?
Dar had just cast his vote, when he was forcefully taken hostage and tied up to the bonnet of the jeep with ropes, allegedly by army personnel led by Major Leetul Gogoi. According to reports, a piece of paper containing a warning was attached to Dar's chest, and he was paraded around several villages near Budgam. The photos and videos of Dar, the human shield, provoked massive ourtage.
A year later, as Dar still awaits justice, Tiger's brawn-meet-brawn-meets-brawn caper Baaghi 2 has minted more than 85 crore in just four days. Interestingly, in the very first scene of this movie, Tiger pulls off a Major Gogoi.
Tiger, who plays Ranveer Pratap Singh aka Ronnie, is chastised by his army seniors for actions that are almost always terribly anti-human rights (read: every Bolly male ever). A flashback pans to Tiger in a jeep exiting a village with a man tied to his car, after being challenged by a few locals. As to the rebukes of his bosses, Ronnie stoically comments, "Sir, Tiranga nahin jalana chahiye tha," which, of course, gives desi nationalism its newest poster boy.
Interestingly, in real life, too, Major Gogoi was awarded with a commendation certificate for "sustained efforts on counter-insurgency". Ronnie was awarded with an entire film as a homage to his biceps and hamstrings — so the film has been true to our grim reality. But something tells us, the irony might be lost on Ahmed Khan and Co.
If you are angry 😠 with Media Stories against us RT and Follow us pic.twitter.com/SFBi2EATlt— TShirtBhaiya.Com (@TShirtBhaiya) March 26, 2018
Intrerestingly, Major Gogoi T-shirts hit the online stores just last week. You know you must pick sides when online shopping is involved.
When celluloid patronized #Humanshields in #Kashmir— Zulqarnain Ibn Usuf (@mzzulfi) March 30, 2018
"Wow. It is the kind of thing I expected Hindi cinema to tackle at some point, where his reasoning for this inhumanity is that somebody burned the Indian flag," writes @RajaSen https://t.co/esZxPbWZQW #Baaghi2
The truth remains, I was and I am disgusted with you all. https://t.co/I5NF62e33X— F@#@D (@FahadManz00r) April 1, 2018
So in Baagi 2, actor Tiger Sharoff plays a character who is an Army Commando in #Kashmir who ties a man to the front of his jeep and uses him as a human shield. -- How low can #Bollywood go, I expect worse to come. https://t.co/wtLMFCSnMP via @ndtv— Haris Zargar (@harriszargar) March 30, 2018
Meanwhile, Tweeple are completely divided over Baaghi 2's Major Gogoi moment — just as they were when the real human shield incident happened. Journalist Haris Zargar asked on Twitter, "How low can Bollywood go?"
NEW LOW OF BOLLYWOOD— The Wildling Fire Chief (@RAbdulRaqeeb) March 30, 2018
After T-shirt company, in a bollywood film @iTIGERSHROFF glorifies human-shields in #Kashmir
In Baaghi 2, Tiger Sharoff plays a character of Indian Commando in Kashmir who ties a man to jeep front & uses him as a human shield.https://t.co/OnCaxKHaO4