Many people, especially on social media, have been calling to boycott the Bollywood movie PK, calling it “Anti-Hindu”.
These people argue that the movie mocks only Hindu religion and supports “Love Jihad”, thus it deserves to be boycotted.
While it is a democratic right of an Indian citizen to express his views or call for a boycott of a movie – after all call for a boycott is far better than call for beheadings just because you don’t agree with a worldview – Hindus need to choose their battles carefully.
Protesting against a Bollywood movie is the last thing one may do when the Hindu community is up against so many challenges – biggest of which is media narrative monopolized by people who are allergic to Hinduism.
One could argue that movies are also part of media and thus this protest is also a tool to fight that monopoly. That is a fair argument, but it doesn’t cut ice with PK.
Let us look at some facts related to this issue:
1. PK is NOT an anti-Hindu movie, but it is an anti-religion movie. Yes, most of the movie deals with Hindu themes, but it ALSO touches upon conversions by Christian missionaries and terrorism. The scene being argued to insult Lord Shiva is not insulting Shiva but it’s a funny physical comedy involving a character who worked in a drama company and was wearing Shiva costume at that time.
2. Muslim fundamentalists threaten to kill people for the insult of religion. This threat causes many artists to not touch Islamic themes. But it doesn’t mean that Hindus too start becoming like Muslim fundamentalists! There is nothing to learn from them. The Muslim fundamentalists have only weakened Islam and caused people like Tasleema Nasreen to feel disgusted and leave religion. Do Hindus want to follow the same path and push people out of religion?
3. Just because Aamir Khan is a Muslim, it doesn’t become logical to impute a motive for what he is doing. It makes one appear like a religious bigot. Furthermore, a movie depends on a Director’s worldview. PK is a Raju Hirani movie, not an Aamir Khan movie.
4. More than Hindu themes, PK mocks godmen and babas. By protesting against PK, we end up owning the godmen and babas and their deeds. Do we want Hinduism to be known through godmen and babas or through the spiritualism and philosophical knowledge Hinduism possesses? Why should we feel bad if a godman is being mocked? The most recent baba in news – Rampal – used to preach against worshipping Hindu gods. All godmen are not pro-Hindu!
5. The Love Jihad angle is an exaggeration. Yes, PK is guilty of political correctness and shows that a Pakistani Muslim man can love an Indian Hindu girl without religion being an impediment – as rare an event as an alien visiting earth. But that doesn’t mean Love Jihad is being summarily denied. We need to highlight more Love Jihad cases so that it becomes part of the mainstream discourse. Instead of outraging, Hindus should be learning the art and telling their own stories through movies and other works of art.
6. And finally, Hinduism doesn’t censor art or philosophy. We have Kamasutra as well as Brahamcharya. We have allowed atheistic and hedonistic philosophies to work under the parent Hindu fold. Just like OMG: Oh My God was also an anti-religion movie but was consistent with the Hindu philosophy, PK too can be interpreted to consistent with our faith and beliefs.
Therefore it’s a futile battle. The mind space and resources should be devoted to doing other constructive work. PK is no threat or insult to Hinduism.
By protesting against PK, Hindus are making themselves appear like those stupid Muslims who protest against everything.