“SMALLirf sat suroon mei itni kabiliyat kaha ki aisi nafrat ka samna kar kake (How can only seven musical notes have the power to resist such hatred) “: The way Naseeruddin Shah expresses his feelings with this statement is shocking. Nandita Das’s first film, firaaq (2008) opens a plethora of facts and truths to the public. The stories of unbridled murder in the 2002 community riots leave the public upset and full of questions.
At first I thought of writing a film review but then my conscience did not allow it. People often ignore such articles and judge the book by its cover. Is there a specific reason why I chose this movie? Not at all. This is not a movie, there’s a bigger point to be made here.
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We often criticize Bollywood for bringing us a plate with bam in the name of “movie content” and we prefer to watch Hollywood chewing gum movies. This is good because I recognize that Hollywood movies have great production value, they are original and attractive to the public. But that does not mean that Bollywood does not produce its own gems. We have stopped looking for the best. My Earth always claims that “dhundne par to bhagwan-ji bhi mil jate hai(If you look for it, you can also find the god). But the weight of the search can be real and we, as a public, and especially the Indians, are too lazy to do so. The blame, therefore, shifts to the TV channels that are popular at shooting the same movie two or even three times a week. God knows how many times I have seen the same Thakur Bhanu Pratap (Amitabh Bachchan) bleed after poisoning kheer. We are the ones who are served with old malicious content, but we continue to devour it.
firaaq is not the only film worthy of appreciation. There are many, for example, the protagonist of Naseeruddin Shah Meeting murder (2002), which may not have a very good set-up or prominent actors, but still gives a very strong message. Bollywood has not lost its charm of making entertaining movies, but we have lost our taste in consuming malicious content. Such movies are available on OTT platforms (where I found them). But not everyone is able to afford the assistance.
We, as a public, are always kept off track. Access to quality content that evokes thought and helps us learn a few things to make room for new ideas is far from reality. We are addicted to the regime of ignorance that continues to dominate our troubled minds. Our brain is allowed to rot with less controversial cinema. We may like to criticize Bollywood, but we are not the ones who remove creative films like firaaq? Aren’t we the culprits? Are we not ignorant? Don’t we have to change for the better?
Read also: 5 Bollywood Movies That Should Not Have Been Made This Decade
Yash Annadate is a student at Ashoka University. The views are personal.
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