Actor Aamir Khan’s latest flick PK might have grossed billions worldwide, but the movie which dealt with the concept of blind faith and Godmen has invited the wrath of many religious groups. While some groups have demanded a ban on the movie, some went ahead and expressed their anger by disrupting screenings and vandalising theatres running the movie. Meanwhile, Shankaracharya Swaroopanand said if the filmmaker has the guts why isn’t he making movies on other religions.
While some individuals might have a different perception of the movie, the accusation against Khan of intentionally hurting Hindu sentiments appears silly, especially if you look at the kind of social messages he has conveyed in the movie as well as those preceding this.
Aamir played a Hindu cop in the 1999 blockbuster Sarfarosh and won many hearts by lashing out at the villain, who in the story was a singer from Pakistani. Criticising the terror unleashed by the neighbouring country, Aamir”s character says: “Tum Jaise log dushman hotey ho puri kaum key. Khoon Kharaba faila key tum apni Kaum ki koi madad nahi kar rahey. Balki ye tumhari Kaum ki Baat karna ek dhong hai.”
In 2001, we saw Aamir turning producer and creating history on celluloid with his magnum opus Lagaan that ended up with an Oscar nomination. While audience went berserk about the thrilling cricket match that the Indian side won dramatically, the scene in which Aamir talks about untouchability to convince the villagers to include Kachra in the team left all speechless. It’s surprising those who advocate caste system remained silent then hearing lines like “Chulhe se roti nikale ke liye, chimte ko apna mooh jalaye padi” from Aamir.
If Aamir’s intention and religion was not questioned then, then the recent protests seem pointless.
The argument that its not easy to make anti-Muslims statements in films holds no relevance as there are umpteen examples of such movies.
So why the clamour over PK? Is it that right wing group these days are so unrestrained that they will go to any extent to make headlines? Why were they silent when Paresh Rawal took god to court in Oh My God. Is it because he was then a candidate for BJP in the General elections and is now an MP.
In fact Siddharth Varadarajan, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Public Affairs and Critical Theory, Shiv Nadar University, summed it up rightly by saying that the protesters of PK are actually making mockery of Hinduism.