Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kamal Hassan’s Vishwaroopam as ‘Bhasmasura’.

Some quiet churning is happening in Tamilnadu over the Vishwaroopam controversy. We are witnessing some peculiar change of roles in the last few days. The until now die-hard supporters of Muslims have demonstrated to their Muslim friends that when it comes to their money, they would not mind to let them down; the Tamil people have demonstrated that their craze for cinema and matinee idols had not diminished a bit ever since DMK started nurturing it 40 years ago; Jayalalithaa is determined to see that she pulls out the Muslims completely from the DMK and make them loyal to her, but how Muslims of Tamilnadu are going to behave is something we must watch out.

At the outset I would say that the Tamil Muslims must have been genuinely aggrieved at the impact created in the film that their Holy book preaches them to go on war. Some people may not agree with me if I quote in this context the banning of Bhagawad Gita in Russia on the pretext that it instigates one to go on war. Gita was preached with the intention to make Arjuna to war with his own relatives. But that intention was no longer valid after the Mahabharata war was over. We don't look at that intention but look at the core preaching as a way to fight in the battlefield of samsara and against one's own innate nature that stifles our spiritual growth.

In the case of Islam, the jihadi elements in Koran are no longer valid in the present world is what we and Muslims must understand. That realization has not yet set within the Muslim community, with the effect that Islamic militancy fed by the jihadi indoctrination has become a challenge globally. Kamal Hassan has chosen to showcase it in his movie to an extent to make it realistic and appealing to his Western audience. In the process he has failed to foresee how this would be taken by the Muslims in his home land, whom he had previously petted well, against all sensibilities of nation's welfare.

A precedence has already been created by Harmony India with which Kamal Hassan is associated, when it stopped the exhibition of the paintings of atrocities of Aurangzeb titled "Aurangzeb – As he was" in Lalit Kala Academy in March 2008. None of the Muslim organizations which are now in the forefront of the protest against Vishwaroopam were even aware of that exhibition, but when the Prince of Arcot visited that exhibition, he grew angry for showing Aurangzeb in poor light and brought in these Muslim Organisations to protest. He, on his part used his clout with Karunanidhi, the then Chief Minister of Tamilnadu to stop that exhibition. (Read:- )

The atrocities of Aurangzeb were real and part of history. He was an invader who subjugated our nation. The paintings on show were not newly made ones, but taken from the old historical chronicles. The same exhibition was held in other metros before coming to Chennai, but no one protested in those places. But Harmony India which Kamal Hassan spoke about to express his solidarity with Muslims in the wake of Vishwaroopam controversy, was responsible for closing that exhibition.  If that was not cultural terrorism, how can Kamal term the present opposition to his portrayal of current events involving Muslims as Cultural terrorism?