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National Integration? Really?

I came across perhaps the most pathetic joke a few days back. Or atleast I thought it was a joke until our dear “news” channels confirmed it. Delhi 6 had won the National Film Award for promoting National Integration or some such bullshit. Kudos to people who decide these awards. Yet another behind the scenes string pulling by “secular” people in their most veiled and really absurd attempt at appeasement.

Apparently, Delhi 6 is a cerebral movie which subtly exposes the double standards of our society, its insecurities and of course the darkness inside – aptly named  Kaala Bandar. And yet it celebrates its pluralism and all inclusiveness. Well, this is what it appears to be. In reality it is a biased movie which mocks Hinduism and Hindus while carefully avoiding to look at the other side of the coin. It takes a totally biased approach towards issues and projects Hindus as primitive, non-progressive, hostile idiots.

One look at the characters of the movie and it cements this fact. The Muslim halwai Mamdu is a happy go lucky Hanuman Bhakt. The wisest person in the whole settlement is Ali Beg Sahab who gave up the love of his life(a Muslim girl) for his Hindu best friend. These two characters are portrayed as nothing else but angels. No problems with such projections of people. The real problem begins when all Hindu characters are shown as thick headed, illiterate bigots. Everyone except our hero and heroine has grey or black character traits.

The two warring Hindu brothers are Muslim hating and taunt the hero for his Muslim roots. The Hindu Lala is a creep who marries a much younger woman. All the Hindu women are brainless, submissive adarsh bharatiya naaris who don’t think or talk beyond kitchen, marriage and religeon while the lone Muslim woman character(hero’s mother) is a well educated, progressive lady. Muslim maulvis are peace loving advocates of harmony while Hindus are either tantriks or dhongi babas. Only Hindu leaders flame and take advantage of communal tensions. And wherever they appear in the movie, they are shown with a derogatorily mocking premise.

The riots are almost one sided in the movie with Hindus as unruly, hymn chanting, superstitious, completely faith blinded arsonists, and Muslims as hapless victims. This picture is completed with the premise that our hero’s Hindu father left India after marrying a Muslim girl as he could not withstand the backlash of his family in particular and Hindus of the area in general. But no mention of how the girl’s side reacted(as if they would have let him live in peace).

Although I never disagree with portrayel of the ills of Hindu religeon – the Shabri-Jalebi paradox, unnecessary cow worship etc., what hurts is the completely biased approach against Hinduism. This film may have been awarded for national integration but actually, it is against its spirit. If anything, this films feeds Muslims their worst fears and stereotypes of Hinduism, thrives on their insecurities  and does more damage than good.

It is a sad trend in cinema and media where Hinduism is a soft target for every tom dick harry. Want to make a “critically acclaimed movie”? Take an oppressed Muslim,  throw in evil, scheming Hindus, show Muslim persecution in most gruesome manner and then add some lectures on all religeons being one and all that crap. Voila! You get international recognition, national awards, this and that. Let country’s image take a beating. Let your own religeon be the fall guy. Show complete bias to please and lick international bums. Case in point – Parzania, Dharm, Mr. & Mrs. Aiyyar and almost all the “issue based” movies on Gujarat riots. Wonder if anyone has the courage to come up with a movie on those sixty people who were burnt alive in Godhra? Or even a balanced approach with these issues. Waiting for such a movie or documentary. Adios.