Thursday, August 18, 2022

Just Because Aamir Khan Happens To Be A Muslim.....

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 18 August 2022 There Seems To Be Something Terribly Wrong With This Country; Bollywood, Which Used To Be Completely Non-Communal Until A Few Years Ago, Has Fallen Prey to Divisive Forces ----- Aamir Khan's ' Laal Singh Chaddha' ----- “The scars and prejudices of race and religion run too deep in the hearts of people." -James Baldwin, Afro-American novelist The 'culture of boycott' is now a potent weapon of the majority (read Hindus) in India who're resorting to it to 'teach a lesson' to Muslim actors. Aamir Khan's ' Laal Singh Chaddha' is being panned by Hindus who're still miffed with him for saying a few years ago that his then wife, Kiran Rao, felt unsafe in India. She was right. In fact, she's all the more right, nay spot-on, in today's polarised India. [By the way, Aamir Khan had quoted his then wife and said that her thought of leaving India was a disastrous idea.] The heroine Kareena Kapoor is also being criticized and abused as she's the wife of Saif Ali Khan. There seems to be something terribly wrong with this country. Bollywood, which used to be completely non-communal until a few years ago, has fallen prey to divisive forces. Emboldened by the grand success of his film 'Kashmir Files', Vivek Agnihotri is blatantly maligning the image of Aamir. Earlier, cine-goers and actors never cared for an artiste's religion and his or her beliefs. Now, actors are being condemned for belonging to a specific faith and making some obscure statements in the long past. This is indeed a worrisome trend which, if not stemmed in time, will engulf the Bombay Film Industry. My point is: Why trollers are boycotting a ' Muslim ' actor's film? Aamir has always been an affable and sincere actor. One unguarded statement shouldn't be his undoing. Did India of the past ever care for Dilip Kumar or Muhammad Rafi's religion? Did people boycott Waheeda Rahman and Meena Kumari's films even during the Indo-Pak wars in 1965 and 1971? Even during the Kargil skirmishes in 1999, all Khans were doing well in Bollywood and masses were watching their movies without caring for their religion. Then why this communal frenzy in these times when communication and connectivity are far better, faster and quicker? The community consciousness of today's India is too acute and skewed. The binary of communal equation is disturbingly obvious. Why're those who want to watch Aamir Khan's movie being dissuaded and discouraged by the Hindu zealots? A movie is a piece of art, even if it's awful. Let people watch and decide. Don't try to influence and vitiate the minds of the movie-goers beforehand. You can settle your old scores later. Don't spoil a movie. The fate of so many innocent people and crew is also associated with a film. Be kind to them and use your brains if you've any. Bringing religion in every issue is a sickening trend that must be stopped forthwith. ----- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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