PK has been one of the most anticipated films of the year, I am one of very few people who did not like 3 Idiots and felt Hirani was getting formulaic. PK’s plot has been a close guarded secret till its day of release . By the time the reviews came, we had a section of so called self appointed Hindu guardians who got offended by the film, not because it showed the blind rituals practiced by Hindus, but these fringe elements felt that movie should have criticism of Islam. The same argument was forwarded by people, when Haider was released how it is anti-Indian army and that it is one sided.
For starters let us get our basics right, all stories in this world are one sided. Right from Mahabharata and Ramayana we have a hero from whose perspective the story is narrated to us. (For those who think why I am referring to Hindu texts and not other religious texts, it is just because my parents claim to be Hindus)
Eventually we have to realise a film is a director’s medium and it is his right to tell a story in whichever way he feels .Otherwise we can make propaganda films like the way Nazis or Russians did, but alas we are a democracy and we should give right to freedom of expression to every artist. By freedom of expression I mean absolute freedom of expression without any terms and conditions, even if it means somebody getting offended due to his ego and prejudiced nature.
In Haider it was said that Vishal showed Indian Army in negative light. I say what is wrong in showing Army in bad light, no institution in this world should be above criticism, at the end of the day even Army consists of people among us. What perplexed me was no was willing to acknowledge the fact that Indian Army was responsible for killing its own citizens, even today’s news is filled with atrocities by Indian Army.
If we will not acknowledge our mistakes, then how can we grow as a nation? I am sure we are not such a great nation which has not committed mistakes at all. Thank God as Bollywood stars may be shy to voice their political opinion publicly but when it comes to gauge the mood of the nation and reflect the aspirations and values of our country, Bollywood has always been there to do the needful. Be it in the 50’s when Raj Kapoor made films like Awara and Jis Desh Main Ganga Behti Hai, in 70’s when we were disillusioned with our system Bollywood gave us Angry Young Man. People may accuse Bollywood of promoting vulgarism, plagiarism etc but it has shown us from time to time what are the values of our Nation. In Manmohan Desai’s Amar Akbar Anthony it did not matter if the children were born to Hindu Parents but were raised in different religions, when they were reunited with their mother, she did not tell her kids Gharwapsi karo. This is what makes us still unique, we have to preserve it.
Coming back to PK I will try to address the so called grievance of the so called self appointed Hindu guardians.
- It only criticises Hindu rituals and not that of Islam and Christianity
- If Aamir Khan is sincere he should make this film in Pakistan
- It shows love story between Muslim and Hindu
- God men shown in the movie are fake and shown in bad light.
- Aamir Khan went to Haj, then how dare he say “ Jo Darr Gaya Woh Mandir Gaya”
- It is funded by ISI
Let me try to answer these questions one by one,
- So you accept the fact that problems shown in PK with regards to Hindu temple is true, you are not bothered by the flaws in your religion but you want filmmakers to show flaws of other religions, isn’t that a bit weird. It is like someone saying that you should study and you point out that others kids are playing so you to deserve to play irrespective of the fact that you might be having exams tomorrow and other kid is enjoying vacation. Rajnikanth’s Robot showed a scene where Hindu devotees play loud music, does that mean it was an anti- Hindu film or does it have anything to do with fact since Hero is Hindu you cannot protest. In DDLJ Aditya Chopra showed a scene inside Church where Hindu characters pray, I guess he must have been well paid by Rome in order to lure Hindus into church. Oh btw PK did show how some conversions happen due to persuasion and influence of money, I guess you must have missed the scene due to your outrage. Or let me remind you the film is written by two Hindus and not Aamir khan and it is their idea and not his, he is just enacting the story.
- Last I know Aamir Khan is an Indian and he has been working in India, why would he want to make movies in Pakistan and why should he do that. I did not know we are in competition with Pakistan to show who has higher threshold for violence and lower threshhold for freedom of expression. If you are saying such a movie cannot be made in Pakistan, I say take pride in the fact that we can make such films and we have better sense of humour than them.
- So did Jodhaa- Akbar, Veer Zara, and Bombay to name a few. Out of these three films all were directed by Hindus and apart from SRK most of the people involved in these films Hindus. It is strange all Hindu filmmaker trying to convert all of us, since such a long time, yet Hindus still form 80% of our population.
- Do we even have to start with this? Every day we have babas being arrested for molestation, rape and killing of children, not once I have seen these self appointed Hindu guardians getting hurt by reckless behavior of this babas.
- Aamir Khan is an actor, his job is to act and accept a role which he likes and perform according to what a director wants. It is not necessary that he should agree with actions or dialogues of the film, if Aamir plays a killer or a rapes someone in a film does it mean he will be a rapist or killer in real life? It is called acting for a reason, when he acts he takes upon himself a character who is created by the director and not play himself that is Aamir, that is his job.
- Well to be frank, ISI has very bad taste in films. I watched Waar and I can vouch for that. They cannot produce something like PK, on another note who funded Khuda Ke Liye and Bol,our own R&AW?. Of course it was Aamir’s film Sarfarosh which portrayed ISI in negative light, yet they choose to fund his films is something i cannot comprehend.
If people are offended by this film, they should not watch it; it is as simple as this. I am offended by these gas guzzling SUV’s on roads which I feel harm our environment. Does that mean I should go and hit all the owners who are driving SUV’s, the sane answer to this is NO, I should not.
PK has been passed by the censor board and we have a process in place that once a movie has been passed it is the job of the Government to ensure that the film is screened in a public place without inconvenience. Otherwise the Government should scrap aside the censor board and entertainment tax. It is high time that our courts also stopped accepting such frivolous petitions, as it is we have an over burdened judicial system. I like the way the Supreme Court said during PK’s poster controversy “If you don’t like it, don’t watch the film. Don’t bring religious facets here, these are matters of entertainment. If you restrict it, it will affect others’ rights. Everything is on the internet. What will you hide?”
Lastly before ending this post, my sincere apologies for bringing up the point of religion of actors, I have no doubts that at the end of the day our actors and filmmakers are here to entertain us and not to hurt others, but we have to give them an environment where they can question our society. If our art forms cannot not question us or move us, then what is the purpose of our art? We as an audience deserve better, Hindus deserve better than these self appointed guardians and we owe our artists, if we won’t who will, after all they are here to entertain us.
Before concluding, I wish to add a last point which is what I took away after watching the film, people remember the Mandir dialogue but not “Thappa Kahan hai” dialogue, it is important to understand and accept the fact we are born as human beings not as Indians or Pakistanis or as Hindus or Muslims, if we understood life would be so much better for each one of us. You can argue about the merits or demerits of a film,any film for that matter and PK is no exception to it. But instead of doing that don’t demean yourself and the film by raising silly, childish arguments on why the film hurts religious sentiments.
Go watch PK and stand up for freedom of expression, if you won’t tomorrow your voice will be muffled.