Safe to say fans and the global Twitterati are NOT amused.
By Ashima Sethi
Over the last few days, the internet has exploded with Tweets and Instagram posts calling out several B-town celebrities for their ‘shameless’ decision to jet off on vacation while India is currently being engulfed by COVID-19 infections, the worst wave since the pandemic began. Just on Tuesday, the nation recorded a substantial increase in virus cases, with 323,144 new infections and 2,771 recorded deaths. Numbers that bring the total caseload to over 17.6 million.
While thousands of citizens lay outside hospitals choking for oxygen thanks to a nationwide shortage, celebrities like Ranbir Kapoor and his girlfriend Alia Bhatt were pictured at Mumbai Airport departing for the Maldives (keep in mind the duo tested positive for the virus not long before they embarked on their travels). Ranbir even had the gall to share pictures of his travels, captioning his snaps with “Maldives calling.”
Similarly, Disha Patani and her partner Tiger Shroff have also been calling the island paradise their temporary home, posting swimwear-clad photos without a care in the world for what’s unfolding in their motherland. Other celebrities who have also jetted off to the Maldives recently include Jahnvi Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, Ananya Panday, and several others.
Now, after The Maldivian Ministry of Tourism‘s decision to ban incoming Indian travellers on Sunday, the internet has exploded with memes and posts trolling these ‘insensitive celebrities’ who have now had to cut their vacations short, returning to India to avoid being stuck abroad as a result of any impending outbound travel restrictions. The full statement reads: “With effect from 27 April @HPA_mv suspends tourists travelling from #India to #Maldives from staying at tourist facilities in inhabited islands. We thank you for the support in our endeavour to make tourism safest possible with minimum inconvenience.”
The Maldives is not the first nation to ban Indian travellers in light of this catastrophic new wave and the new ‘Indian variant,’ which is rumoured to be a ‘triple mutation’ that’s harder to detect and harder to treat, Canada, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Iran, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates, are just some of the other destinations that have also done the same in either banning travellers from India or suspending flights to and from the nation.
According to the NZ Herald, private jet operators in India have claimed that many wealthy individuals are trying to book one-way flights out of India for tens of thousands of dollars. Moreover, before bans were put in place, staff working at commercial airlines reported that flights were slammed with bookings from those looking to escape India’s ongoing COVID-19 apocalypse. As a result of this mass exodus, the Indian variant has already been detected in countries like the UK and now Israel.
Unamused by the entire concept of the wealthy and well-connected vacationing during a pandemic, offering no support for growing relief measures, netizens have had this to say about Bollywood’s rich and famous. Novelist Shobaa De posted on Instagram saying:
“For all of you vacationing…remember it’s a holiday for you. It’s a bloody pandemic all over. So don’t be an insensitive idiot and post pictures of your privileged life. You’re not only coming across as brainless but also blind and tone deaf…this is the time to step up and help or if you can’t do anything then shut up and stay home!…This is not fashion week or Kingfisher calendar time!”
Film star Nawazuddin Siddiqui also told Bollywood Hungama:
“These entertainment celebrities posting vacation pictures at a time when the world is reeling under the worst recession. …Logon ke pass khana nahin hai aur aap paise phenk rahe ho. Kuch toh sharm karo. But what else will they (celebs) talk about? Acting? They will run out of steam in two minutes. In logon ne Maldives ko tamasaha bana rakha hai. I don’t know what their arrangement is with the tourism industry. But for the sake of humanity, please keep these vacations to yourself. There is suffering everywhere. The cases of Covid are multiplying. Have a heart. Please don’t taunt those who are suffering. As a community we entertainers in India need to grow up.”
One Twitter user @muglikar tweeted:
“How many of you know the names of scientists who worked hard at @BharatBiotech and developed a vaccine which is atmanirbhar and fully made by Indians. We will know names of B-grade Bollywood jokers who are in Maldives. Let’s choose our heroes wisely henceforth.”
Another, @Rishabh74835716 posted this hilarious attempt at photoshop:
For more hilarious takes on the Bollywood film fraternity’s retreat back to ‘Our Land,’ browse through the ‘Bollywood’ and ‘Maldives’ tags on Twitter.
Featured image credit to Book My Show.