Popular television star Hina Khan is probably thankful to entertainment journalist Jitesh Pillai, whose disparaging tweet about Hina’s presence at the Cannes film festival 2019 has generated the kind of indignant furore that most celebrities hope and pray for.
In what he clearly thought was a cleverly condescending crack at the television actress, Pillai tweeted, “Cannes has suddenly become Chandivali studios kya?”, accompanied by a picture of Hina Khan posing at Cannes.
But the comment backfired on the star-struck elitist entertainment journalist, with everyone now rooting for Hina Khan, and not just in Cannes. Back home in Mumbai, the entire television industry has risen in one voice to support Hina’s right to be present at Cannes. It has sparked off a debate on how television stars are accorded step-motherly treatment vis-a-vis their movie counterparts.
Hina has even found support from superstar Salman Khan, who not only tweeted in her support but also against Pillai’s remark.
The television star has overshadowed all the other Bollywood stars in Cannes this year, with more buzz surrounding her than Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut or Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
Filmmaker Rahat Kazmi, who accompanied Hina to Cannes with their collaborative film Lines, is a regular visitor to the festival. Last year, he was present with his film Lihaaf, based on the life of author Ismat Chugtai. However, he admits that none of his films have generated as much curiosity as Lines.
“It’s amazing. The interest that Hina and our film together has aroused is unsurpassed by any of my earlier entries at Cannes,” says Rahat, admitting that the tweet by Pillai probably did the trick.
“But no one planned it that way. We didn’t know Hina would get insulted in this manner, and that it would invite so much wrath from her fans, colleagues and well-wishers,” says Rahat, adding that Lines would be Hina’s launch into films.
Meanwhile, in defence of the television fraternity, it must be said that some of the biggest names of the entertainment industry have come from the small screen, notably entertainers like Shekhar Suman, Ronit Roy, Amar Upaddhyay, Sushant Singh Rajput and Kapil Sharma among others. Hina Khan too, seems all set to make the transition from television to movies. And in what is probably the most fitting reply to Pillai’s tweet, Rahat Kazmi has promised to shoot his next film with Hina Khan in Chandivali Studios!