Whenever a new TV series is released on Netflix and Amazon Prime, I see various trends on Twitter where the TV series is presented to be anti-Hindu. This can be found out in cases of several films that are released recently. This can be witnessed in the TV series like Leila, Ghoul, Paatal Lok, and the recent TV series Betaal. Watching such trends often I used to wonder if there is a need to highlight such a thing. This has been the case not only in the case of movies and TV series only but in the case of books, art, and news as well.
I often used to think that movies, TV series, novels, etc. should be solely regarded as a source of entertainment and one must not look for any hidden or subtle meanings in it. Earlier in my regard even in the series where Hindus are shown in the bad light, one must always look at the positive aspects and positive messages from the movies or series. It must not be used to demonize the movie or series. However, books and art must be considered to be the source of knowledge and any wrong information or message must be criticized solely by experts.
However, my thoughts changed considerably when I got to read an article titled “‘Ghoul’ and the Spectre of Totalitarianism” in Economic and Political Weekly by Vivashwan Singh. I had watched Ghoul as a simple horror series based on a dystopian future. I had noticed some religious overtones in the same which presented Hindus, army, police, and the government in a bad light but I had completely ignored it as it is based on a dystopian future and has no relation to today’s society. I had also seen such trends to boycott Ghoul and had read some articles that highlighted it’s Hindu hatred portrayal.
The author of the article tries to find several meanings into the series and link it to the current scenario and paint a bleak future of India. In this article, the author also adds various issues like rising nationalism, Islamophobia portrays Urban Naxals as a myth, and how the series takes on these issues and states that the first few minutes of the series unleash some of the bravest filmmaking you will see this year. Further the article goes on to highlight how the series raises issues on the crackdown on Intellectuals, cow smuggling, branding terrorists, anti-national, silencing critics, and various such topics and tries to connect it to the current scenario.
Similar such articles have also appeared on various websites where the writers have eulogized certain TV series, movies, books, writers, personalities, etc. even when they ooze Hindu hatred to the core. Such articles have also criticized several movies that were with a nationalistic fervor with words like militant nationalism, ultra-nationalist, militant Hindutva, etc. Hence it becomes necessary to point out and call out such articles, movies, TV series, books, art, which are Hinduphobic to the core.
With the advent of the Internet, now movies, TV series, books, novels, etc. are not only confined to the people who watch the movies and TV series. It has become widespread as nowadays one can easily see memes, GIFs, Images, etc. that contain movies and TV series dialogues. Apart from that, short clips of movies and TV series are shared as status on social media platforms that have a wider user base. The neighboring nation can also be seen peddling such videos and images to peddle fake news and spread animosity among the people of the country and exploit its fault lines.
The medium which is considered to be the mirror of the society must be looked through to inform the people of what they are fed in the form of entertainment. To display the true picture of the society, the mirror used to show the image must be plane and free from any defects. In case there are any such defects, the experts must highlight it and only then the viewer can know whether the image displayed is the mirror is his real image.
When one section of the society is hell-bent on finding out the subtle meanings into the films and even the filmmakers are portraying their agenda into the films to criticize one section of the society the other section cannot be a mute witness. Hence after reading the article, I concluded that the films, series, art, and literature must be thoroughly investigated and analyzed by the critics. The public must also be informed about such hatred portrayed where the portrayal is far from reality. This will help them learn about the hidden agenda that is being driven consciously and subconsciously into the minds of the people.
This will help the viewers get informed about what they are fed in the name of entertainment and how it is wrong on so many levels. In this way the users can make an informed decision on which movies/series to watch and what to keep in mind while watching the series laden with propaganda. This will also help the Bollywood filmmakers get an idea of what the people want to see and what they do not want to see. These will also act as checks and balances for the industry as to not make such content with biases in the future.