Netflix, an American online entertainment media streaming company, released a trailer of its upcoming show Leila which is set to premiere on the 14th of June. The show appears to depict a dystopian future where Hindu nationalists have managed to capture the machinery of the state.
— Netflix India (@NetflixIndia) May 17, 2019
In the trailer that was released, a Hindu woman married to a Muslim has a daughter by the name of Leela. The daughter is taken away by Hindu nationalists because she is not ‘pure’ enough as she has a Muslim father. Then, the protagonist appears to have been sent to a state-sponsored re-education centre where people appear to be brainwashed.
The entire trailer is filled with Hindu imagery cast in a negative light. ‘Jai Aryavart’ is the slogan of this dystopian Hindu State where people are discriminated on the basis of religion is a state policy. The villains of the story, too, are shown wearing Hindu symbols.
The show clearly is blatant anti-Hindu propaganda with political motivations considering the current state of the country. ‘Liberals’ are suffering from ‘Modi Derangement Syndrome’ and the show appears to be a testament of the fact.
Quite predictably, people on social media were not pleased with Netflix and expressed their anger and discontent through their tweets.
Yet another propaganda to portray “Hindu men as bad”, “Hindu men as evil”, “Hindutva as Terrorism”.
I hope majority realize this self hate campaign Left is seeding in them. https://t.co/Ly7LY3Sus0
— Madhur चौकीदार (@ThePlacardGuy) May 17, 2019
Netflix India NPCs be like:
Sacred games= Hindu men bad
Ghoul= Hindu men bad
Leila= Hindu men bad
Coincidence??? I think not…
Peddling propaganda again. https://t.co/ZwnWJ1Bztu
— Prashant (@indianchan) May 17, 2019
This is a deliberate attempt by @NetflixIndia to brainwash the young Hindus against Hindu revivalism. People who would lose their lives just for painting ‘their’ prophet are insulting Hinduism everyday. Stop Hinduphobia!#BoycottNetflix https://t.co/5yC9HFArdt
— Advaita (@AdiShankaraa) May 18, 2019
It hurts to see so many “educated” people enjoying the release of yet another hinduphobic show while it’s these “secularists” who will protest of the story of those Pakistani hindu girls is made into a movie. https://t.co/Z3pBy3tSn1
— Aakriti Sharma (@tbmini) May 17, 2019
Others suggested that Netflix had basically made an Indian version of the Handmaid’s Tale, a show based on a novel that predicted a dystopian future in the West where women were subjugated by Western men.
Haha, They’ve basically made “Indian” Handmaiden’s tale, lol https://t.co/9dANoL7N8c
— Ananth Krishna Subhalaksmy Chittayal (@Ananth_Krishna_) May 17, 2019
— Divyansh Bahuguna (@DivyanshB08) May 17, 2019
Is this handmaid’s tale remake???? https://t.co/jtiVA9OjB1
— briani of tarth (@kuchhimau) May 17, 2019
Getting major Handmaid’s Tale vibes from this trailer https://t.co/LdBAUF3nbj
— a girl has no name (@NotThatRi) May 17, 2019
In Handmaid’s tale, “June, a fertile woman, lives as a concubine to a Gileadan officer and his wife. While she is forced to agree to their strict rules and conditions, she hopes to be free and reunite with her daughter.”
People have also expressed their disgust at Netflix for sullying the sacred name of Aryavart.
Demonizing Aryavarta, the sacred land of Vedic Hindus? https://t.co/ntK3I0dI7A
— Dauhshanti (@Dauhshanti) May 17, 2019
There’s also the distinct possibility that the show will have the polar opposite effect than what the creators intended. While demonization of ‘Jai Aryavart’ appears to have been an objective, the ancient name appears likely to enter the consciousness of the masses again and could become a rallying cry for Hindu nationalists.
Netflix has consistently displayed a tendency to cater to anti-Hindu narratives. After Ghoul and Sacred Games, this is the third show that demonizes Hindus. Leila has been directed by Deepa Mehta, Shanker Raman and Pawan Kumar. Based on the 2017 eponymous novel by Prayaag Akbar, it was written for the show by Urmi Juvekar and will star Huma Qureshi, Siddharth, Rahul Khanna, Sanjay Suri and Arif Zakaria.