No, it’s not obvious that since it’s Friday we’ll probably have to watch a movie, because, for a lot of us, a lot of things restrain us from doing so. For example, a not so well-endorsed movie which should’ve walked a little further to be known to people. One such movie, according to me, is “Mulk”. The brilliance of director Anubhav Sinha upon collaborating with this mind-blowing movie is exquisite.
With a message loud and clear, this movie revolves around one major topic and the repercussions it holds with it, the brewing ideology of Islamophobia not only in India but around the world. It talks about how stereotypes will always continue to build a wall of ‘us vs. them’. No, it’s not something which brews inside the society, but it’s something which surely brews in our head even if we aren’t cognizant about it.
In “Mulk”, the youngest son of a Muslim family settled in Benaras participates in terrorist activities, and gets involved in conspiring for a bomb blast. His actions have an adverse effect on the family who are left to defend themselves as people who are innocent and not anti-nationals.
But, no, it doesn’t end there. This movie brings up questions which haven’t been asked on a public forum ever. It puts forward how a country can only belong to a certain section of citizens while the rest continue to feel like outsiders in their own homeland. It talks about how in the times of grief and communalism, people fail to recognise the difference between the long beard of Osama Bin Laden and any other Muslim man who has lived, loved and always believed in the nation they live in. It talks about how this country has always and will always belong to the diverse sections who live here and nobody can invite “them” to their own homeland. It brings out a question as to why a Muslim has always been asked to showcase his patriotism at every step of the way, which hasn’t been the case with any person belonging to other religions. Most importantly, this fictional piece of art reinforces the fact that terrorism is not Islam, and that, in fact, terrorism has no religion and not all terrorists are Muslims. It brings in the definition of all sorts of terrorism which usually go unnoticed because by the dictionary terrorism is the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in pursuit of political or social aims. This definition has no mention of religion or the fact that it holds one religion responsible for terrorism. The acts of communal or political violence are also terrorism, but I wonder if that has ever been questioned as an act of terrorism.
The movie brings together the diversity we live in, and how the country belongs to every man and woman who holds a citizenship of it, and that nobody should have the right to question anyone’s patriotism on the grounds of their religion. Hence, I believe, every person who still suffers from Islamophobia should definitely watch “Mulk”.
For starters, here’s the trailer: