Indian film-star and actor Shah Rukh Khan inaugurated the 28th edition of Kolkata International Film Festival along with actors Amitabh Bachhan, Rani Mukerji, Shatrughan Sinha and chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Speaking at the event, the actor highlighted the negative aspects of social media and how it impacts society as a whole.
"Social media is often driven by a certain narrowness of view that limits human nature to its baser self. I read somewhere that negativity increases social media consumption, and thereby increases its commercial value as well. Such pursuits enclose the collective narrative, making it divisive and destructive."Shah Rukh Khan
This comes at a time when people raised objections to actor's upcoming movie 'Pathaan' and called for its boycott on several social media platforms.
'Spread of Social Media Will Affect Cinema Negatively': SRK
Without particularly mentioning anything about Pathan or the dismissive social media responses to the song Besharam Rang, actor Shah Rukh Khan said that cinema and social media have become the foremost expression of human emotions and experience.
Asserting that cinema, actually, had an even more important role to play, he said, "The collective narrative of our times is shaped by social media and contrary to the belief, the spread of social media will affect the cinema negatively."
Pointing out how parochial people views have become with the advent of social media, the actor advocated for more liberal ideas in public spaces.
Shah Rukh Khan's speech is being considered significant at a time when right-wing outfits and certain social media groups targeted the actor and his co-star Deepika Padukone for sporting green and saffron coloured costumes in a song called Besharam Rang, in their upcoming movie Pathaan.
Despite repeated calls for the movie's boycott, Shah Rukh Khan credited KIFF and West Bengal to be the beginning of positivity in the nation and thanked the people of Kolkata by saying,
"Through endeavours like KIFF, the endeavour is to build new platforms to break existing prejudices. Let’s come together and build a better world for our future generation through the medium of cinema."