Home ] Up ] Water ] Hey Ram ]


The  film from Mani Ratnam ,Dil Se, is doing a roaring business. His earlier offerings like Bombay, Roja were also great hits. Ideologically, this producer of 'sleek' and 'deadly' merchandise is getting worse with each new movie. He cannot move away from his pet subject--terrorism and terrorists. Initially, one gets the impression that the director does not know whether to sympathise with the terrorists or to condemn them. However underlying this contrived ambivalence is a very disturbing factor. In films like Roja, Bombay or Dil Se... the terrorism is just a pretext to talk about the minority communities. In the first two hits the target were Muslims, in the latest hit, so appropriately called Dil Se..., the target has expanded to include Buddhists and Christians. In Mani's ouvre minorities are invariably shown in poor light. Let's begin with Roja, a film based on the militant movement on Kashmir. Of course, the Kashmiris, in this context Muslims, are portrayed as violent and aggressive people. One can question the basis of this conclusion, but even if one were to accept it, Mani would like to convince you that if at all Muslims are also victims it is largely due to their own mistakes.

Then comes Bombay, in which Muslims, repeat Muslims, are aggressors. If you thought that the Great Communal Massacres of Bombay (December 1992-January 1993) were planned and executed by Shiv Sena and their allies, and stand as burning example of sheer one-sidedness of a communal pogrom, Mani Ratnam would disagree. He would also not agree that a nexus existed between the Hindu fundamentalist outfits and Bombay Police. Nowhere in the film such 'banal' truths are admitted. Shiv Sena comes in for no condemnation. In fact the Police is shown working under graet stress and very upright. Even if Mani were to remake Bombay today, after the publication of Justice Shrikrishna Committee Report on Bombay riots, his treatment will not be any different. Senior police official VN Rai's recently published study showing that in all the communal riots 80 percent of the victims are Muslims and even a larger percentage of those kept in detention happens to be Muslim, would still be ignored in Mani Ratnam's Bombay.

Now let's come to Dil Se...The terrorists of Northeast come to the capital or go to Ladakh. Why of all places Ladakh? Because the people inhabiting this region are not Hindus, but Buddhist. The Ladakhis are shown as mere spectators and sometimes providers of shelter to terrorists. When these terrorists move down to Delhi, they are shown roaming around the streets thickly populated by Muslims. A link between the terrorists and Muslims is suggested in this way. What is the intention behind showing the terrorists of Northeast in Muslim localities?

The use of locales and faces to convey what he doesn't want to say directly is an attempt at 'subtlety'. It is a concession to the 'educated' and 'liberal' opinion and sensibilities, which would find it difficult to stomach an open espousal of communal prejudice. It is also aimed at those great admirers of 'middle cinema'--the film critics--who need some ground to promote Mani Ratnam as a 'modern master'. Masses in any case are, according to a filmmaker like Mani Ratnam, ignorant and will lap it up.

The question of human rights is dismissed in one single shot, where an army officer glibly justifies the shooting of a terrorist saying that terrorists plant bombs in schools. The rules and norms of civil society are treated with great disdain. That's not far from what the VHP and its drumbeaters say: "Whatever the decision of the Supreme Court, the temple will be built." The rule of law is for trivial issues and not for dealing with issues that concern the Indian society and its heritage of composite culture and brotherhood. If Mani Ratnam has made this film Dil Se...(from his heart) to spread hatred, this piece of commentary is one from the heart of the people who stand by the ideas of universal brotherhood, friendship and non-violence.


History Manipulation
In Education
In Sports
In Militery
In  media
In Science

HINDU ,Dalit, Muslims, INDIA , 

Fascism, Nazism, GenocidesHuman rights

Indian fascism :Intro,Myths, Organizations, Cultural Fascism,Babri Masjid, Bombay Riots , Role of Govt. 

Images  Posters  Cartoon  Audio & Video   News & Events  What'sNew E-Zine About US

Discuss The Topic Further On Our Public Bulletin Board 

To subscribe our newsletter and to get future update notifications, Join our mailing list! Enter your email address below, then click the button

1 Add this page to Favorites * Share it with a Friend : Make it your Homepage!

Your suggestions  will keep us abreast of what do u like to see in these pages.

FAIR USE NOTICE: Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers. This Web contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making these available in our efforts to advance understanding of human rights, democracy and social justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a `fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use these copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond `fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Last updated: February 23, 2000 .