Anurag Kashyap says he was “scared” when his family received threats for his tweets criticising the ban on Pakistani artistes from working in Bollywood in 2016. The filmmaker says he now just posts his opinion and does not read the responses to it. This way, he says, he has been able to increase his productivity.
Kashyap had come out in support of his filmmaker friend Karan Johar, who faced protests during the release of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016), which featured Pakistani actor Fawad Khan in a pivotal but small role. In a series of tweets, Kashyap had asked why only Indian filmmakers should be targeted for casting Pakistani actors when Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited Lahore.
The Mukkabaaz director says after he posted the tweets, people started targeting his personal life. “During the Ae Dil Hai Mushkil controversy, when I tweeted to the Prime Minister, people went after my personal life, (they) started threatening my parents. My family got scared. That was very, very scary,” Kashyap told PTI in an interview. “The trolling went on for six-eight months,” he says.
The filmmaker says his opinion on the controversy over Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Padmaavat also rubbed some people the wrong way. “Social media has kind of levelled the field. People use it to bring others down, silence others and threaten them. During Padmaavat, it had happened, they put out my number on the social media because I had an opinion,” he says.
The 45-year-old director, who will be seen in the finale episode of MTV Troll Police, airing this Saturday, has realised that the aim of trolls is to silence those whose opinions differs so he has stopped engaging with them. “We are dealing with a country which is so over-populated, where there is so much resentment, so much repression, so many mouths to feed, so many people looking for work, so many disillusioned people. Sometimes I think when they are frustrated they want to take it out. And they feel better after abusing. So now when I put out a tweet, I don’t read the response,” he says.
By doing so, Kashyap feels, his productivity has increased since he is not wasting time and energy on people whose aim is to be after him. “After I stopped engaging, I made Mukkabaaz, finished Sacred Games, Lust Stories and I am shooting Manmarziyan. Suddenly, the frequency of my work has increased because I have gone off social media,” he says.
Kashyap has become a calmer person today, and says he has mastered the art of channelising his anger through work. “Whatever I want to say, I will say it through my work. I am enjoying this process much more than anything else. I am actually in my best phase. I am only working and I am happy. My anger has found a better way to project itself through my work. I made Mukkabaaz and put it all out there, in a way that is more effective. It says what it wants to say. I don’t have to scream and shout. I want to reflect, evoke and provoke. I want to put it out there and see how people react to it,” he says.