I must thank my good friend who pushes me to watch movies that I do not want to patronize otherwise. That is how I saw Haider and now PK. If I were to write a critique without first going through the material, I would have been wrong, isn’t it?
Now, let us ask the same questions of Messrs Amir Khan, Raju Hirani and Associates. Did they do diligence and fact finding, gather opinions and advice, information and knowledge before they scripted and made a big budget movie using which which they mocked Hindus, their icons and their practices such as:
- Donations to temples,
- Religious Gurus/ Sadhus,
- Idols and other representation of God through images,
- Abhishekam of Shivalingas,
- Going to temples,
- … and the list goes on.
Let us see what Messrs Amir and Associates showed and what they could have found out just by grazing the surface on these matters. The same information can be found by those Page 3 “celebrities” who want their 15 minutes defending these blokes and by the pseudo seculars who seem to have caught a new breath on this.
Donations to Temples
A box opens and out pour oodles of cash and riches. The scene wishes to show that temples are flush with funds from donors and somehow these go to the coffers of “managers of religions.” It is true that some temples raise a large amount of funds and donations but those funds are managed by recognized Temple Trusts and in many cases the Government directly. In fact, it is a major grouse that these funds of major temples are taken by the government and put to causes opposed by the devotees who donate. Examples of Temple Trusts are the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. (Now, could we ask regarding the role of Government in the management of funds generated at non-Hindu places of worship?)
A majority of temples are actually the labor of love of communities, priests and devotees. I personally know several independent groups of people who have dedicated majority of their personal resources and entire lives to the cause of building a temple in the community. The temples thus built serve as socio-cultural and religious nerve centers for the community and only good comes from these. I never saw any preacher create terrorists at these temples, just devotees bowing to the Deity in faith and prayer and the priest facilitating them in their demonstration of reverence. Why do Messrs Amir and company in their movie repeatedly degrade these 3 constants of every temple; the Hindu devotee, the Deity/ Idol and the Priest?
Religious Gurus/ Sadhus
Religious Gurus and Sadhus are shown only as fraudsters and “wrong numbers.” While it is true that there are quite a few charlatans, it is also true that their followers are equally to blame. They lead themselves to demagogues when they seek such people for instant gratification through the solving of material, earthly problems alone. If a player buys lottery tickets for a fortune and expects the religious Guru to win him the grand prize, who would you blame if the prize eludes the player? If someone loses his pod, is it the job of the temple priest to find it? Ok, PK was an alien and did not know better. But should Messrs Amir and company not known better and should WE not know better? Messrs Khan and company, did you try to understand the basic tenets of Hindu faith before you made a movie around it?
We should logically question the intent of making such a movie by Messrs Amir and company. Also, if we skim just the surface to clear the fog created by our own ignorance, we should see the highest standards with which Hindu Gurus, saints and sages have behaved over centuries and the high esteem they deservedly command even today.
Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheshwara, Guru Sakshat ParaBrahma Tasmaishree Guruveh Namaha.”
Gurus occupy an exalted position in the path of Spirituality. Seek your right teacher as you may seek God. He is not an agent of God but a true and honest path to God. Guru is the one who dispels the darkness of one’s ignorance through Spiritual wisdom.
Wish we all would spend some time to read and understand religion and not learn it from the likes of Messrs Amir Khan and Bollywood Associates!
Idols and other representation of God through images,
Ghazni came to India and said what Amir said in the movie, that idols are foolish. He broke the idols with swords and Messrs Amir and company broke the faith and reverence contained in them. You would jump if a representative flag of India was desecrated and the law would take you into custody if you did not deal with a flag as as prescribed. Why is it so? It is after all only a symbol. Think!
Why is then Shiva’s (who the Hindus consider as the prime force) representation shown in a scared actor and why are idols and images of Gods treated with disdain throughout the movie?
I do not want to start counting the insults made to the belief systems of Hindus and I am saying those beliefs that do not hurt another soul. Put a depiction of God on your face so that people do not hit you and put a depiction on the wall so that people do not pee! You deserve to be hauled to court Messrs Amir and Associates. You would certainly know what would happen to you if you tried your tricks with articles of faith of another religion.
You did not even skim the surface of available information to find reasons for the Shiva Abhishekam or for Murti Sthapana. The intent seems was to be derogatory to Hinduism and Hindus. The sources of funds for these kinds of movies needs to be thoroughly probed. It is a serious matter for the nation.
Abhishekam of Shivalingas
Messrs Amir Khan and Associates have no business charging 3 times for movie tickets and popcorn and condemning watered milk offered for Abhishekam by devotees. The cost of drinks such people pour on themselves could provide pure drinking water to millions of people. How about that! Or the properties that they own could be sold to house many thousands of families... These are not just hypocrites but act like people with an agenda funded by dubious means. There is not art or creativity in their product. One can discern easily between having some fun even at the expense of religious beliefs but downright contempt and propaganda should not be encouraged.
Many Hindus are ignorant about their own religion and traditions. Borrowing a quote from a friend who says that “Their pseudo-secular mentality is a cover up for their ignorance. And, Ignorance is Bliss.”
As Hindus, we should know that it is easier to picturing the God with form before realizing the formless. Pooja is a manner of worship taught to us by our sages to bring forth spiritual good, simply. Mantra Chanting, Abhishekam, yagnas, offerings of fruit and flowers bring spiritual mood and thoughts in a devotee. The ever wandering mind is steadied and focus stays on the spiritual. The prescribed steps in a pooja have spiritual significance and devotees are best served by adherence. Some are dismissive of following the rituals of pooja because they believe that they can achieve the same goals through meditation. However, even our God realized Gurus, as quoted in our old texts, performed Pooja and Yagnas. The fact is that the same Goodness or Godliness can come from rituals as well as meditation but it is best if both are practiced.
Going to Temples
“Joh Darr Gaya, who Mandir Gaya,” you say. Really Messrs Amir Khan and Associates. Who are you speaking for? Is that why you went to your own religious pilgrimage? Temples are our sanctuary, where we get spiritual comfort and are able to focus our devotion.
Hindus go to temples for many reasons and some of those have been explained above. Yes, to overcome fear may be one of the reasons, some of the times. However to brand temple goers only as scared, stupid souls who are blatantly superstitious and dogmatic shows more your own ignorance and darkness within.
Please stop your preaching because now we believe that what you do is a charade to make more money. You are acting like the same charlatan poser of a guru who takes money from the pockets of his devotees. You charged us heavily to see your movie. You rake in big bucks from selling coke and other such stuff and then charge crores for your tears in Satyamev Jayate. I hope that your brand is thoroughly damaged now and in the future you do not consider anti-Hindu projects as a way to make another fast buck.
Dear Readers, I am no religious scholar and am only saying from my limited knowledge. Would Messrs Amir Khan and Associates not have known what little we know and if they did not know, could they not have found out before plonking big money on a big film? Or did they have an agenda? Think.
Please consider reading the Bhagwat Gita, especially focus where Shri Krishna shows his Viswroopa to Arjuna. Read about the Bhakti movement, which is all about faith and reverenace. Let there be genuine questions, debate and discussions, for Hinduism encourages that. Even good spirited kidding about things religious is great. However, being contemptuously derogatory of articles of Hindu faith (that harm no soul), done purposely and with a foul agenda needs to be discouraged.
I am not apologetic for my views nor do I feel less of an "intellectual liberal" for voicing my opinion as is. Quoting a friend,” No one, however brilliant, or well informed, can come to such fulness of understanding as to safely judge and dismiss the customs or intuitions of his society for these are the wisdom of generations after centuries of experiment in the laboratory of history.”