Farhan Akhtar’s MARD campaign: A Cheap Gimmick

Are we actually this stupid? Or are we just too lethargic to ignore the facts and go with the commercial flow. It won’t be an exaggeration to state that our lives revolve around products. The whole world is trying to sell you sell something. Be it the ‘Yes Bank Maximums’ in IPL or be it the cute little Zoozoos; everyone wants you to buy their product.

Well there is nothing wrong in trying to market or advertise your product but sometimes the businessmen loose all sense of humanity and just throw the word ‘Ethics’ out of their dictionary like garbage. The social campaign called MARD (Men Against Rape and Discrimination) is an example for this.

I have always been a Farhan Akhtar fan. Right from his first movie Dil Chahta Hai. But what he is trying to do now is unacceptable and should be condemned.

Confused? I won’t be surprised if you are. Let me explain.

Like you and me even the Bollywood actors have a career to look forward to. Everyone wants to be a successful actor or a director. So in order to promote their movies the actors try to promote it via different means. Some actors go to popular TV shows and promote their movies. Some actors like Aamir Khan come up with genius marketing strategies to promote their movies. And some actors like Ayushmann Khurana and Kunal Roy Kapoor go to the limits of acting in a Viral Youtube Channel Qtiyapa video to promote their upcoming movies. All is fine and understandable here.

But rape? Can we use rape as a platform to be in limelight and promote a movie? There were rapes happening in the country since a long time and we saw no Farhan Akhtar coming to the rescue. And all of a sudden with his upcoming movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag which is releasing on the 12th of July he comes with his social campaign MARD (Men Against Rape and Discrimination) and is making television appearances in the IPL reciting poems!! Yes Farhan we liked your poems in the movie ZNMD and you gained popularity and an advertisement for that but that doesn’t allow you to recite poems on such a serious issue and that too just to promote a goddam movie!

Such acts are a farce and an insult to all those rape victims and families who had to go through some serious mental stress because of several criminals. There are infinite numbers of ways to promote a movie and be in the news but to use the high media coverage that certain rape cases get for your advantage is outrageous.

Have a look at this video clip to see the whole nautanki and paraphernalia going on to make a movie hit:

[vsw id=”e2rGbxuOKIQ” source=”youtube” width=”600″ height=”400″ autoplay=”no”]

He is not even trying that hard.

So I would like to appeal to the people to open their eyes about this so called social campaign and see the real face of consumerism. And I also hope that celebrities understand the gravity of certain crimes and stay away from such cheap gimmicks in the future.

Update 2014 June:

Wrote this article on the MARD campaign (Men against rape and discrimination) an year ago. People called me cynical and delusional. Now with all the rapes happening in Uttar Pradesh, where is this campaign? Look at their inactive page: https://www.facebook.com/TheRealMard

Using the anti-rape mood of the country, they promoted Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, made 100 crores, sold MARD t-shirts on Myntra.com and disappeared.

I hope that you realize now that these people/celebrities are not capable of acting apart from their self interest.

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About Tanmay 38 Articles
You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one :)


  1. Let’s get one thing straight.
    Spreading awareness about rape is stupidity.

    You want to stymie rape in this country, then you take judicial, law enforcement and bureaucratic measures.

    But making useless campaigns with empty promises and corporate and commercial bandwagons is a farce.

    This is MY opinion. Take it or leave it.

  2. One of our distant relatives owns a cinema hall in Secunderabad. One big star was to come to the theater for some charity organization. I happened to there by chance. None of us wanted to miss the opportunity of seeing the big star. For hours together, everyone waited for the big star. Finally, the celebrity arrived. we thought that our wait had ended. But the starry star did not come out till all the promoters, cameras, crews were in place. Then, the star descended, clinically held with hand an orphan for five second, gave a plastic smile and just vanished.

    We cannot understand the hollowness of their approach. They do everything – even marriage, divorce etc for media, for popularity. The author has touched only the tip of the iceberg.

  3. Oh, come on! It’s goddam true! Stars are reported to promote their movies even at funerals. There’s nothing real in their lives. It’s all false. criticizing the author for declaring a plain fact won’t do. FA shouldn’t have touched such a sensitive topic in such a frivolous way. The author’s made a genuine point.

  4. Stars do squeeze every ounce out of everything. It’s difficult to believe that Farhan Akhtar is seriously concerned about the safety of women in this country. It’s obvious that he wants to be in the limelight and these days this topic is doing the rounds. So, he chose it. The writer has actually pin-pointed a very subtle truth. And as it said, ‘Truth hurts’. No wonder, so many up in arms against the truth.

  5. Cheap Article Ever..He is taking Media as a launch Pad against Evil and you call it cheap gimmick..Editor should be more optimistic support the cause

  6. This has to be MB’s worst article so far…. When did his movie even come into the picture? I had seen this clip earlier and I didn’t even know there’s going to be a new Farhan Akhtar movie coming out soon, until I read this article…. I can’t believe I spent time reading the whole thing! Get a hobby man!

      • “You get a hobby” XD… And I’ve read enough articles on MB to know the standard they present… What I meant was ‘GET A DIFFERENT HOBBY’, since you obviously can’t take positive criticism (And No, my earlier comment wasn’t positive, but others here are being reasonable). Jerk!
        But I digress… The point is somebody is doing SOMETHING to create an awareness against sexual assaults… But ppl like you just create troll posts like this with a very narrow minded view!

        • Well ur comment wasn’t positive so dnt expect me to be polite to you! And if you need ‘awareness’ for sexual assaults den u r a narrow minded person not me..! Anyone in d B-business wud understand wot Farhan is trying to do! You are the purest form of ignorance my friend 🙂

  7. Completely unnecessary!

    Right from the first line it feels that this one is made up. First of all there is no stupidity in listening to a well known cause whether it is via some advertisement or self-realization. Secondly, lethargic would be the people who still don’t act and wait for i don’t know what kind of initiative. Furthermore, selling a product and selling a cause are never to be compared (even if it is selling which i doubt it is) because the output of both differs largely if not entirely. I won’t comment on the ethics and inhuman aspect because it is totally out of context. I don’t know which definition of ethics categorizes some effort of a person against a social cause inhuman.

    All of us have some or the other way of living our lives and we surely do have some ways of contributing to the society too. If a doctor does a free camp for society or an engineer gives free technical assistance to make homes for less fortunate people, will that be called unethical too???

    Then why this effort by an actor to contribute in his own way towards a cause being called unethical?? If his profession is acting and he has the ability to reach out to thousands of people at a time then I applaud his taking up the responsibility of addressing this cause. I am sorry for others who are not able to do so while being at such a privileged place from where their voice can be heard by millions.

    Maybe this kind of discouraging gestures by some writers (who could otherwise have seen the good inside the act or at least the good which comes out of the act and have appreciated it) play a marked role in their not taking up the pain and do something good. Coz even after that they will be called names and will be blamed of recruiting cheap means for their own publicity.

    • Yes man sure. Farhan Akhtar is the voice of thousand of poor families whose children get raped. *thunderous applause* Just wait and watch the campaign after Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.

  8. i don’t think it’s wrong…he maybe making money out of it, or maybe it’s a platform for him to promote his upcoming movie, but spreading awareness is highly appreciated…atleast he’s doing a better job than Manmohan Singh…and as long as a prson does a job better than MMS, i appreciate it!! I mean, I almost respect any and every prsn

  9. Author targeting Farhan Akathar’s campaign : A cheap gimmick for facebook likes.

    Confused? I won’t be surprised if you are. Let me explain.

    Everyone wants to be a successful author and they try to promote it via different means. Some authors copy paste and some share original content.

    But Rape ? Can we use the campaigns against the cause to make catchy headlines just for more like/share/comments.

    Have a look at the article above to see the whole nautanki going on just to make an anonymous author read.

    He is not even trying that hard.

    • Hello Karma, we know what people say about you.
      Your thoughts reveal that your whole life is based around Facebook likes/shares/comments. There is a lot in this world apart from that. To stand up against a celebrity is not the easiest thing for an anonymous author as put it. If you can’t see how the tele ads and CHEAP gimmicks such as MARD are raping your originality then I can’t help you.
      PS: I know who you are. Get a job.

      • dear tanmay tiwari,
        you are so full of yourself.. I did not see any mention of the movie in the clip, neither did i know of farhan’s movie untill i read your post.. but i did know about MARD.. and the same was the case with many other friends of mine.. so i guess you are wrong.. next time do your research before you present your opinion on someone.. it is very easy to point fingers at someone doing something, while you are sitting behind your laptop and typing shit.. and dont try to threaten people who criticize you.. when you post your work on a public forum.. you have authorized the public to judge you by your work..

        • I am not threatening anyone. If anyone felt threatened by my opinions then m sorry! And I maybe sitting behind my laptop but at least I post my own original views about the matter. It’s you who are getting personal here.

          • Did you even read what I had written before you wrote your reply? or is it natural with you to write whatever comes to your mind?
            ” I post my own original views about the matter. It’s you who are getting personal here.”
            well even i posted my “original views” about your post and you..

          • No I din read. I had to reply to 10 other comments 😀 Its not like my comment or yours is gonna change anyones opinion. So you are free to believe in ur reality and I am free to believe in mine! Cheers

  10. If this poem convince even one guy to respect women and be protective towards them, I really don’t mind whatever is the real motive behind doing this.

  11. When did Farhan mention his movie’s name or say something to make you believe that he’s promoting his movie? What if he really supports the cause! What extra or special was he supposed to do? And what was so unique about the video that convinced you but i fail to realize it!?

    • Well if he would have mentioned his movie name then we won’t be having this debate! To be in the limelight a few months before the movie release is a common tactics used by actors since a long time. Lets see him doing public appearances and MARD concerts after his movie releases. You want to be fooled.

    • Still no rationale explanation… and when did reciting a poem for a serious issue became an insult! If I remember correctly in my school literature books we used to come across so many poems regarding some or the other social issue. They were not demeaning! I seriously want to know what was demeaning about this poem, only if you understood. There are different ways in which people protest… we go out and light a candle, somebody else writes a poem! I dont see whats wrong with it. And not once did I think about his movie when he came on-screen for this cause because the issue itself is so serious!

      • Lol 😀 Well again Anupam if the poem was demeaning then we won’t be having this debate!! He is making the use of a serious issue to be in the news and there is nothing illegal in it! but it’s certainly unethical to do concerts and other tomfoolery when it is clear that he doing that for the benefit of his acting career. I can’t help you if you can’t visualise the obvious man!

  12. M.A.R.D was conceived in August 2012 post a case of sexual assault and murder of a Mumbai based female lawyer. It’s not a recent development. So, maybe Farhan Akhtar is actually taking a social initiative and is just using the IPL as a launch pad for his campaign because IPL is viewed by many and will help him promote his campaign, not his film.

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