Yours horizontally!

Yours horizontally!

A Kat that leaves our cops mewing in servitude

`Keeping six cops at her service round the clock and a special escort to take her care during outdoors and getting hourly updates about her movements’. Not enough. `Even some Flying Squads were seen busy providing "extra security" cover to the heartthrob’.

That is what the report reads about Katrina Kaif’s security arrangements in Kashmir. And what the report doesn’t read can be added. Planting some guards permanently at the gatepost to ensure that Kat is not terrified by a bad dream when she sleeps on the soil of Kashmir.  (After all that will get a bad name for us – as hosts)

Kashmir goes crazy whenever a Bollywood crew lands here. Shooting a film anywhere in the valley is now becoming a huge security issue. Film-makers of Mumbai, like their political cousins in Delhi, take Kashmir as their fiefdom and consequently expect more. That is why – a few years back – a Shah Rukh Khan visit to Pahalgam got the whole area suddenly under siege even for locals. (One of our ministers had to have a daylong wait till he was finally denied access to meet the star.). Well part of that happens everywhere for the glamour film stars carry. But what (dubiously) distinguishes us from the rest is our approach to outsiders whichever field they are from. Entertainment or politics or media or business or tourism or academics, we have become the doormats of a rare breed. Our guest-host bond has devalued into a master-slave relationship. Our tradition of hospitality we so proudly boast of has slipped into a tradition of slavish devotion. Remember Mahamdoo in Rajendar Kumar’s Aarzoo. Kashmir has changed since, but that caricaturing of Kashmiris has not gone and we are ourselves responsible. That perhaps is the reason we are being presented as warmed-hearted jokers known to be the denizens of a so-called `paradise on earth’. Our warmth as hosts (which normally merits to be treasured as an asset) has become our problem. No matter what complaints we have against our own police officers, but when they  are kept at the beck and call of a Bollywood celeb, we as a people lose grace. Providing security to state guests, avoiding any possible danger to them especially when they shoot in a conflict zone, is duty. But holding the whole world in your hands till the celeb steps on the ground is laying yourself flat. Wonder if our police extend a part of that warmth towards their own people, they would save lives, win hearts.

Whether there were any formal orders to provide three-tier security or not is not the issue. The issue is doing far more than we are required to do. As hosts or as security-providers or as travel-planners or as crew-casters, we can do our job without bending our knee. That way we don’t gain fame, we lose honour.