I was a little benumbed whilst
watching this technically advanced, but socio-politically
regressive movie. Kamal Hassan has lied to all of us when he had
stated that this movie is his tribute to Indian Muslims & will
make them proud.
This movie had me even more worried than earlier!
The message propagated all through the course of this slick
production is basically – “One Good Muslim, All the rest - Bad
The hero, Taufik is an Indian Muslim who saves the world, whilst
the rest of the Muslims portrayed in the movie, are all committed
to destruction & mayhem, all in the name of their religion.
This is the state of the world – Vishwaroopam.
Yet, let me categorically state that I do not support any cuts, or
further censorship of the mobs, but will certainly strive to
counter this movie & all like it – intellectually & on the
ideological plane, where the true battle lies.
This movie also justifies the US wars & occupation of Afghanistan
in ways that even Hollywood would have felt ashamed of portraying.
All this for the NRI audience I would tend to venture. My first
opposition to the movie stemmed from the fact that the posters
prominently posited the infamous ‘stars & stripes’ in the
background & I knew that trouble was brewing. Mind you, the Indian
Tri-colour is far less prominent & even missing for the most . . .
so much for NRI nationalism, or for that matter that of the RNI’s,
the Resident Non-Indians, the chatterati where these communal
stereotypes hold sway.
And coming back to the movie, I have never ever seen so many
scenes of Namaz in any single film & there is certainly a
sickeningly strong overdose of Islamic imagery & the overwhelming
majority of it linked to negativity & violence. The movie is one
big screenplay of Namaz & Bombs, Namaz & Terror, Namaz & Violence.
I wonder as to how Kamal Hassan, who is also the scriptwriter,
thought that this would help the cause of Indian Muslims, knowing
full well what the community has been through for the past two
decades & more. The way the entire community has been ‘terrorized
by the terror’ & this has led to their further demonization &
More so, the script is deeply flawed, lacks intelligence & an
honest research. One would have tended to expect a little more
from Bollywood after certain good movies dealing with this genre,
such as ‘Dhoka’ (Mahesh Bhatt), ‘New York’ (Kabeer Khan),
‘Qurbaan’ (Saif Ali Khan), ‘My Name is Khan’ (Karan Johar &
Shahrukh Khan), ‘Agent Vinod’ (Saif Ali Khan) & last but not the
least ‘Tere Bin Laden’ (Abhishek Sharma), certainly the best
political satire in a generation. It also had a far more genuine
Bin Laden look-alike than the ones that appear in the CIA produced
All of the above movies were good honest efforts & there is a
common thread as well as a degree of intelligent sensitivity that
has gone into researching these scripts & directing these movies,
none of which faced any public opprobrium or ire, even though they
were far more complex than this ignominious, outrageous
ill-conceived prejudiced charade called Vishwaroopam.
Yet, I want no cuts here . . . . . . .
The two lines attributed to Rahul Bose, whom many of us consider
to be our own, are the most dangerous & misleading of all the
dialogues in the movie.
Rahul Bose, who plays Umar (alluding to Mullah Umar, the leader of
the Taliban, I would presume), is facing an assault on his
village. The Taliban have captured a few American soldiers & are
on the move. The US army, attack the village where they have been
led by a trace, with the help of Kamal Hassan, who plays Taufik, a
RAW agent. Taufik has infiltrated the ranks of the Taliban to rise
to be the ipso facto No. 2.
Wonder what the RAW itself has to comment here.
With the US helicopter gunships blazing away as they did in
Vietnam & Iraq, as they do in Somalia, Yemen & Libya - & hope to
in Syria - the Taliban are on the run.
Here Rahul Umar Bose makes a statement to assure his fellow
Talibani’s – “Don’t worry, the Americans do not kill women &
All I could think of in that Shakespearian moment was - “Et Tu
To what extent can an artist such as Rahul Bose sell himself, his
very moral intellect, is a question that he & many others need to
seriously ponder upon.
This dialogue would be considered ridiculous & even blasphemous by
the Americans themselves, who always refer to the deaths of
civilians as ‘collateral damage’, but Kamal Hassan in his willful
pandering has gone even beyond the worst in Hollywood.
Thus the movie further portrays the US soldier manning the
gunship, feeling sorry for killing innocents, whilst the Afghans
are all portrayed as dehumanized killing machines. I do not think
our immediate neighbours are going to appreciate this movie very
much. But who cares, our movies are a reflection of our skewed
foreign policy as it does appear. And the Afghans are not exactly
a market yet.
The second statement by Rahul Umar Bose is even more dangerous for
Indian Muslims & for all the secular activists who have stood by
the community as it was demonised, isolated & entrapped into the
false-flag terror attacks that we have witnessed since the
post-9/11 world. This was the phase of ‘controlled chaos’ &
‘unending perpetual state of wars’ - to use Neoconservative terms.
Here whilst talking to Kamal Taufik Hassan, Rahul Umar Bose
smilingly & nonchalantly mentions that “We were also involved in
the terror attacks of Malegaon, Bombay & other Indian cities”. In
the Tamil & Telegu versions, Coimbatore & Madurai are mentioned.
‘Good God!!’, I exclaimed to myself, even dropping my popcorn –
this movie is basically stating that the Taliban & Al Qaeda are
active in India & thus certain sections of the Indian Muslim
population are certainly enmeshed with the global terror network.
This will prove to be catastrophic in the subconscious perceptions
that tend to get ingrained deep into our reality.
This, Mr. Kamal Hassan, is going to be disastrous for Indian
Muslims & we can all assure you that.
But where is the research may we ask? Have you not heard of ATS
Chief Hemant Karkare, who even served in the RAW? Are you not
aware that since 2007 the role of the Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan
Sanstha in terror attacks across the country is being probed?
Particularly in Malegaon, Nanded, Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid,
Ajmer, Goa & another 10 more as per the statements of the Home
Ministry. Actually there are more than 16 recorded cases, but we
will leave that for later. All of which are further linked to the
right-wing Manuwadi Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)?
Are you really unaware of these facts? Are you planning to leave
the country, or had you already left India & were living in New
York & are thus so ill-informed whilst writing the script, which
lacks even an iota of honesty & responsibility?
And this is thus a question that we as secular activists must ask
ourselves. Many Hollywood movies with a geopolitical strategic
agenda are produced in tandem with the Pentagon, so as to further
the Imperial agenda of global hegemony & the advancement of the
The Zionist dominated Hollywood target & portray Palestinians &
Arabs in particular & Muslims in general as terrorists & fanatics
& thus these societies need to be invaded & civilized - & their
resources taken over for good measure.
This movie by Kamal Hassan in my estimation also certainly falls
in that category of disinformation & propaganda to serve the cause
of the Empire & to justify the wars, occupation & the genocide of
the Afghan nation, as well as the people of Pakistan. Thus not
even a fleeting reference to the drone attacks & the killings of
innocents, of women & children – thus & as to how it continues to
create & foster more & more militants & terrorists.
Then comes the part where there is a meeting between the
leadership of the Taliban led by Rahul Umar & Al Qaeda-Osama Bin
Laden. Here again I would request all those who have been taken in
by the recent supposed assassination of OBL at the staged
operation at Abbotabad, to read the excellent & well researched
book by David Ray Griffin - ‘Osama Bin Laden Dead or Alive?’
According to many honest experts, OBL has been dead since December
It is also time, actually high time, for the Indian peace movement
to address the issues of the 9/11 false-flag terror attack, which
has been central, seminal & defining moment of the 21st century,
changing the very trajectory of international politics & leading
to an era of wars, occupation & genocide.
Recently more than 12,500 police stations across America received
petitions by peace activists stating that the attack on WTC 1, 2 &
7 were an inside job & demanding that the investigation be
reopened. This movement is being spearheaded by more than 1700
architects & engineers & they have the support of many prominent
intellectuals, scholars, and human-rights activists,
whistle-blowers from within the CIA-FBI, as well as vast sections
of American society & the numbers are growing.
The reason as to why we will have to grapple with these issues is
that, I personally know of Muslim youth who have been quizzed
about their positions on 9/11, Bin Laden & Al Qaeda. The youth
have been perplexed & horrified & left wondering as to what a job
application in the engineering, IT & telecom sectors have to do
with their knowledge or lack off, on these issues. With Muslim
children who have tried to step out of their ghettoes & seek
admission in a multi-cultural milieu, being denied & told to go
back where they came from. Of Muslims being denied housing in
secular neighbourhoods. All these discriminative practices have
also increased in the last decade – thanks to the dominant
paradigm of terror.
Now, let us get back to the movie.
Soon after the carnage at Rahul Umar’s village, we are transported
into America. Here Kamal Taufik Hassan is working incognito
singing & dancing to songs written by Javed Akhtar (Lyricist), as
any good Muslim should be. Then a terror network begins to unravel
& here we have Rahul Umar now planning to explode a Dirty-Bomb
made of waste radioactive material, which the good Muslim does
foil, but after saying his Namaz! Whilst in the room inside
wherein lies the Dirty-Bomb, is a bad Muslim, an African-American
of Nigerian descent, busy offering Namaz before he is to blow the
city to kingdom come.
Herein lies another serious problem with this film & that is the
tarnishing of African-American Muslims as part of the global
terror network. In most Hollywood movies, they are sensitive
enough to portray the African American as the FBI boss, under whom
the White officers serve. But here the RAW agent is working with
only Whites, presumably Anglo-Saxon agents, whilst the
African-American Muslim, is in tandem with the Taliban. Another
case of out-sourcing I guess.
Yet again, Kamal Hassan fails in his research. The terror attacks
portrayed in the film have never occurred. Also the FBI has been
entrapping Muslim youth from various ethnic backgrounds & this too
is a documented fact. Since there are no serious terror threats to
America, the FBI actually manufactures them, as there is no other
way to justify Homeland Security & it’s vast gargantuan powers &
budget. FBI agents, informers, or ex-convicts working in tandem
with the FBI are sent into Muslim communities with an attempt to
create terrorists. During the course of the year, a couple of
youth, mainly with a criminal background do get entrapped due to
intensive indoctrination about the crimes of the American Empire
against their people. These youth are then further induced &
provided training to carry out a terror attack. Targets are
indentified, funds, bombs & ammunition provided & the day that
they do carry out the attack, they are apprehended red-handed. The
bombs turn out to be fake & so do the guns & that is how stupid
this supposed terrorists are.
This information is now available in the mainstream corporate
media & should have been studied by Kamal Taufik Hassan, before
trying to give the FBI a positive image in India.
This movie thus is basically a propaganda tool for the FBI, as
well as the US Empire. And now apart from Hollywood, they even
have some of the best known names from Bollywood to do their
bidding. I wonder as to how much of the financial backing of this
movie came from sources such as these & this question must be
asked in all seriousness.
The plot foiled, America saved, sorry, the world saved – Rahul
Umar & his Taliban cohorts decide to flee to – India for God’s
sake!! Thus we end with the inevitability of Vishwaroopam
Actually Kamal Taufik Hassan, might even consider shifting the
next locale to Qatar, where the ‘Good Taliban’ now have a
functioning office. Here they will all have ample security as the
US has a vast network of naval & airforce bases. (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2003-03/20/content_789607.htm).
So Rahul Umar Bose, the FBI-CIA & Kamal Taufik Hassan can actually
sort out all their problems there itself, without dragging India
into the picture.
But therein lies the threat, the clear & present danger to all of
us. You can imagine the next movie where Mullah Umar is in Mumbai,
or Delhi, maybe in Chennai (threatening Jajayalaitha for the way
she dealt with Kamal Hassan), or in Malegaon, or in Srinagar, or
Hyderabad, or in the Samjhauta Express, or in Ajmer. Thus taking
the blame for all the terror attacks, that now are alleged to be
the handiwork of the right-wing Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha,
as per the National Investigation Agency (NIA) & certain
Anti-Terror Squads (ATS).
And then, is Osama Bin Laden & his dreaded Al-Qaeda far behind in
The fear that it will instill amongst the ordinary masses of India
& the further fear & isolation towards which will be driven the
Muslim community is apparent to many.
The terror of the politics of terror . . . . . . .
Also a little sincere & not-so-secret advice to film producers,
directors, financiers & aspiring writers. In case you are sure
that your film (or a book) is going to bomb at the box-office, be
sure to include a few scenes that you may think may be offensive
to the emotions of the Muslim community. Then arrange a screening
prior to the release, even though your film has been cleared by
the censor board - & rest assured that a few Muslims will fall
prey to your trap & voila – you have your much needed controversy.
My sincere advice to the Muslim community is the following. Islam
is to great a religion for one book or a movie to harm our faith.
Let us overcome our insecurities & notice that the tide is turning
in our favour. The protests against the film have harmed the image
of the Muslim community, even more than Vishawaroopam was planned
to. We need to learn to ignore certain barbs hurled at us & do not
need to fall for the traps laid for us every time.
We have every right to protest & this is our constitutional &
democratic right. Our strategy should have been to evoke support &
call for a debate on the movie, whilst pointing out its flaws &
distortions. Demanding the cuts after the censor board had cleared
the movie, has harmed our image & further portrayed the community
as extremist & undemocratic.
The problem with Vishwaroopam, is that it has projected only a
miniscule part of the reality of the Afghan quagmire over a period
of more than three decades. But one cannot deny that today the
Taliban & their ilk, do represent a form of a vitiated, extremist
& a violent form of Islam. From the destruction of the Bamiyan
Buddha’s, to the attacks on schools & clinics, to the enforced
imposition of a regressive barbaric code on women, to the public
flogging & stoning, to the sectarian hatred & killings, to the
destruction of Sufi Mazar’s & the genocide of the Shia’s – all
this is being waged in the name of Islam. This cannot be denied by
any honest God-loving/fearing Muslim.
This form of extremism is indeed alien & against the very letter,
grain & spirit of Islam. Let us all stand up in unison & condemn
this debasement & defilement of Islam. This we really do not
venture into often enough – do we honestly?
In the course of the last 2-3 years, the truth about the terror
attacks is being revealed & this is due to the sustained struggle
of Muslim organizations, in tandem with our secular allies,
despite all the odds, with the entire media & dominant sections of
the Government-intelligence-security apparatus ranged against us –
but yet we have overcome all these odds. Now is the time to reach
out to all the communities that make up this great & dynamic
nation & expose the true facts of the terror networks that are now
being revealed. (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/joining-the-dots/1068448/)
If India is not to go the way of Pakistan, with its assorted
Lashkar-Frankensteins, then we have to put a stop to those
religious extremist forces that threaten to destroy the unity &
social fabric of our nation. Now after the statement by the Union
Home Minister, the tide has clearly changed in our favour & thus
let’s not undermine our struggle by isolating ourselves any
further by taking to the streets in the manner that we have & I
was personally both angry & ashamed at the public spectacle. There
is a certain degree of double-standards, intolerance & hypocrisy
within the Muslim community as well.
Also I would want to appeal here to all those who rightly advised
the Muslim community on the values of freedom of expression,
democracy & modernity. Kindly stand up, script & produce a movie
based on the charge-sheet filed by Hemant Karkare, in a movie that
can be titled ‘Bharatroopam’. I would love to see as to how many
takers there would be from Bollywood, especially all the ones
shouting ‘cultural terrorism’.
In terms of soft-targets, the Muslim community is far more of a
soft-target, than many film makers & writers.
Yet, I will not ask for a cut, even though both my mind & my heart
have suffered a few deep searing cuts.
This is because I have immense faith in the great legacy of this
country. I have great faith in the teachings of Krativeer Jotiba
Phule, Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar &
Shaheed Bhagat Singh. I have great faith in the people of India,
in our secular democracy.