#Opinion

Is It Irresponsible Of Bollywood Celebs To Post Party Pictures As COVID-19 Cases Rise?

How could our celebrities throw a Bollywood party during the pandemic and then not splash pictures of their glamourous do all over social media? Showbiz has always been one to kiss and tell. At least, selectively, per their own convenience as long as it serves their public image.

The latest exhibit comes with a lavish but intimate scene at actor Amrita Arora’s residence in Mumbai on Wednesday night, which saw bigwigs of the Hindi film industry in attendance – from Karan Johar to Malaika Arora, Karisma Kapoor, Gauri Khan, Maheep Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor. The morning after was when social media reacted dramatically.

Everyone in attendance, especially sisters Malaika and Amrita, is being trolled – albeit with some anger – on Twitter for hosting and attending parties despite COVID-19 numbers rising, amid fears of an impending second wave, with Maharashtra (especially Mumbai) taking the lead.

A Bollywood party during the pandemic should not be anyone’s business, nor should it be imparted any more importance than it deserves from the public i.e. none. But it does become a cause of public concern when celebrity party pictures surface on social media setting the worst kind of example in the middle of the situation getting severe and governments considering lockdowns again.

What was more irresponsible on these celebrities’ part – partying or sharing pictures from the said party? Does it seek to depreciate the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation, since their photos reach millions of netizens? More importantly, should the public be putting industry people up on pedestals at all?

bollywood party during the pandemic

Source: Maheep Kapoor / Instagram story

A Bollywood Party During The Pandemic Is No One’s Business And Yet Everybody’s Business

There’s no moral high ground to take here since even non-celebrities have been partying during the pandemic. Clubs and markets are bottlenecked as if COVID-19 never happened. One need only swipe through their Instagram stories to see the kind of tone-deafness out there.

But those stories are restricted to a limited number of people lacking the kind of reach and influence people like the Johar, the Aroras and the Kapoors hold.

People hang on to every single post, tweet or picture from them as if their lives depended on it. There’s no reason to, but fanfare often jeopardises common sense.

The celebrities they are looking up to must come under scrutiny here then.

They must very well be aware of the sway they command over their fans’ decisions. At a time when things are threatening to become more critical, when doctors are pleading with the Indian public to stay indoors, when vaccinations are still only in their early phases, should celebrities not practice some restraint in what they are or not posting?

Natasha Poonawalla, who attended the party, is the wife of Aadar Poonawalla, the man behind Serum Institute’s Covishield vaccine. Malaika Arora and Arjun Kapoor have both gone through COVID-19 experiences. Surely, a group comprising such a mix of people should have known to take stock of the severity of the pandemic right now and what photos from a Bollywood party during the pandemic would signify?

Celebrities have the luxury of resources and safety far more than a common person with a regular job (or no job) who is looking at their party pictures does. And for all the gratitude they shower on their fans, the best way to genuinely give back to them right now would be to think before hitting ‘upload.’

Views expressed are the author’s own.