“Welcome to the India of 2020, the land where dreams come true, and you can be whatever you want. Your wishes will come true and hard work will gather you riches that you deserve, a country which was deemed to be a third world in 2017 is now ruling the landscape, with the fastest growing and largest economy of the world.”
That’s what nationalists will tell you around the country, when they claim that India’s factories have started producing more output than it did before demonetisation, and Narendra Modi is more popular than ever. The BJP seems to be winning the hearts of even men who associated and considered themselves loyal to its opposition. But what these nationalists do not realise is the meaning of democracy. They consider themselves above the law and proclaim to know what their religion is and how different artistic sources are trying to demean them. I will not get into the Padmavati row because it has become known throughout the country, rather I will talk about the matter which has recently surfaced about a movie called ‘Game of Ayodhya.’
Directed by Suniel Singh, the movie is a love story between a Hindu man and a Muslim girl, but that is not what is spreading agitation among the nationalists. The problem is that the movie is set in Ayodhya and tries to take on the Babri Masjid demolition that took place in 1992.
A report by the Wire states that the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) activists allegedly blackened the wall of the residence of Suniel Singh, director of the controversial movie Games of Ayodhya in Aligarh on Sunday. The right-wing activists also locked the director’s house to protest the movie’s release.
The film uses real speeches by political leaders, which were used to stroke agitation among the communities and had initially not been cleared by the CBFC on the pretext that it will give rise communal tensions in the region. Later on, the film was cleared is now scheduled to be released on December 8, 2017.
If the Muslim extremists are popular for giving fatwas, the Hindu leaders aren’t all that far behind. Amit Goswami, an ABVP leader from Aligarh, has announced a bounty of ₹1 lakh for anyone who chops off Singh’s hands on Sunday.
Singh is holding a special screening for Aligarh Muslim University professors is being held on December 4 or December 5, 2017. What is astounding, is the fact, that even after getting a CBFC clearance, special screenings are being held for people to ensure that there is no ‘objectionable content’ in them. Then what is the use of having a body that watches films and documentaries and ensures that the movie’s contents are suitable for the general public and gives them appropriate ratings?
If people are going to demand whatever they feel like and filmmakers will have to succumb to the pressure because the people will resort to violence and threaten to burn theatres, then this system clearly doesn’t work. Yogesh Varshney, city president of HJM in Aligarh, told the media, “Today we have blackened the wall of Singh’s house. If he doesn’t back down, we will kill him.”
So coming back to the nationalist who sings praises of this country in the distant future, the real question that pertains is the destination that India is heading towards is really what we all want?