My journey!

As I journey through time, here I present a small peak into what I think and experience!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Khuda Ke Liye

The first reason for my wanting to see the movie 'Khuda Ke Liye' was that it was a Pakistani-made movie. Secondly, I somehow got to hear from a couple of people of it being wonderful and a must-see. Finally I got to see it today and it helped me come back to my blog. First impressions, go and watch it! Its about fanatism, hypocracy, religion, culture, narrow-mindedness, innocence, evolution and more. All the above are as seen through the eyes of the various characters in the movie.

Fanatism: There is this Maulana who talks about Islamic principles and fundamentals. Islam does not allow music or poetry and its a sin. Alcohol, indulgence in women, smoking, drugs are something that have dreaded influence on oneself while music or poetry can destroy a multitude of others. Growing a beard is a sign of respect towards Islamic culture. The Maulana influences a particular youth whose born in a progressive well to-do family in Pakistan. From being a lover of music and using rationale/logic to live the modern life, he is transformed into a fanatic consumed by the influence of the Maulana's words. He is forced to commit Jehaad (fight to protect one's own religion and identity), establish the supremacy of man over woman by forcibly impregnating her and some others that go against the basic tenets of any religion. These instances highlight how religious leaders can blind young impressionable minds to become fanatics holding the Damocles sword of protectionism.

Hypocrisy: The Dad of the female protagonist despite living for long in Britain and himself living a live-in with a white lady forbids her daughter from marrying a Christian but instead wants her to marry a Pakistani male so that he can ensure that his progeny continues to be Pakistani. He betrays the way his own roots have developed and changed. However what makes him change so drastically was unclear to me from the movie. A person storming his hotel one fine day warning him not to bring shame to their religion by allowing his daughter to go scot free with a 'Gora' brings the drastic change in his thinking? How foolish can that be? May be, the internal shame of betraying one's own caste and the fear of ridiculed by his society may have led him to his dubious thoughts.

Religion: How religion is forced upon us is evident from the fact that the female protagonist is taken to Pakistan and is married off against her wishes in the name of religious blasphemy. Time and again, religion is invoked to commit atrocities and crimes.

Culture: The movie brings out beautifully that culture and religion do not necessarily go hand in hand. Culture is a way of life while religion is your beliefs. True that you should live what you believe in but there is a distinction which I cannot throw much light upon myself!

Narrow-Mindedness: The way some Muslims, in particular, the elder brother of our heroine's legal husband, is treated/suspected post 9/11 by the US Federal Agencies shows how narrow we tend to think sometimes. Its not just the Americans but this is true universally. Just because an inscription found in his taweez happens to have the numbers 9 and 11, he is suspected to be involved in terrorist activities and connected to the America's most-wanted terrorist group.

Innocence: Despite the seriousness of the topic, the hidden innocence of humans is brought out well through instances where the heroine laughs her sadness and enjoys the small moments of playing with the children, their giggling together and the hero protesting to kill in the name of religion or God.

Evolution: The movie also portrays the progressive Maulana who debunks many myths associated with Islam and with wonderful rationale helps the disturbed youth to come out of the quagmire that he got himself into.

Other than the thought-provoking theme and immense possibility of better acting by some of the actors in the movie, some of the quick takeaways are the beauties to adore (read heroine of the movie!), subtelity in handling the topic, the tenacious relationships between people and more. The more I see Pakistani women, the more my opinion strengthened that Indo-Pak partition must never have happened and what crime the erstwhile British rulers committed!!