If there is one thing to learn from the upcoming web series Leila, it is that Hinduphobia is no more a subtle, hushed up propaganda. It is now out in the open, brazenly and shamelessly peddled in the face.
Starring Huma Qureshi, Rahul Khanna, Siddharth Narayan, and Arif Qureshi, ‘Leila’ is the story of a woman Shalini, who is searching for her girl in a ‘dystopian state’ of Aryavart, where purity is the ultimate law. Having survived an attack by the Aryavart followers, she is out on a quest to know where her daughter is. Whether she makes it or not is the crux of the whole story.
Though this is based on a controversial book written by Prayag Akbar, Leila is basically a guide on how not to make a good web series. Zero originality, with the plot lifted straight from the far more popular web series ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. From the trailer itself, the audience knows clearly what they’re in for.
Aryavart is a venerated concept in our traditional culture, where the influence of Bharat is not just within the country, but also in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia etc as the list goes on. To reduce this noble dream to the status of a cruel, dictatorial regime is not only atrocious but also nonsensical. However, it seems that blind hatred for the Sanatan Dharma is a prerequisite for joining this web series.
This is not all. The Sanatanis have been shown as some of the cruelest, vile people, who love to divide and rule. They not only create ghettos for people according to the basis of caste, religion, and income but also assault people brutally if they tend to flout the rules, as in the case of Shalini, whose husband is murdered and her daughter abducted for having married outside her religion. Isn’t this an obnoxious attempt to justify the retarded concept of Hindu terrorism?
However, going by the profile of the director, it seems that this is not the first time the Sanatan Dharma has been ridiculed and jeered at in such a disgusting manner. Deepa Mehta, who is at the helm of the series, is well known for having earned the wrath of the Sanatanis with her repulsive films ‘Fire’ and ‘Water’. The outrage against ‘Water’ was such that the film, originally to be created within India, was ultimately shot in Sri Lanka.
Interestingly, some of the acting crew are also associated with absolute Hinduphobia, be it Siddharth Narayan, who jeered at PM Modi for visiting the holy Kedarnath shrine, or Huma Qureshi, who had initiated the notorious Placard campaign in the wake of Kathua rape case along with Sonam Kapoor, Swara Bhasker, Kareena Kapoor etc in order to shame the entire Sanatan community for a case with ambiguous details.
As such, it comes as no surprise if they wish to show their pathological hatred for the Sanatan community. Besides, Netflix India is well notorious for having provided to such projects beforehand as well, be it ‘Sacred Games’, or ‘Ghoul’. It is now up to the audience if they wish to lap it up, or reject it as they did with projects like ‘Ghoul’, ‘Why Cheat India’, ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha to Aisa Laga’, and even ‘Milan Talkies’. In propagating Hinduphobia, Leila does not even try to be subtle.