Banning Movies Because of Religious Sentiment

PK Poster

Mid December last year (gosh, that sounds like a long time ago) I took my kids to the cinemas to watch a much-awaited Bollywood movie P.K. that starred superstar Aamir Khan. A few months before the released first-look posters caused quite a stir with Amir Khan posing stark naked with just a transistor radio to give him decency. Iโ€™m yet to understand why that caused a furore because he would have been less covered had he been wearing just a swimsuit.

Anyway, we went to watch the movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. There was a great life lesson in the movie, and I know this isnโ€™t going to serve as a spoiler, but the movie talked about something very important regarding religion. I guess those who wanted to understand the message in the movie did so without any problem and got on with life. The rest called for the movie to be banned or said it hurt their religious sentiments.

In his search for โ€˜Godโ€™, P.K. (that was the name of Aamirโ€™s character) gets dejected and no one seems to have the answers he is looking for. He does everything that is required of him but he still doesnโ€™t get the answers when he realizes that all answers are within. The message being given out, basically, is that look within you for answers, be a good person, realise that the strength lies in you and not others.

Iโ€™m so glad that my children watched this movie because on the way home, as we discussed it, I was glad to note that they had picked on the lesson themselves. They had rationalized everything and knew that it takes faith in yourself to create your positivity and not some โ€˜Manager of Godโ€™ who will tell you how to get rid of your problems in exchange for money and other silly rituals one might have to perform to get relief from the problem.

So Iโ€™m thinking, if my kids can rationalize like that, why canโ€™t grown ups, calling to ban the movie, think that way too? Calling to ban the movie because it has hurt religious sentiment is a bit silly. Is that how strong your faith in your religion is that you feel threatened by a mere movie that tells you to look within for all answers? If the movie is so upsetting, why go watch it in the first place, and if you are sitting in the cinema watching it, and itโ€™s upsetting you, why are you sitting in there watching it to the end?

I heard of people vandalizing and destroying cinemas in India as a mark of protest. IDIOTS! Is that what your religion teaches you? I thought religion was about love, respect, tolerance and forgiving? I was so happy to note that the Supreme Court in India refused to ban the film. If entertainment is hurting religious sentiment, then you go sit in your place of worship instead of watching the movie made purely for entertainment because you canโ€™t seem to put the two in their compartments.

No oneโ€™s religion is better than the other. No oneโ€™s โ€˜Godโ€™ is mightier than the other. There was nothing disrespectful at all about the movie, in my opinion, and I strongly suggest you watch it if you havenโ€™t. If you do not know how to control your religious emotions and get worked up at everything, then donโ€™t watch it. Stay where you are and turn to the chapter in your Book that teaches tolerance and throw away your need to be destructive.

I have enough faith in my Maker not to have to ask someone to perform miracles for me when life isnโ€™t going right for me in exchange of โ€˜donationsโ€™ or offerings. I have enough faith in the Word to realize with humility that I am getting back what I give out to the Universe. I know that my mission in life is to be good and do good unto others. When Iโ€™m suffering, I am not to go to a โ€˜Manager of Godโ€™ and seek help in getting life back in order but do my best to overcome adversities and apply logic to sort problems out. With the faith and belief that I can do it.

I also believe there is a God and that She has a great sense of humour too.

This column may have people wanting to destroy me, but then again, that depends on what their God teaches them. Have a great week.

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