Imagine taking a DJ to a funeral or U.S. President George W Bush taking Oliver Stone along to Ground Zero after the 9/11 attack. Would you call it inappropriate? I think the word doesn’t even begin to describe Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s actions on Sunday afternoon.
On a visit to the ravaged Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, he was accompanied by his son, actor Riteish Deshmukh, and filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma, both of them strolling around as if it were a normal walk in the park.
That a city already grappling with rage and grief had to see images of Varma walking around the Taj like he was location hunting for a new film, speaks volumes about the sheer apathy and callousness of the people in power.
Varma says he was never invited to the Taj, nor does he intend to make a film on the terror attacks, telling Reuters in a text message that he “just happened to be with Riteish, whom I know very well.”
TV channels are reporting as I write that Deshmukh has offered to resign, as has his deputy R R Patil.