Mumbai. When it comes to
media attention promoting a cause, Bollywood celebrities are never left behind. So, when PM Narendra Modi extended the Clean India challenge to the celebrities who have most followers on twitter he thought will spread the word, it created quite a flutter.
Those who got the invite, graciously accepted (left with no choice); those who didn’t get the invite, voluntarily declared their support to make sure they are not left behind in the race of free publicity.
Most celebrities had assumed it to be a PR gesture that won’t last more than a day. But when Sachin Tendulkar took the challenge seriously and gave it a solid start like he’s done for almost 20 years, others had to think about plan B.
Unable to take time out from their busy schedule of attending ad-shoots, ribbon cutting, dancing at award functions and attending fund raising dinners some of them have turned towards their body double (duplicates) to feature in the video they need to post as part of challenge.
Priyanka Chopra who was flooded with congratulatory messages after Mary Kom won gold in Asian games on 1st Oct, was among few celebs nominated by Modi. The actress didn’t use duplicate during fight sequences of Mary-Kom and had no ‘Aitraaz’ doing bold scenes all these years turned towards the duplicate artist citing hygiene issues.
Salman Khan had a different story. “Half of my time goes into running around the various courts across India, so I needed a duplicate to shoot the video. Since in my movies stunt/fight scenes are created using VFX effects, it was difficult to find a duplicate for me. Are haan Duplicate se yaad aaya Shahrukh ko invite nahi kiya Modi ji ne?”
Shaitaan Khopdi™ asked Sachin if he also considered using duplicate.
“I didn’t even consider using a runner in my whole career (except in WC2003 against Pak); forget about using a duplicate here. If at all I find a duplicate I would send him to attend Rajya Sabha proceedings,” Sachin replied while practicing paddle sweep with the broom he used for sweeping footpath earlier in the day.
Note: The idea of hiring duplicates for completing the challenge was suggested by a friend of mine ‘Gaurav Banerjee’.