Gurpreet Singh: Hindu right wingers organize boycott of Bollywood film PK starring Aamir Khan

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      The reaction of Hindu fanatics to the release of the new Bollywood film PK is not surprising.

      From an online protest to hashtags like #BoycottPK, all possible tools are being used to dissuade people from watching Rajkumar Hirani’s movie, which takes a dig at religious hatred and superstition.

      PK is the story of an alien (played by Aamir Khan) who lands on earth as a blank slate and is uninfected with religious prejudices and material urges. He realizes that the human species is no different from him and it’s only religious beliefs and nationality that divide and polarize people against each other.

      The story revolves around a Hindu girl, Jaggu (Anushka Sharma), who falls in love with Sarfaraz (Shushant Rajput), a Pakistani Muslim boy. But their relationship ruptures due to some misunderstanding and a Hindu saint takes advantage of the situation to create mistrust in her mind against Muslim men.

      That's where PK comes to the rescue.

      The story actually challenges myths and prejudices being spread against Muslims in India by supporters of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party. The BJP and other far-right groups recently launched a campaign against so-called “Love Jihad”—an imaginary project constructed to blame Muslim males for luring Hindu girls into their traps to convert them to Islam.

      Obviously, PK has stepped onto the toes of these BJP supporters by bringing up a highly sensitive subject. In the past, the BJP has used more violent means to protest against books, films, and TV serials depicting such realities.

      Earlier, a similar kind of film, Oh My God!, was banned by the Punjab government in which the BJP is a partner.

      PK also ambivalently touches upon the contentious issue of Rama temple, a favourite subject of the BJP. The party has always promised to build a Hindu temple on a disputed site in Ayodhya, the reputed birthplace of the Hindu god Lord Rama.

      BJP supporters say that the Moghul ruler Babar, whose reign lasted from 1526 to 1530, destroyed the original Rama temple years ago and built a mosque in its place. Hindu extremists razed the mosque in 1992 and many top-level BJP leaders were present during the assault.

      That culminated in the anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat in 2002. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi was chief minister of the state back then.

      Human-rights groups and the victims’ families have claimed that he was responsible for the carnage that followed the burning of a train carrying Hindu pilgrims from the proposed site of Rama temple.

      More than 50 people died in the incident, which Gujurat police blamed on Muslim fundamentalists. BJP leaders were seen leading the mobs targeting Muslims during the violence.

      However, PK is not just about Hindu fanaticism. The story pulls no punches while questioning the blind faith and superstition that prevails in all religious communities. These include Muslims and Christians, besides the followers of Sikhism, which is largely known as a modern and progressive faith group.

      The makers of PK have raised basic questions, such as why one has to waste time and money on rituals and ceremonies when everyone knows what material conditions cause miseries in life, or why people blindly follow the saints and ascetics who actually con the public with magic tricks.

      The larger question that PK has rightly raised is how come one god is better than the other or why people of different faiths follow different gods, making life complicated?

      From an atheist's perspective, PK fails to question the myth of god. It rather accepts the existence of god and only attacks those who keep exploiting people in the name of religious beliefs.

      Yet on the whole it must be watched by the humanists and secularists as it offers a refreshing outlook when the entire world is grappling with the danger posed by identity politics and religious nationalism. 

      Gurpreet Singh is a Georgia Straight contributor and a founder of Radical Desi. He's working on a book tentatively titled Canada's 9/11: Lessons from the Air India BombingsHe has a Facebook page called We Are All Untouchables!!! 

      Comments

      19 Comments

      Mrinal Sen

      Dec 25, 2014 at 11:01pm

      Please check to know the truth check the link - bit.ly/ 1JSOg9t

      Jaggu

      Dec 25, 2014 at 11:22pm

      What a truckload of BS you have written Mr. GS.

      So much for progressive and liberal journalism. Guess you are one of those pseudo humanists and pseudo secularists who love to watch Hindu bashing.

      Movie is being boycotted by public... and you have dragged Modi, BJP and what not.

      Well... what can we say... Happy watching!!

      Jaggu

      Dec 25, 2014 at 11:42pm

      BTW... Dear Mr. Pseudo-secular intellectual... OMG was banned by State Mahila Congress Vice President. Not by anyone from BJP.

      One would think that being a journalist you'd at least do your homework right. Guess it is too much to expect from a pseudo secular intellectual.

      Sreejith

      Dec 26, 2014 at 4:50am

      This fucking pseudo sickular Aamir khan is a real PK(paki kutha).

      Go to Pakistan or Saudi arabia and relieve ourselves of such nasty deshdrohi burdens like u.

      who cares about ur stupid movies..idiot.

      Ash

      Dec 26, 2014 at 5:23am

      Well written.Mostly confirms what the rest of the world already knows about the BJP, and what India is in denial about. Makes me want to watch it now!

      Hazlit

      Dec 26, 2014 at 7:04am

      This looks like a great movie and I'm not sure why Mrinal Sen and Jaggu have such a problem with it. Making fun of identity politics and religion in the global politics of the 21st century is the height of democracy. The only thing missing is a critique of right-wing pro-capitalist consumerism.

      Signed
      The elitist secular intellectual (something to be proud of by the way)

      usha kapuria

      Dec 26, 2014 at 7:21am

      Well whatever you have written is ok with cool logic but there is something else which is called devotional sensitivity which if hurt devastates the believer.So think over it.

      BJP

      Dec 26, 2014 at 7:49am

      Can some khan dare make a film on muslim fanaticism?

      BOYCOTT GURPREET SINGH

      Dec 26, 2014 at 9:55am

      Why are you dragging Babri Masjid, Modi & Godra to promote a 3rd rated anti-hindu masala film.

      SUPARI FED PRESSTITUTES LIKE YOU, ARE THE REAL CURSE OF INDIA.

      honest indian

      Dec 26, 2014 at 10:23am

      when ever relegion teach us about truth honesty then why to fight i request all the peoples dont judge any relagion by seeing peoples bcoz now in lakhs u may find only one good follower and that peoples u cont find easley god always with us u call it from any name.