Recently, two films ‘ Had-Anhad ‘ and ‘ Gay India Matrimony ‘ were withdrawn from the Ravenshaw University Film Festival in Cuttack, Orissa as the Right Wing Hindu students found both the movies to be against the Indian culture.
Shabnam Virmani’s ‘ Had-Anhad’ explores Kabir’s Ram and the politics of religion. Godhra incident and the Gujarat pogrom in 2002 shook her faith in religion and humanity and she began to read Kabir’s Dohe (couplets) to find answers to her questions that conventional religions couldn’t provide. Using Kabir’s non-religious and non-sectarian philosophy as a metaphor for universal unity and humanity, she made four films: Had-Anhad, Koi Sunta Hai, Kabira Khada Baazaar Mein and Chalo Humare Des.
Since Kabir took Potshots at Hindus and Muslims and criticised both the faiths for their obscurantism, today, he has become an eyesore to the followers of Islam and Hinduism. His current status, to use WhatsApp parlance, vindicates Iqbal’s famous lines, ‘ Zahid-e-Tangnazar Ne Mujhe Kafir Jaana Aur Kafir Yah Samajhta Hai Ke Musalman Hoon Main’. A few years ago, a Muslim professor at a university in Uttar Pradesh, called Kabir, anti-Muslim. Now, Hindus are also calling him anti-Hindu.
But the most disturbing facet of the whole episode is the anger, intolerance and displeasure shown by the ‘educated’ college students of a reputable university who’re fussing over Hindu Sanskriti, religion and culture.
That even colleges and universities have also become fertile grounds for growing religiosity, intolerance and ethnicity is a matter of grave concern.
Instead of having educated perspectives on all issues, students are getting ghettoised, religiously polarised and rabidly intolerant. This is not a good sign.
If you observe the behaviour of youngsters on all social platforms, their increasing religiosity is obvious. Hindu youngsters will wish you saying, nay emphasising, Jay Shri Ram or Jay Shri Krishna. This was not a trend until a few years ago. Now every young person is religiously supercharged. Hindus force Muslims to chant Jay Shri Ram. What used to be a favourite pastime of lumpen elements and rogues of both the religions, has become an acceptable trend among the students and city-dwellers. This is really sad and doesn’t portend well for the future.
A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world’s premier publications in several languages including Persian.
Courtesy: New Age Islam