Incident: Aamir Khan’s under-production movie titled PK, directed by Rajkumar Hirani has a scene in which a man dressed as Lord Shiva [is] pulling a rickshaw in which two burqa-clad women were sitting.
Here is the media report on the incident:
locals objected to a scene in which a man dressed as Lord Shiva was pulling a rickshaw in which two burqa-clad women were sitting. The man who was dressed like Lord Shiva was intercepted by a mob which had gathered on the spot. A policeman who was on patrol duty also inquired about the matter and the three actors were taken to Kotwali police station, said a police official. The actors told police that it was a dream sequence of the movie and they had all the legal documents and permission for shooting.
An FIR was subsequently lodged against the movie team including the director Raj Hirani and lead actor, Aamir Khan.
What is to be noted here is the manner in which the film crew cleverly sought to obfuscate the real issue–the nonchalant insult to Lord Shiva, a God revered and worshipped by millions of Hindus worldwide.
This incident is reminiscent of similar insults to Hindu Gods, icons, and symbols by the deceased painter, M.F. Hussain and the hypocritical media-intelligentsia-academia nexus that sought to defend his deliberate insults. One also wonders why the PK team did not pick Islam’s holy figures for such cavalier caricaturing. Indeed, the answer is quite evident. The answer again takes us back to M.F. Hussain’s movie named Meenaxi, which he withdrew because some Mullahs and Imams objected to a lyric/dialogue that they deemed was insulting to Islam.
This is not the first time that Bollywood has indulged in mindless caricaturing of various elements of Hinduism. Whether the intention was deliberate or harmless is beside the point. The key element is that they don’t extend the same courtesy to other religions, which makes it both hypocritical and cowardly. It appears as if only Hinduism is the soft target.
It is clear that Aamir Khan and the crew of PK thought nothing about insulting Hindu Gods in the most derogatory fashion. We wonder whether Aamir Khan and company would have the guts to film the scene in question with the roles reversed: the Burkha clad women pulling the rickshaw with Lord Shiva seated at the back.
IndiaFacts verdict: The team of PK including Aamir Khan and director Raj Hirani have indeed insulted a Hindu God and need to apologize and/or face legal action for this insensitivity.
IndiaFacts also supports the people who have filed the FIR against this insult to Hindus.
Sandeep Balakrishna is a columnist and author of Tipu Sultan: the Tyrant of Mysore. He has translated S.L. Bhyrappa’s “Aavarana: the Veil” from Kannada to English.