Referring to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register for Citizens (NRC) as unconstitutional, Bollywood entertainer Swara Bhaskar in a conversation with The Wire employee Arfa Khanum Sherwani indulged in fear-mongering and said that not only is the new law ‘unconstitutional’ but also ‘lays foundation of Hindu Rashtra’. In the conversation, Bhaskar lies about the implementation of CAA and NRC and states how those Hindus who are left behind in NRC will get ‘back door entry’ through the CAA. While in reality, the CAA does not affect Indian citizens and it is a law which fast tracks Indian citizenship of persecuted religious minorities of three neighbouring Islamic countries, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Hailing the other Bollywood entertainers who are speaking against the law, Swara said that the film industry cannot be leading any movement. “Despite many in Bollywood speaking against the law, there are many who are supporting. When government calls them to take a selfie, they will go,” she said.
Speaking on influence of politics in the films, Sherwani questioned Bhaskar on how the “agenda of ruling party is being mixed with films like Tanhaji” and the films are pitted against each other like Tanhaji vs Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak, is “building perception” against a particular community. “Is film industry a part of political agenda?” Sherwani questioned. To this, Swara said that knowingly or unknowingly Bollywood has let itself used for propagating ‘Hindutva’ project. “I’m not sure if Bollywood understood it or not but BJP has used the film industry very smartly. I think the Nagpur headquarters of the RSS is writing some of the scripts of films. Some Bollywood people are working as a horn to further the ‘Hindutva’ narrative. If you see any of the historical made in past five years, look at how the Muslim king is represented in Bollywood and see how Hindu kings are portrayed,” she said.
“Muslims will always be shown in black clothes, dark lighting while Hindu kings would be shown in bright lights, colourful clothes. This is extremely shameful and dangerous,” she said. She then alleges that these films are way too far from the historical facts. She alleges that the portrayal of barbaric invaders like Mughals is deliberately done to paint the Muslims in bad light.
“It is a strange Hindutva fantasy of a Muslim villain which the Bollywood is propagating through the historical films which are factually incorrect,” she said. Furthering her hate against historical films which showcase the barbaric behaviour of Mughals and other Muslim invaders, Swara said that through the “propaganda historical films”, we are making our kids ‘jaahil’ (uninformed) and ill-informed.