When Shah Rukh Khan promised fans, “Aa raha hoon main”, he did not disappoint. The PR and marketing team behind Raees anticipated a unique idea to promote the movie. The team got SRK, on board the August Kranti Express train to travel to Delhi for the promotions of the film that got released today. But hardly did they have imagined that tragedy will soon strike the promotional schedule. The Baadshah of Bollywood has a huge fan following and hordes of people turned up to catch a glimpse of their favourite actor. In the agitation that ensured, one person was killed and two policemen were injured.
Taking charge of the situation, police immediately conducted a lathi charge, but that caused further chaos and there was a huge panic. Several were injured in the process and one person even lost his life. The railway police said, “The crowd went crazy when the train halted and began banging its window panes and even falling on top of each other. Police had to resort to mild lathi charge to control the crowd. When the train started moving, people started running along with it. Due to the rush, one person died of breathlessness and two policemen posted there to control the crowd were injured”.
As per the reports, the deceased has been identified as a local politician, Farheed Khan Pathan.
With tragedy striking the train promotions, we wonder if the makers are now thinking whether the plan was pertinent or not. A megastar like SRK cannot go to a public place and expect to be treated like your average Joe. No, people are going to throng the place in order to catch a glimpse of the megastar. He is no stranger to this; people camp for hours outside his home Mannat in Mumbai, hoping to see him as he comes and goes. Sometimes the star comes out to wave to his adoring fans. So it is strange, indeed absolute, irresponsible, for him to have thought that his arrival on a crowded Vadodara railway platform would be nothing more than a nice cheerful journey to promote his film.
Given that he has a responsibility to his fans, whom he often thanks for his fame and fortune, he should have known better than to use a train which is meant for public transport to promote his film. Several fans were injured in the stampede. We really hope that this has been a signal lesson to him that the promotion of his films should not be at the cost of the safety of his fans and indeed the public. SRK is a role model for many youths. By using a public space and service for his personal ends, he is passing out a message that such misuse is acceptable, even fascinating.
Fans no doubt want to meet their heroes but, we cannot imagine that anyone would want to risk his/her life in the process. This practice of using public spaces by celebrities for their private ends must stop so that another tragedy of this kind is prevented.
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