Bollywood and its obsession with painting Hindus in a bad light is not a new phenomenon. However, adding a new entrant to its hall-of-fame of movies that deride Hindu characters is the Amazon Prime Video’s latest release ‘Sherni’ starring Vidya Balan, who is seen on the screen after a long hiatus.
The movie is essentially based on Tigress Avni who had turned into a maneater and was recorded to have mauled 14 people to death. However, the hunter named Asghar Ali Khan who actually killed Avni is conveniently turned into kalawa-wearing Ranjan Rajhans aka Pintu Bhaiya while, Vidya Balan, whose character is loosely based on the real-life character of Bindi-wearing IFS officer KM Abharna is given a Christian name and identity – Vidya “Vincent”.
It is interesting to note that nearly all the forest department officials, who just so happen to be Hindu, have been shown as corrupt and deceitful except one man named Hassan Noorani. The movie goes to great lengths to portray that Hindu officers are simply incapable and apathetic in doing their jobs, sometimes not even fit to continue in the office.
Sherni is self-indulgent, tries to muddle the plot unnecessarily despite having a clear-cut script out in the open. Most importantly, one cannot help but overlook the obvious and inherent bias of the creators. While the clueless viewers lap up Vidya Balan’s performance, what they seemingly miss is the subtle propaganda of Hinduphobia being weaved by the creators.
Rather than focusing on the story and making it the ultimate product, Sherni tries to play with the unconscious of the viewers with its Hinduphobic messaging.
Lately, the movies certified by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) have come under intense scrutiny from the public for pushing their anti-Hindu agendas. Taking a stand, the government recently brought in the draft Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and opened it to the general public for comments until July 2.
Read More: The government is coming up with a bill that will convert anti-Hindu laboratory Bollywood to a proper film industry
The bill draft seeks to grant revisionary powers to the government which enables it to “re-examine” films already cleared by CBFC. When the bill becomes a law, the cinema-goers who are miffed by the treatment meted to Hindu characters in movies like Sherni will be able to lodge a complaint and the government can pull the makers as well as the CBFC and dictate them to make necessary changes.
The rot in Urduwood has festered for long and it is high time that the lies and deceit of the industry be called out. Moreover, with the enactment of the new IT laws regarding OTT platforms, the likes of Amazon need to be called out as well.