There is some truth that Bollywood makers take liberty to bash Hinduism and Hindu personalities when they depict history or cultures. However the flip side of story is that the likes of Sunny Deol, Akshay Kumar, Aamir Khan and every brawny hero has made their screen career bashing up stereo type muslim terrorists and offenders.
There is a growing wave of nationalism in the country and the conviction that Bollywood makers take care never to offend muslim sentiments lest a fatwa or a Charlie Hebdo comes trotting their way. To some extent they work towards appeasement. So too media and the public. The outrage in the star cricketer Mohd Shami harassment incident should have been more. The non stop trolls and abuses a Baba Ramdev gets is never defended for a simpleton who revolutionized fitness in India and self-made a 2000 cr conglomerate. Maybe because he is a Hindu.
Hence Anurag Kashyap’s statements on ‘Hindu terrorism is out on streets’ is out-of-place. Had they remotely existed the above two incidents would have taken different shape. Or maybe Kashyap doesn’t know what real terrorism is, despite a brilliantly balanced Black Friday. As a fake Virender Sehwag account @virendersahwag tweeted “Bomb blast – no religion; Beheading – no religion; ISIS – absolutely no religion; Kaan ke neeche fatka – Hindu Terrorism”! So, even my number one director appeases. Even India’s number one hero appeases.
In Raees Shah Rukh Khan is shown as an extremely good secular Muslim who loves Hindu brothers very much and hates anyone who differentiates. In reality bootlegger Abdul Latif (on whom Raees has been made) made a career torching Hindu houses and giving jobs and money only to Muslims. In fact the only reason BJP came to power in Gujarat was when they promised to take over the Muslim terror led by Latif. Hence the makers of Raees took special care to appease.
Director (of Raees) Rahul Dholakia’s only other significant work Parzania, dot like the other classic on Gujarat 2002 riots, Kai Po Che, has similar appeasement.. Both movies primarily focused on Hindus as perpetrators and offenders of riots. The Muslims and Parsis as partially innocent victims. The Godhra train torch burning incident, the prime instigator of riots, has been underplayed in such movies as just another incident.
Aamit Khan’s PK gave more airtime making fun of the majority religion than the more balanced Oh My God. The list is endless. Ditto on the flip side. Making Pakistan or random Muslim based outfits or long bearded personas as criminals has been a norm in Bollywood since the time Islamic terrorism reared its head with the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts. Gone were days of Gabbar Singh, Mocambo or Shakaal as villains. That bit is unfair too. It seeps into minds of commoners that any long bearded pathan suit wearing muslim isn’t dependable or trustworthy.
Way back in 2007, my senior manager and HR contact had strongly discouraged me to hire a hardworking, nice, Muslim boy badly in need of work. He fitted the job role well and I had to disagree with my line manager’s biases, to hire the young man. A decade later, he turned out to be great resource and now a family friend. Racism exists everywhere. All who preach about equality are first to advise pregnant woman to change diet to have a fair boy, refuse renting to other religions, refuse to hire driver or maid from other creed or caste.
It is also most irritating that there are two religions – Islam and Christianity – both rooted from Abrahamic faith, who always try to influence why their religion is superior, their lords are superstars, whilst other faiths and beliefs are useless. Am tired of listening to that crap. My family visits mosques, churches and every place of worship. We celebrate Eid with biriyani, Christmas with gifts and Chinese New Year with Lo Hei. My kids have always been told one thing:
There is only one God, for all.
There is only one India, for all.