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Thursday, 25 December 2014

PK: Why is Hinduism a blot on the idea of India

“Indian voting rights (given to Hindus) must be reconsidered” – Zoya Hasan, a professor of political science in JNU, had thundered in NDTV studios on the morning of May 16th this year when it was quite apparent that Narendra Modi would be the new Prime Minister of India. These days the only noise one hears from the opposition in Rajya Sabha, since the opposition is absent in Lok Sabha, is on topics concerning some “reconversions” by a vague Hindu outfit or about a stray ruling party MP making some bombastic comments on some trivial religious matters. Over the last month, maximum airtime on various media platforms was allocated to a ‘colloquial’ mis-comment by a junior minister in the central government which was a classic case of making a mountain out of a molehill.

For the last 2-odd years there has been this constant theme running in the background which keeps harping about the “Idea of India”. There have been various subtle, not-so-subtle and in-your-face attempts to constantly remind us that either Hinduism is rogue or that ordinary Hindus need to be apologetic about the supposed ‘excesses’ of their religion on the whole and certain co-religionists in particular. Over the last few years, especially under constant ridicule and persistent attack have been religious figures, Hindu Matths and those termed derisively as ‘Godmen’ by the media.

This continuous messaging is having little impact as urban middle classes have not yet developed a ‘healthy’ distaste towards Hindu religious symbols, especially the so-called ‘Godmen’. Realizing that relentless bombardment on 24/7 news channels against various babas from Nithyanandas to Asharam Bapus to Rampals is not enough to change the Hindu psyche, more creative folks are now getting into this business of dissing Hindu systems. Now the messaging is more subtle, underplayed and laced with humour so that it makes a deeper impact on urban India.

An  alien who looks exactly like us humans lands in the deserts of Rajasthan only to be robbed of his “remote”, which connects him to his mother ship. Meanwhile an Indian girl falls in love with who else but a Pakistani boy in Belgium – this is an important template for Bollywood to show its proverbial middle finger to all those ‘silly Hindu fanatics’ who harp about LOVE JIHAD, so every right thinking, no strike that, every Left-thinking Indian woman must dutifully fall in Love with a Pakistani guy. The girl’s father objects to this union because, hold your breath, he is an undying bhakt of a Hindu Godman who keeps lecturing about Mohammad Ghazni’s invasion of India. Our poor Godmen simply refuse to understand that Hindu girls have this ‘inherent craving’ for Pakistani men who are such nice, soft spoken, caring gentlemen without a religiously violent hair on their waxed and tanned bodies. Can’t these Godmen see how we as a nation collectively trend #IndiaWithPakistan when those non-violent Pakistani men murder 150 young kids in a school in Peshawar?
Due to a tragic twist of fate, the unsuspecting Indian girl believes that her Pakistani boyfriend has ditched her at the altar, so she returns back home to the big bad lands of India infested with too many Hindu temples and Hindu Godmen and, well, Hindu men and women (oh why can’t India just be another Pakistan with those nice, non-violent Pakistani men?). Here in India the alien (played by the redoubtable host of Satya Meva Jayate) has started circulating “Missing” pamphlets with pictures of various Hindu Gods because he believes the Hindu Gods are responsible for his missing remote. He even visits Hindu temples but chain locks his slippers at the gates because, you guessed it right, all Hindu devotees are thieves who rob slippers – in the Rajkumar Hirani universe Hinduism is totally infested with thievery and nothing but thievery, everything else is merely the figment of Hindu imagination.
Over the next 2 hours, PK keeps going in circles just to progressively caricaturize Hindu temples, Hindu Gods and Hindu Godmen (to be sure, there are but some fleeting references to other religions too but then you would have missed them by the time you would have blinked and yawned in between). Then, after every aspect of Hinduism is ridiculed and the audience is sufficiently frustrated with the religion to dash out of the cinema hall and race into the nearest church/masjid to immediately get converted, we unhurriedly reach the climax when there is finally a bomb blast and the TV newscaster informs us that some people of an unknown “kaum” (religion) have taken the responsibility for the blast. What religion could that be? Shhh! don’t ask, some questions are best kept under wraps… okay, let’s get back to Hindu bashing then.
So, in the climactic TV studio confrontation between a Hindu Godman and the alien… wait, by the way, did we tell you that the left-thinking woman who returned back from Belgium after her supposedly “failed” love affair with that nice, non-violent Pakistani boy has now joined a TV news channel as an anchor? Oh she has, and, now we know why our TV News anchors have such a tender soft spot for anything that has a Pakistani label on it. Anyway, so, in the climactic TV studio confrontation between a Hindu Godman and the alien, the alien emerges victorious!!! What a relief! In fact, the alien defeats the Godman by telling the whole truth to the girl (who is now the TV news anchor and had fallen in love in Belgium with a soft spoken, nice, non-violent… okay fine, it was Anushka Sharma with her recently acquired shark-like lips, there I said it finally!). The whole but simple truth is this – the Pakistani boy hadn’t ditched her after all, and, has been in fact waiting for 2 years in Lahore with bated breath for a call from her.
Moral of the story? It’s simple you idiots, all Hindu Godmen, Hindu Gods (and Hindu men for that matter) are thugs and thieves, so in Pakistanis we must trust.


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