I watched Ranbir Kapoor starrer Rockstar in 2011, the weekend it was released. It was a normal movie for me at that time.
A few years later; I watched it again on some channel to kill time. It was the same. Nothing different. No difference.
And recently; I watched it again to kill time. Something changed this time. I noticed something which was always there but did not register earlier. But once I saw it; it was tough to ignore.
I will come back to this later.
A very long time back, in 1999, Preity Zinta and Akshay Kumar starrer Sangharsh was released. The movie tanked at the box office but was more than decent. Especially the portrayal of Lajja Shankar Pandey by Ashutosh Rana was scary and looked real. His signature howling with an open mouth was intimidating.
You might be wondering what is the fuss about these movies.
There was a scene in Rockstar where Jordan aka Janardhan (Ranbir Kapoor); in his days of struggling; was singing anywhere and everywhere to earn money. Be it temples, mosques, dandiyas- he is shown singing. In one particular scene; he is singing Bollywood-style bhajans in a maata ka jagrata. In the next scene; he is shown singing some deep sufi music in a mosque.
In this movie Sangharsh; Lajja Shankar Pandey is a Hindu religious fanatic who believes that sacrificing children to Gods would make him immortal.
I believe you understand where I am taking you.
I never saw Ranbir Kapoor’s calm demeanor in a mosque and fun-filled casualness in a temple until the last couple of years. And I connected the dot that Imtiaz Ali is the director so that was bound to happen.
Nor I notice that how a pandit is being shown as a killer of innocent children till I saw it again a few days back. Because Bhatts are the directors; they always have some resentment towards Hindus.
I can also talk about how Anurag Kashyap, very grandly, in his Magnus opus “Gangs of Wasseypur 1 & 2” showed the world how a local Muslim goon felled the empire of a very powerful Hindu upper-caste politician.
Nothing has changed in the movies mentioned above. What worries me is that I have started noticing these things.
I am truly sorry if the words in the cited examples sound and read cheap and insulting. Feel free to judge me. What has changed is how I look at things, thanks to the constant social media feeds.
Make no mistake; I am not blaming Facebook/ Twitter for changing me into someone who has started noticing these technicalities. The fault is mine that I let it happen. I consider myself a moderate who doesn’t give a rat’s ass what’s happening in the other’s lives; let alone the other religions. This change is troubling for me.
After almost half a decade of constantly feeding my mind the crap it does not deserve; I have developed an eye I would love to get rid of. There is already enough happening which needs attention and I can very well do without having an extra worry about how my Gods and their Gods are being portrayed in a fictional setting.
Sometimes, I wonder whether these things were always there but I was immature to understand them. This may be partially true but equally true is the fact that 10 years back; no movie critic and self-styled soldiers of their respective religions were howling about these. The world was an ignorant and happy place. But now nothing goes unnoticed.
I stopped using Facebook four years ago. Twitter addiction is very strong. And it is probably the biggest influencer of my ideology. I wish that there was a switch which can be just flipped off and things go back to what they were long time back.