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21 Reasons Why You Should Watch ‘Mulk’ Today!

“The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” I’m not sure how many of you will be able to think of the word that is defined as the above line by the Oxford Dictionary. Yes, the word is ‘terrorism’.

The movie “Mulk” (2018) has raised such basic questions about our perception of terrorism that finding answers to these questions seems like a necessity today. Some of the smallest or shortest scenes which were closest to my heart and make the movie a must watch for everyone:

1) Mohammed Ali, a civilian and prestigious advocate who is lively social being, living harmoniously in his home town.

2) His family has accepted his inter-religion marriage; in fact the ‘bahu‘ became the daughter of the family!

3) Aarthi’s disagreement on deciding a religion for the ‘yet to be born’ child.

4) Aarthi’s family, supposedly a broad minded one, succumb to prejudice and fear and ask her to come back. But her decisions make us believe that she is truly the daughter of the family.

5) Choti Tabassum , mother of Shahid, denying her son’s dead body after she learns about his deeds.

6) Basically, it is all between US AND THEM

7) Chaube’s suggestion to his son asking him to leave unnecessary communal activities. But later, the father himself changes with time, thereby revealing his prejudiced mindset: “Hum logon ne kya kya nahi diya , phir bhi tum log hamare logon ko marte ho!!”

8) Mohammed Ali questions police officer when his house is attacked by goons and the officer denies filing an FIR. “Hum kare tho terrorism aur wo kare tho bas gundagiri!!??

9) Lawyers calling terrorism as “inke family business“, and all the comments on marriage, children, education of ‘unke samaj‘. The laughter that follows when the characters don’t realise that “hamare samaj” is still the same as “unke sama”, so it has always been hum aur wo!!

10) The respect and responsibilities Mohamed Ali has for his younger brother despite their disagreements in life.

11) Bilal’s character that is etched with so many flaws in a single person but still proves to be “jo bhi hai, phir bhi dil ke achche hai”. How innocent was his ignorance toward many facts about his own son or asking for money from his relatives in Pakistan!

12) Bismil’s death scene is the most painful one, where no one turns up at his funeral.

13) Prejudiced officer belonging to same religion as of accused and chooses to defame the whole family to reclaim religious credibility. This character has also highlighted flaws in the judiciary – a terrorist once arrested needs high level security and all the further proceedings are delayed which makes police protect criminals in the form of VIPs. “Doosra kasab ban jaayega.

14) Different aspects of the very same word – terrorism – beautifully questioned: “Kya untouchability terrorism nahi hai kya? Paise walon se gareebon ka exploitation terrorism nahi hai? Kya aadivasiyon ka exploitation terrorism nahi hi ?

15) Also, the film successfully addresses unemployment. Through Shahid’s friend Rashad, it clears the fact that unemployment in our country isn’t limited to a single religion.

16) Finally, it shows how there is no law to punish the ignorance of not looking after your kids.
“Look after the youngsters in family; what they do, what they talk about, what they watch, etc.”

17) Mohammed Ali’s question about how to show ‘love for the country’ really makes one to question the essence of patriotism.

18) Mohammed Ali’s Hindu friend being with him through all his hard times and at the same time Bilal’s Muslim friend denying to help him in the process of protecting his son (Rashad) shows how secular a human bond is.

19) The movie also portrays the insecurity felt by minorities or the people from “targeted religion” who stand in position of suspects by default. Ironically, prejudice and generalisation has become so deep rooted that a terrorist act with ulterior motives, which was supposed to create fear in masses, creates more fear and commotion in people of that targeted religion. They tend to feel like outsiders in their own land, admist their own people.

20) Mohammed Ali’s confidence over his country and system has been shown well; when he denies going to London with his son, corrects his wife’s lost hopes on people and stops his community people from making it a communal issue !

21) About “go to Pakistan”: this can be only said by those who don’t know about “community values”. The judge in film, although only partially, tries to make people understand that minorities make their own contribution to the country. Their significance is as important as that of others for a country like India to progress.
The is definitely very successful in raising questions surrounding many prejudices. Overall, it’s a must watch for everyone.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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