Sunday, January 4, 2015

Is pk anti-Hindu, anti-religion or anti-religious stupidity?

Some how controversy related with movie 'pk' refuses to die, discussions are still going on in various social media forums or news channels where people talk in favor or against this movie. One interesting point which I found many people are repeatedly mentioning is that they don't have any problems with pk talking about bad aspects of religion but they have problem with the movie targeting Hinduism unfairly. They cite various scenes from movie to prove their point but at the same time they conveniently fail to mention scenes where it also comments about other religions like Christianity or Islam. But they do have a point that the central theme of movie is to comment about hypocrisy associated with religious practices in India, mainly about scams and cult movements all these babas and gurus are running in the name of spirituality and god. So in this post I try to look at these allegations of being pk a anti-Hindu movie in very sympathetic manner and see if there is any truth in it, may be there is but let's analyze it first before jumping to any final conclusion.

The movie is targeted towards Indian audience, I don't' think there is any doubt in anyone's mind about this and if there is then please first clear this misconception. This is not a Hollywood movie which is targeted for world audience but it is a commercial Hindi movie whose audience is mostly people belonging to India (Hindu majority country by statistics). So I think one should understand the reason that why it talks about religion by taking Hinduism as a prime example, it connects to more customers and helps to generate more revenue; a very simple and logical reason. After all movies are commercial products, designed and produced with an intention to make money. If one is going to invest so much money to make any product for any market then it makes perfect sense to make a product which appeals to most customers living in that region. Another main reason is, cinema as a medium itself has its own limitations. Apart from it being a commercial product a movie also has a time constraint, it can be of two or three hours long. People are not going to sit in a theater for five or six long hours to watch a movie no matter how entertaining or educating it is. I don't think it is possible for any movie maker to comment or criticize equally about wrong religious practices from each and every major religion in 2.5 hrs of time. So the matter of fact is that they have to choose their pick and Raju Hirani chose his. If someone is not happy with this movie and want to make similar movie using Christianity or Islam or Judaism or some other religion as central theme then they are most welcome to do it. It is every artist's choice what they want to make it or every writer's choice about what they want to write. One can criticize their work, debate about it, discuss or even protest about it. But one can not question why they chose to talk about A and not about X or Y. Everyone is not expert in every field, I may know more about Hinduism because I was born in Hindu family and lived my most of life in Hindu dominated surroundings. So it is my choice to write about it, if someone want to write about Islam or Christianity because they know more about it it is their choice, I think it is very simple to understand. You make your own choice and let other make their own.

Another point which I see that various people quote many times is that  it seems some foreigners feel that "India is the only country they knew where people living in majority are mocked by minorities in any name. In any other country if you ock majority you will never able to make a movie again" I don't know who is the person who said this and from which country he/she belongs. I don't even know if someone actually said this but let's assume that someone did then I don't understand from where they got an impression that in India minority mocks majority? If we look at makers of pk itself, its producers, director, script writers all seem to belong to Hindu religion. So the first part of this argument that in India minorities mock majority is not correct. Mocking is there but as everywhere else here also it is a two way process, both mock each other and there are multiple social and political reasons for this. Based on my personal experience I can say that in USA (or one can say in west) I see lot of criticism directed towards Christianity which is  major religion in most of developed countries. People make many documentaries which attack these religious beliefs and make fun of them but they don't get attacked or stop making these type of movies. There are quite a few Hollywood movies which orthodox, conservative or right wing Christians find offensive but they are not banned in US or any other western countries or these filmmakers were not attacked or boycotted to an extent that they stopped making such movies. So it is utterly worn or false to say that India is the only place where minority or majority are mocked, it happens everywhere.

So the pont here is that if we analyze carefully each of these allegation seems to be out of some anger or emotional outburst but without any rational reason or logic. People have right to feel angry or protest about things which they don't like but they don't have right to force their own beliefs on others. Freedom of expression is available equally to everyone. If people have right to protest then people also have right to express themselves freely. I don't find pk anti-Hindu or anti-religion, rather it hesitated from attacking on concept of God. It supports existence of God, it only attacks on hypocrisy propagated by these so called agents of religion or God. If these people who are attacking this movie think that these agents and their so called theatrics is real Hinduism then they are right in saying that pk is anti-Hindu because the movie specifically attacks these things. But, if they feel that Hinduism is something beyond these babas, gurus and their theatrics then they don't have to worry about this movie as it doesn't say anything about other aspects of religion. It only attacks except hypocrisy and stupidity. It is not anti-Hindu or anti-religion but it is anti-stupidity.    

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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