The Muslim Issue Is Taboo â€“ Is this Hindi cinemaâ€™s new trade fatwa?
There wouldâ€™ve been no Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge if Aditya Chopra had stuck to his original story about a young couple who meet in the midst of communal riots. The couple is unaware of each otherâ€™s faith.
There would have been no Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, in the way it finally emerged on the screen, if Karan Johar had stuck to his concept of making the character of Kajol a Muslim girl from the Chandni Chowk mohalla of purani Dilli.
Gee whiz! Evidently, after My Name Is Khan, the movie trade doesnâ€™t want to touch subjects revolving around the Muslim identity â€“ post 9/11 â€“ anymore. What has to be said has been stated, which in effect means a heartbreakingly challenged Shah Rukh Khan bussed, trained, walked, hotfooted to Prez Obama. And so now peace prevails in the world.
Consider the underlying text of MNIK though and youâ€™ll understand that it has as much understanding of the contemporary Muslim condition as Karan Johar has of rocket science.
In that mega-advertised cash-earner, the ostracism, the suspicion and the allegations targeted at the Muslim abroad became an excuse for incorporating such devices as a ghetto of cyclone-marooned blacks. And if you please, an intrepid mostly-NRI-Indian TV crew fetched up with emergency food and provisions.
Thatâ€™s the blockbuster image you have left of a topic that has to be dealt with some maturity and seriousness. But no, enough is enough. Suggest a theme that hinges on Muslim characters now â€“ and in India â€“ and the potential financiers look the other way. No need to turn the camera on Islamic issues, no need to delve into the horror of terrorism. â€œMake a simple, fun, entertaining movie,â€ is the credo. Khan sold because of Khan, is the argument, and remember Qurbaan was an unqualified disaster.
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