By Hasan Akram, Muslim Mirror
New Delhi: Criticizing colonial rulers, director of the recently released Bollywood movie ‘Mulk’, Anubhav Sinha described Palestine-Israel conflict as the origin of global divide. In an interactive session on Friday, with the students of Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi, he said,“Britishers promised the land to Jews and Arabs both and one day they got up and they left (the region). That left so many blurred lines between the two communities.”
Colonial rulers left Palestine-Israel region without resolving the core issue of power sharing. Consequently, the whole territory became a conflict zone which continues till today.
The movie ‘Mulk’ which was released on August 03, 2018 touches the core issues of Hindu-Muslim divide in India. It conveys the struggle of a terrorist’s father – performed by actor Rishi Kapoor- whose patriotism is questioned due to his son’s involvement in a bomb blast.
Director Sinha has been vocal months before the release of this movie. He has been talking about communal conflict and politics, prevalent in India and the world.
“It (communal conflict in India) started after the Partition (1947). Other political parties were dying. They had nothing to hold on to. Only thing they would have held on to, was majoritarianism and that was poison,” he said.
According to director Sinha, the movie is inspired by the true story of a terrorist (Saifullah) killed in Lucknow city as well as the story of a Palestinian girl, Ayat who blew up in front of a restaurant 25 years ago.
“I was shocked! A father and a mother who called their daughter Ayat (a lovely name), how would that child want to kill people? Sinha said..In the movie, a character has been named ‘Ayat’ inspired by the Palestinian girl.
The other incident referred by Sinha, took place in March 2017 in which a father (Sartaj) was denied to take the body of his terrorist son. Because, he was, allegedly part of the group who triggered blast in Bhopal-Ujjain train, days before his encounter.
Actor Rishi Kapoor who played Murad Ali dons a beard and a skull cap on his head in the movie. Other Muslim characters have also been portrayed in the same conventional way. On being asked by a student about this stereotype, he said, “I am truly a secular. But people look like this and this is a tragedy. That is why the characters have been played in that way.”
In the film about a Muslim family, all characters except one (played by Abdul Quadir as Reyaz) have been played by Hindu actors such as TapseePannu, RajatKapoor, RishiKapoor and AshutoshRana. Sinha calls it a “conscious decision,” because I did not want Muslim to be defending Muslim. If it would be Nasiruddin Shah, people would say, because he is a Muslim, he is defending Muslims” he said.
Despite mixed feedback from cinema goers, the movie ‘Mulk’ has done reasonably better on box office. It earned close to 30 crore rupees despite being moderately publicized.. Sinha has made romantic, tech and crime thriller movies such as Tum Bin, Zid and Ra One but now as per him his plan is to make ‘issue-based’ movies like ‘Mulk’.