Bollywood Stars: On guard!

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Mumbai, March 25 -- Besides the many perks, the stardom Bollywood actors enjoy comes with its share of problems. It is not uncommon for popular actors to be mobbed when they step out in public. And although most stars move with their fleet of bodyguards, there have been cases when these security personnel have been pulled up for manhandling fans.    

The latest incident that made news concerned Akshay Kumar's guard. It was reported that he slapped an onlooker who tried to come close to the actor on the sets of a film. Although the facts of what actually happened were unclear, the case proves that the bodyguard's job is no easy task. We analyse the challenges involved.    

Duty dilemma Ronit Roy, who owns a security agency, believes that a guard has to meet force with force when the situation goes out of hand. "All fans are not gentle. Once, we had a problem with one of our female actors. A young boy was trying to grope her.    Despite warnings from the guards, he kept coming closer. After he was pushed away, a case of manhandling was registered against us," he says.    

Salman Khan's bodyguard, Shera, too, says that it is his duty to protect the star. "We make human chains to guard the celebs from excited fans to keep them at a distance.    We do not push or hurt them as we do not have any personal grudges against them.    They are fans, after all. But our duty is to take care of stars' security," he says.    

Star struggles

Although they cherish their fan following, Bollywood actors bear the brunt when their admirers try to get too close to them. Salman, who was mobbed by fans at a mall in Hyderabad while promoting a film in 2010, had to cancel the event. He later tweeted, "Toooo much dhakam dhukhi at the mall, girls n kids were also being pushed around by over excited fans n body guards. Got worried fr thm, n did nt want any 1 to get hurt so on my way bak to mumbai.    (sic)."

In 2012, Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan suffered injuries when they paid a visit to Bal Thackeray at his Bandra home. "Yes both Abhishek and me were injured with cuts, but are fine and back home... the doctors at 'Matoshree' attended on us, (sic)," tweeted Amitabh.