After a long stint of coming together, this year, Ramzan Eid has come much earlier than Ganesh Chaturthi. Eid is being celebrated on 19th of July this year. All of us are very excited and looking forward to the amazing food we get on that day. Another thing everyone is looking forward to Salman Khan’s Eidi – Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
Now, normally I do not blog about a movie unless it is a review about it. But this movie has captured my attention and I am actually waiting to watch this movie. Salman Khan’s gift to his fans on Eid is a movie in which he plays a Ram Bhakt. Where else can you find a better example of Religious Unity than this? I loved the gesture. On the day of Eid, Kabir Khan directed “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” will see Salman Khan wishing Eid Mubarak by saying “Jai Ram”.
Celebrities are taking up social responsibilities seriously. Here, I am ignoring all the “accidents” that has happened “on the way”. For so many years, calendars have been giving us this message of Cultural Unity by making Eid and Ganesh Chaturthi fall on the same day. Now, this year, the gesture is coming from one among us, a celebrity with a huge fan following.
On the flip side, the movie already created a lot of ruckus on the wrong side because of the exact reason. TOI ran an article a few days back saying Kabir Khan and Salman Khan were receiving threats because of the movie. Salman fans are threatening to boycott the movie because of the Hindu reference given to the star. On similar lines, movies like PK, Dharam Sankat, and Oh My God! also created such similar issues with religion. When PK was released, people from all the religion created issues stating they were hurt by the way the movie was portrayed. Rajkumar Hirani replied back saying he just intended to create awareness that Religion is not a stamp of identification, rather just something created out of ideologies and faith.
Movies like these are made to open our minds to the concept of religion as a whole and not to separate or distinguish one religion from another. Salman Khan playing Ram Bhakt in a movie directed by Kabir Khan should not create questions as to why a Muslim is playing a Hindu God Devotee during a Muslim Festival. Instead it should be on the lines that someone is respecting another religion by portraying it on the large screen as a celebration of a special occasion. Celebrities are going beyond religion and race and portraying a picture of unity in diversity. Such movies show us that we are not so much different from each other in spite of the difference in culture or religion. This begs an open minded thinking which is required among us today.
As shown in PK, we are not born with a particular religion. There are many people who are born in one religion but later get converted to another religion or become Atheist by choice for any number of reasons. This just goes on to show that religion is not permanent. There is but One God in different names. Bollywood is trying, by its many movies, to show us the same thing. It does not matter which God we pray to, what language we speak or which part of the country or the world or even planet we are from. It all converges and goes to the same source of origin. All that matters is how much together we can be in spite of all the difference that we have.
“The great lesson is, that unity is behind all. Call it God, Love, Spirit, Ishwar, Allah, Jehovah — it is the same unity that animates all life from the lowest animal to the noblest man.”
– Swami Vivekananda (India’s Mission, 1896)