By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2023-02-17 06:47:20
Is a celebrity public property? Do they not have the right to privacy? Do they not have the right to go to enjoy a meal in restaurants or visit any other public place with family or friends without being pestered? Or do they have to accede to each and every unreasonable request from 'fans'?
The violence and abuse cricketer Prithvi Shaw had to face inside and outside a hotel near the Mumbai airport begs answers to these questions. A couple first pestered him for selfies inside the restaurant. As per reports, since they did not go away even after clicking many pictures with the cricketer, Shaw asked them to leave as they were intruding in his privacy. It was not as if Shaw denied them their fan moment. He objected only when it became too much. The couple has reportedly claimed (in the video uploaded on twitter) that Shaw and his friends assaulted them.
But the couple has other things in mind. They wanted to 'teach' Shaw a 'lesson' for, in their minds, he had insulted them. So they waited for a good length of time outside the hotel. When Shaw and his friends came out to leave, the couple smashed the windscreen of his BMW with a baseball bat and attacked Shaw and his friends. Fortunately, the cricketer was reportedly not injured. The couple also had the temerity to chase the BMW even after it drove off but Shaw had left in another car.
This kind of incident is scary. Do fans think that they own the celebrity? Why was the couple not satisfied after clicking a good number of pictures with Shaw? What else did they want? Shaw was within his right to ask them to leave after clicking pictures as he wanted to enjoy his time out with his friends. Since cricketers and film stars do not have an official security detail with them as normally there is no threat to their life, mad fans can be a nuisance and if they are violent like the Mumbai couple, can cause injuries.
The Mumbai police have already arrested the woman and an FIR has been filed against 8 persons named by the cricketer and his friends. The police are interrogating the arrested women to get the whereabouts of the others. They should be apprehended and punished so that others also get the message that harassing celebrities in public places will not be tolerated.
Pic source: screengrab from a video uploaded by @haramiparindey on twitter