Khalil Mohamed who works as an author for the quint and is also one of my inspirations when it comes to the writing field has received a Whatsapp message from his filmmaker friend who was watching Padmaavat at that time, “They’re stabbing everyone in the back, literally, visually, taking women forcibly, tearing meat off bones, doing tribal dances, dirt and blood on the face. Brutal, barbaric.”
Khalil has perfectly penned down Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s plight who once was struggling to release the film, “Why Sanjay suffered? For depicting the Rajput royalty of yore – adapted from an epic poem which could be fiction as unwaveringly virtuous and the Khilji as unapologetically bestial.”
Muslims in the movies
A survey of 41 films had concluded that 75.60 per cent of them portrayed Muslims negatively, 12.20 per cent positively, and the rest were ‘mixed.’ Muslims are no longer Rahim chachas, Hyderbadi chefs (Mehmood, Gumnaam, 1963), kindly daai maas ( from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, 2001).
Instead, largely, they’re shown as terrorists without delving into the reasons why.
“Or Muslims are caricatured as bomb-chucking lumpens and dons seated on throne-like chairs in dimly lit ghettos.”
Yes, there are various movies that portrayed Muslims in a positive way, “Maine Dil Tujhko Diya (2002) which featured Sanjay Dutt as Bhaijaan, a Muslim don with a heart of gold. Amitabh Bachchan as Iqbal in Coolie (1983), SRK in My Name is Khan (2010). And it can be Iqbal (2005).