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Friday, December 1, 2017

Varun Dhawan Selfie, fine and reaction ! - what would have been if were an actor elsewhere ?

Name, fame and celebrity status surrounds tinseldom.  When a recent movie was criticized, the general refrain of people was – ‘see movie as a movie’ – can by the same token people start seeing ‘actors as mere performers’ ! – there are some who indulge and speak, comment, criticize on everything from National security to atomic energy – and feel they have the right to Q the PM of the Nation.  Still there are some different ~ an interesting event and the way this celebrity responded deserves some appreciation too .. ..

I have not so far seen a movie of his ~ he is a star of bollywood.  Varun Dhawan son of film director David Dhawan, studied Business Management from the Nottingham Trent University, worked as an assistant director to Karan Johar on the 2010 drama My Name Is Khan and made his acting debut with Johar's 2012 romantic comedy Student of the Year, for which he received a Filmfare nomination for Best Male Debut. He has turned big with many films thereafter.  This is no critical review of his movies, but more on a ‘selfie’ ..

Miles away, a woman motorist of European nationality committed 19 radars violations in an hour on Shaikh Zayed Road, a top police official said. The European woman who was in her forties was driving Porsche Cayenne Car when she was caught by radars.  Director of General Department of Traffic of the Dubai Police, said that it was for the first time a woman committed a large numbers of radars violations in such a short span of time. He said that the woman was caught last month at 3:00am and the car speed was 220 to 240kmph. When the officials inquired about the reason for her reckless driving, she said that she was heading to  Hospital for treatment and was under stress.

In a different instance, a motorist known as Mr X  spent five years trying to dodge a £60 speeding fine was later  jailed for perjury and perverting the course of justice. The driver, who was named Ashley X after changing his surname by deed poll, was caught on camera driving his Honda sports car at 67mph on a 50mph section of the M11 in Essex in 2009. Instead of coughing up a fixed penalty fine, he initially ignored Essex Police's attempts to confirm who was driving the car before making up a series of stories to shift the blame, Essex Police said. X tried to fight the speeding charge in six different courts, concocting various stories including that his cousin was driving, faking a letter from that cousin purportedly confirming this and claiming this cousin had already paid the fine. After being found guilty of failing to provide a driver's details he challenged the verdict at Chelmsford Crown Court and the Court of Appeal but both claims were rejected. When police looked more closely at the case, they found the 'cousin' who X claimed had been driving, and discovered he was in fact a friend, who never owned the car and denied writing any letter admitting that he had been the driver.

In Tamil Nadu and in Andhra, and in some other States too, actors enjoy a cult status and cannot be questioned on anything.  They will speak punch dialogues ridiculing everyone and will continue to be hailed as ….stars – titles given to themselves or by adoring fans.  The bollywood celebrity – Varun Dhawan was fined on Thursday for violating traffic rules, after a picture of him leaning out of his car on a busy street and taking a selfie with a fan appeared in an English tabloid.

The Mumbai Police through their Twitter handle also issued a stern warning, and the actor tweeted an apology. His fans responded with outraged tweets. The picture showed a fan in an autorickshaw taking a picture of Mr. Dhawan, whose car had pulled up alongside her auto. Another picture showed the actor leaning out of his window and taking a selfie with her.

An e-challan was sent to Mr. Dhawan’s registered address with the Regional Transport Office. “We fined Mr. Dhawan 600 for riding without a seatbelt and leaning out of the window. He paid the fine,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Amitesh Kumar. The official handle, @MumbaiPolice, tweeted the picture, and said, “These adventures surely work on D silver screen but certainly not on the roads of Mumbai! U have risked ur life, ur admirer’s & few others. V expect better from a responsible Mumbaikar & youth icon like U! An E-Challan is on d way 2 ur home. Next time, V will B harsher (sic).”

Mr. Dhawan tweeted an apology from his official account, @Varun_dvn: “My apologies. Our cars weren’t moving since we were at a traffic signal and I didn’t want to hurt the sentiment of a fan but next time I’ll keep safety in mind and won’t encourage this.” The police replied: “Quite a galactic coincidence for the photographer to be on the same signal to capture your gesture, in a good intent nevertheless risky. Leaning out even in a stationary vehicle can be distracting for others considering your popularity. Glad you took our message in d right spirit.”

The police’s tweets received a mixed reaction. The tweets sparked off a war of words between those supporting the police’s action and those opposing it. Snide references to other actors were also made, with one user tweeting a picture of Salman Khan riding a bike without a helmet!  Interesting !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th Nov. 2017

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