Sometimes it seems a very strange coincidence that Bollywood has always been dominated by Muslim actors, actresses, directors, poets, musicians and writers. From Naseeruddin Shah to Irfan Khan and from A. R. Rahman to Javaid Akhtar and Shabana Azmi, Salman Khan, Amir Khan, Farah Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Sanjay Dutt, the list of Muslim artists is very long.
Certainly credit of this dominance goes to the talent and skill of these artists but we cannot negate the positively unprejudiced rather impartial behavior of the Indian audience in making them popular and dominant in the Bollywood industry. Keeping aside the religious philosophies they follow, the Indian people have always proved themselves true lovers of art by appreciating the Muslim artists.
It is also a fact that some extremist miscreants in India have always tried to generate hatred against the Muslim artists but they could never succeed in achieving their petty goals. Most of the time, it is the BJP behind all such movements. The BJP desires to politicize ‘art and artists’ but the general public has an opinion altogether otherwise.
Recently a video clip of Guru Paramhans Acharya has gone viral on different social media platforms in whichParamhansis seen threatening to burn Shah Rukh Khan alive. Guru Paramhans is a seer in Ayodhya and ‘enjoys a very bad’ repute with reference to the hatred against the Muslims and other minorities in India.
In that video clip, Paramhans pretends to be agitated on a song of an upcoming movie Pathaan. Deepika Padukone,one of the highest-paid actresses in India, is starring in Pathaan with Shah Rukh Khan. A song of this movie, ‘Besharam Rang’, is very much viral on social media nowadays. In that song Deepika is wearing a saffron bikini and Shah Rukh Khan is in green costume. Paramhans says that the selection of these two colors is symbolic; the saffron colour represents the Hindus and green the Muslims.He objects that the ‘coming soon’ movie is propagating jihad and he has termed Shah Rukh Khan a ‘jihadi.
Another BJP MLA from Maharashtra, Ram Kadam, has also objected to the Shah Rukh -Deepika song. Ram Kadam said in his recent tweet that anything that “disrespects Hindutva” will not work in Maharashtra. A similar message was conveyed to the makers of Pathaan earlier by BJP minister Narottam Mishra in a public statement. He had criticized Deepika’s saffron costume and SRK’s green costume and asked the makers to change them. He added that if the changes are not made, Pathaan’s release in Madhya Pradesh will be threatened.He further said, “I feel the title of the song ‘Besharam Rang’ is also objectionable in its sense.”
For maintaining the serenity on the face of the world around us, we must discourage such narrow-mindedness and prejudice as Art is something above all such petty matters. And by burning the precious Shah Rukh Khan alive, Guru Paramhans Acharya would get nothing but more disgust, more animosity and more hatred along with a death-sentence.
Most of the BJP leaders raising illogical objections to Pathaan and the song Besharam Rang have a long history of spreading hatred against the Muslim community and other minorities in India. Guru Paramhans is the same person who two years back had threatened to take ‘Jal Samadhi’ if the country was not declared a Hindu State by October 2 2021. ‘Jal Samadhi’ is suicide in which a person ends his life by immersing himself in water. Now this is the beginning of 2023, India has yet not been declared a Hindu State and Paramhans is still alive and making hate speeches against the minorities in India. The same is the case with Narottam Mishra. On April 10, he played a very horrible role in escalating the tension between the local Hindu and Muslim communities in Khargone, Madhya Pradesh.
A Ram Navami procession was organized by a Hindu nationalist organization allied to the ruling BJP, somewhere around 5 pm. That was the exact time Muslims were gathering for evening prayers at the neighbouring Jama Masjid. As planned by the instigators, some miscreants started pelting stones from both sides. It all resulted in burning of vehicles, houses, shops and imposing of curfew in the area.
Instead of calming the people, Narottam Mishra started blaming the Muslims for the whole disaster. Siding with the Hindu agitators, he warned the Muslims during his talk with the NDTV, “If Muslims carry out such attacks then they should not expect justice.” It must also be kept in mind that Mishra is Madhya Pradesh Home Minister too.
Such horrible extremists are no doubt a continuous threat for the peace and calm of every society and the role of political parties standing behind such characters is also questionable. India has never lacked people with a sensible, balanced and moderate mental approach. That is the reason today that many NGOs are trying to convince people to boycott the Party which is supporting such ‘Gurus’ as Paramhans Acharya.
As far as art is concerned, it never belongs to any religion; it is a very vast canvas which invites and allows every artist to paint a picture according to his own skill and talent. Be it Hollywood, Bollywood or Lollywood, the actors are never recognized or appreciated with reference to their religion. So many times a Hindu actor has to play the role of a Muslim Scholar and so many times of a Christian priest. Same is the case with Muslim actors.
Karan Johar is no doubt a great name in the list of Hindu Film Directors. His super-hit movie Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, was released in 2016. Most of the actors and actresses in that movie were the Hindus and they all played Muslim characters.
For maintaining the serenity on the face of the world around us, we must discourage such narrow-mindedness and prejudice as Art is something above all such petty matters. And by burning the precious Shah Rukh Khan alive, Guru Paramhans Acharya would get nothing but more disgust, more animosity and more hatred along with a death sentence.