“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.