The verdict is out! the Lal Singh Chaddha boycott call has worked amazingly. These two statements must be sounding cynical and that too coming from a big Bollywood fan, right? But the thing is that when you realize that until now you have been sold dedicated propaganda by the left in disguise of entertainment, such joy coming from negative news is not surprising at all, at least not for me.
Prior to a year or so, I was not all for boycotting anything, be it movies, news channels, products or any damn thing under the sky. I thought that this boycott call on social media doesn’t work in a country where 135 crore people are living and each of them has their own different choices. But, when I saw the mouth publicity or in other words social media publicity of The Kashmir Files movie that did wonders to the movie, for the first time I believed that social media can affect people’s choices as well and too positively.
Hence when the Lal Singh Chaddha boycott was called, somehow deep in my mind I was sure that it will work this time. To be honest, even if there was no call for any kind of boycott of the Lal Singh Chaddha movie, I was not going to watch it in any case. Why? Because like many others, for the last few years I have been fed up with the same old storytelling or lack of any story in almost all the Bollywood movies, and nowadays for a staunch Bollywood fan like me, going to a theatre to watch a movie has not been an attractive thing at all.
Even The Kashmir Files, I watched three or four weeks later after getting positive reviews of it, or in other words, when I heard what actually been portrayed in that movie, I was ready to watch it. I liked the boldness of Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri in unveiling the truth of Kashmiri Pundits’ genocide before the Indians that was kept under the dark for almost three to four decades. Being a movie fan and sometimes critic as well, honestly the movie was below par.
But, many like me who know a thing or two about movie making and storytelling, praised The Kashmir Files and furthered the mouth publicity so that in the interest of the nation the movie should be watched by as many people as possible despite the storytelling wasn’t up to the mark or the movie had plenty of loose ends. Why? Because many like me have already understood the agenda of the left-liberal Bollywood ecosystem to show Hindus in bad light in most of the movies produced in one way or the other so this time the counter-ecosystem was needed and it should be propagated.
I strongly believe that The Lal Singh Chaddha Boycott call is not against the movie and not against Aamir Khan but it is against the ecosystem that has been active since independence that has mocked Hinduism every now and then and forced Hindus to believe that what they are showing is correct. I come from the previous generation and honestly speaking our generation was so innocent when it comes to facing the left-lib agenda that we couldn’t understand it.
For our generation going to watch a Hindi movie in a theatre was nothing short of a celebration. Most of us were never used to watching the first-day first show or watching each and every movie that is released because our parents’ economic situation wasn’t allowing us to have that luxury. So maybe once in a month or in two months, we used to get a chance to watch a movie, and that too with a condition that it should have at least one superstar like Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, or Jeetendra otherwise there would be a big no from father as the money would be wasted.
So, whatever little chance we got to watch movies during those days our main aim was to get entertained and to accept whatever is said on the screen in the bargaining. There was no sense within us that in many movies what is shown is not entertainment but it is an agenda. For example that why has there always been the pundit or pujari is always a person with lust in his eyes, and why a baniya is always a corrupt person? All three belong to the Hindu religion, very rarely there has been a villain shown from a different religion in a Hindi movie during those days.
After the late 1990s, things changed dramatically, showing Hindus in bad light became a habit and came naturally for Bollywood moviemakers. The prime example of this is Shah Rukh Khan’s movie ‘Main Hoon Na!” where a Hindu has been shown as a terrorist. How convincingly this movie has shifted the terror agenda towards Hindus when we all know that there has been not a single proven case of terror against Hindus anywhere in the world.
Even when Aamir Khan’s PK was released or Akshay Kumar’s Oh My God (OMG) got released, our generation enjoyed and in a way supported what has been preached to Hindus in that movie. But since then things have started to change drastically fast. The emergence of Narendra Modi at the center has somehow injected pride and self-confidence in Hindus. I strongly believe that the amount of Hindu awareness we are witnessing now is only because of the change of guard in Delhi and subsequent events like the Ram Janmabhoomi verdict and the removal of articles 370 and 35A from the constitution that happened after that.
Previously Hindus were happy keeping silent over the continuous injustice in different ways because the governments at that time were busy with minority appeasement, but ever since they are seeing that the current regime is favorable to them while not doing any injustice to other religions their confidence has risen and they are now more vocal about demanding their basic rights and injustice happening to them. Of course, no Hindu will agree that justice to him should not come due to gross injustice done to other communities.
So, after such a change in the mindset of Hindus, including me, we started to understand that PK and OMG were part of that propaganda that Hindus should be shown those things that make them feel small. As PK suggested to Hindus that your Bhagwans are lost somewhere and are not accessible, or OMG suggested that only Hindus are wasting milk and other things in their religious beliefs and they should feel ashamed of that. Yes, these two movies did show token opposition to other religions’ negative side on these points, but their main focus was on Hindus only.
Then came an era of web series and what Bollywood was still afraid to touch till now, these web series boldly start to execute and that is mocking Hinduism and make fun of Hindu gods. You will find a great number of examples of such mocking of Hinduism and Hindu gods but let me give you one example from a web series Tandav. If I recall correctly, in the very first episode, there is a scene where a ramleela has been performed, and Hindu gods were insulted. Not only that there were some casteist comments as well.
Tandav is just an example, there are many such web series available across OTT platforms where you will see that Hindus are shown in a bad light or their gods are mocked. After understanding the ‘real message’ the movies like PK and OMG have given, Hindus were already becoming boiling pot and these web series just pressed the trigger button, and from then on Hindus on social media have been extremely critical about what is shown by the Hindi entertainment industry.
I would repeat strongly that the Lal Singh Chddha boycott call is not against the movie and not because of what Aamir Khan showed in PK because, after PK, Dangal became the biggest hit of Aamir Khan’s career. This Lal Singh Chaddha boycott call is because Hindus are now fed-up with continuous insults thrown to them and their gods by Bollywood and they want Aamir Khan to understand this. Hindus now want a complete overhauling of Bollywood. By successfully making The Kashmir Files one of the biggest successes of Bollywood and now with Lal Singh Chaddha boycott call’s success Hindus have almost decimated the left-lib ecosystem of Bollywood.
With Lal Singh Chaddha failing miserably at the box office, Hindus have sent a clear-cut message to the who’s who of Bollywood that don’t mock us, our religion, and our god else you will see more and more Lal Singh Chaddhas at the box office. We don’t want any other religion also to be mocked as well, in other words, we demand equal respect for all religions. Your primary job is to entertain us so stick to that. Yes, if you want to educate us through entertainment, nothing likes it.
The same ecosystem is crying right now and saying that many people’s livelihood is attached to a movie and by executing the Lal Singh Chaddha boycott perfectly the Hindus or the rightwingers have badly affected those people who are part of the movie. The business of Bollywood that I understand is that the loss-makers due to the Lal Singh Chaddha boycott are not the makers of the movie, nor those lights, camera persons, or floor managers who come from a humble background but the exhibitors. The fact is that the movie was already sold to the exhibitors and OTT platforms through a proper channel way before its release.
Movie exhibitors are businessmen and they know that they can compensate for this loss through another movie in the future so they must not be panicked as they have seen many such ups and downs in past. The same crying ecosystem, although in minority has given one or two stars for their reviews of The Kashmir Files and the recently released movie Rocketry, because these movies were pro-Hindu or pro-nationalism. According to this ecosystem, nationalism should not be shown in an Indian movie, and if shown it is hyper-nationalism only. So when they do the negative publicity it will not affect the livelihood of those that were attached to these two movies, but when a majority of a huge nation like India opposes and boycotts a movie on ethical grounds it will affect a small number of people.
After this huge shock given by Lal Singh Chaddha boycott, I expect that the Bollywood biggies will sit together and decide what is better for them and for their industry which has been loved by one and all even before India’s independence. I sincerely hope that in the next year or two movie watching will again become a thing to forget all the pain and sorrows in our personal lives and not a medium to hurt our personal feelings and faith.
Until we meet next time it’s Avjo from my side!
13th August 2022, Saturday