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Mockery of Religion in Films? DT Note: Pg10 (Page 4)

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varaali

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varaali

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Posted: 11 September 2012 at 10:48pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by .Vrish.

Aside from that, I agree w/ Varaali's views on this.  I don't watch movies, but yeah, they'd be a lot less fast & loose w/ mocking religions other than Hindu.  I disagree w/ her a bit on Christianity, since throughout the West, the DaVinci Chronicles were freely shown, and all that Christian groups did were to appeal to their flock to boycott it, which is a perfectly legitimate appeal.  In India, that movie was banned only in a few states, making India the only country to go any length against an anti-Christian movie.


I have read 'The Da Vinci Code' - but not seen the movie and presuming the film was not too different from the book, I fail to see what was ' anti-christian' in it. Anti- Vatican, yes, but not anti- Christ.

Dan Brown does make some strong accusations against the Catholic Church, the Opus Dei, etc but he doesn't say anything blasphemous about Jesus himself. 

And that's where my comparison starts. All the furore caused was because Dan Brown raised some uncomfortable questions - not about the figure Christians consider God - but about the institution that represents God. If attacking the Church resulted in such strong reactions, imagine if someone  had made a satire on Jesus -say, when he was being nailed on the cross- imagine the reactions then.

But somehow, if some staunch Hindus raise objections to an indecent portrayal of our religious figures, we are branded  'fundamentalist' and ' regressive'.

If a Hindu Temple decides to impose a dress code for those entering its precincts  (several Temples in Kerala have such a code), this topic gets debated on prime time television (NDTV - Barkha Dutt's show) and the discussion immediately veers towards how antiquated and archaic are Hindu customs. Somehow, it just escapes everyone's notice that there is a dress code (for women, especially) when one meets the Pope. Forget the Pope, even while meeting the British Royalty, there are rules one has to adhere to with regard to dressing. And I am not even starting on restrictions in Islam.


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.Vrish.

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Posted: 12 September 2012 at 2:52am | IP Logged
I've neither read the book nor seen the movie, but from what I recall, it was mentioned in discussions about the movie that Christ actually married Mary Magdelena and their descendants are still to be found on earth today.  This violates basic Christian tenets, since the belief in all churches - be it Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant - is that Christ never married.  The Hindu equivalent of it would be if anyone ever suggested that Hanuman was married.  The reactions may have been different, but it still violated something pretty basic about Christianity.  Yeah, the rest of it may have been more about the Catholic Church, since the Orthodox Church was (and is) non existent in Italy, and Lutheranism was just getting started, but that too in Prussia.

But yeah, I agree that mocking Hinduism is tolerated all too easily.  They know that if they do anything even close to Islam, there will be fatwas flying about, and their plight would be the same as that of the Danish cartoonists, as well as Molly Norris.  That's in the West - in countries like Denmark and the US, so imagine how much worse it would be were it to happen in India.

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varaali

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Posted: 13 September 2012 at 7:28am | IP Logged
Originally posted by .Vrish.

They know that if they do anything even close to Islam, there will be fatwas flying about, and their plight would be the same as that of the Danish cartoonists, as well as Molly Norris.  That's in the West - in countries like Denmark and the US, so imagine how much worse it would be were it to happen in India.

Ah...ha...you spoke too soon. See the havoc "Innocence of Muslims" is creating. 

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Posted: 13 September 2012 at 11:23am | IP Logged
... and that movie isn't even out.  Actually, some think it's an agent provocateur doing it to undermine the credibility of those who have raised genuine concerns about Islamic activity in the West.  Like the issues I mentioned above.

Back on topic - in India, it's open season on Hinduism, in the West, it's open season on both Christianity & Judaism.  Essentially, one has a Left leaning militant Atheism movement on the march in both cases.  But somehow, they don't dare to do the same to Islam, for fear of retaliation from vigilante Muslim groups.

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visrom

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Posted: 13 September 2012 at 10:58pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by .anishaa.

Do you think it's okay to slightly satirize/poke fun at religion in mainstream cinema? Even if no harm/malice is intended?
 
What is your take on the portrayal of Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai? Are you okay with it or do you object? I noticed that the song/video parallels two views...whenever Kajol and the grandma are shown, they are devoutly doing aarti or are immersed in the divinity of the song. But when SRK comes onto the screen, it's almost as if we're seeing the song from the viewpoint of an agnostic/atheist. The tone of Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram is altered in such a way that it sounds mocking, and the hippie-style outfits of the singers make it seem that the writers wanted to make the bhajan/kirtan a subject of humor...Confused Idk.
 
 
It's not ok to poke fun at religion because it may hurt people. it is similar to this very forum where there was a big debate on a how much of freedom of speech is allowed.
 
We have the freedom to say whatever we like as long as our views don't hurt other's feelings. The feeling of hurt may cause retaliation and bashing and that's when the moderators have to step in.
 
Same way a song can be made the way the music director likes...well...it's after all music...he played Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram with a guitar and modern instruments in the background and to be frank if I take away the 'hippies on the truck' scene from it, the song actually sounds good to me. The visuals were sort of mocking the song...but did that song cause fights and communal riots? No. People felt bad, but no one filed a PIL and asked the censor board to remove that song.
 
I remember there was a song in the 1990s...some Sajnay Dutt song which said 'Ya Mustafa'...something...and that song was banned because it hurt people's sentiments and they filed a PIL.
 
If people had protested openly about Raghupati Raghav in KKHH at the time the movie was released, maybe we could have seen something being done about it. If the song didn't cause disharmony, why should someone step in and stop it?
 
 
About the character dheeela, let me first clarify that I am a staunch devotee of Lord Krishna.
 
The song says 'when Krishna does Ras Leela no one complains but when I do it, I am labelled a loose character'.  If you can step out and think impartially, the line is sort of valid. It's how you interpret it.  
 
Salman Khan in this case is trying to say it's not fair to label him a loose character. Not saying that Krishna is a loose character.  We all pray to Lord Krishna and HE doing Ras Leela doesn't stop us from praying to HIm. What Lord Krishna does in His personal life is not our concern. Same way Salman Khan says that even his personal life shouldn't be talked about...and people shouldn't judge his character on the basis of his personal life or how many girlfriends he has...and that's true. 
 
I am not justifying anything...just my views...I may not like a song or its lyrics, but I don't let a silly song affect me so badly. If people start filing PILs for every song that comes out, we'll not have any movies at all. Also Hinduism is very tolerant in such matters. Unless it goes to the extremes, no one really complains...minor digs at mythological characters are often ignored. (NOM to anyone...if anyone is hurt, I will delete my post)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Originally posted by Vedo


How often in films do we see devotees of Shivji all high on bhang and making utter fools of themselves?! And how many real devotees behave like this?

 
 
Sorry to say this...but I have seen this. There's this Bonalu thing in Hyd where there's a guy dancing and beating people with a whip...he's called Potharaju and Goddess Kali is supposed to possess him at that time.
 
Read this...
 
The man who becomes the Potharaju drinks and dances. My maid who stays next to the Potharaju's house says that unless he drinks he doesn't get the 'energy' or whatever...so they drink Confused. Some people consume alcohol in the name of God. It's sad...but true.


Edited by visrom - 13 September 2012 at 11:18pm

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Posted: 14 September 2012 at 12:00am | IP Logged
I actually don't have any problems w/ people making movies or songs that mock religion.  Either we grant universal freedom of expression, or we don't.  However, my only condition is that it should be equal opportunity mockery of any and every religion.  As has been pointed out, the same people who feel free to mock Hinduism, and in the West, Christianity or Judaism, wouldn't dare mock Islam, lest riots break out.  It's this double standard that I have a real beef w/, no pun intended.

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visrom

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visrom

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Posted: 14 September 2012 at 12:11am | IP Logged
Originally posted by .Vrish.

the same people who feel free to mock Hinduism, and in the West, Christianity or Judaism, wouldn't dare mock Islam, lest riots break out.  It's this double standard that I have a real beef w/, no pun intended.
 
I understand this point very well. There's a movie where there a terrorist was supposed to be arrested and he had to mouth the dialogue 'allah humare saath tha' when the cops questioned him for his action.
 
Originally actor Irrfan Khan was supposed to play the character who said this, but because the actor himself was a Muslim and his comment would be taken more personally by Hindus, the makers of the movie selected a Hindu actor to play that role.
 
Somehow it's often seen that any dig towards Islam is taken more seriously. Or rather the fear of riots breaking out/terrorist attacks because of this is more. Whereas someone pokes fun at Hindu Gods that fear is not there.
 
NOM to anyone, if anyone has a problem with my post, please let  me know I willl delete it.
 


Edited by visrom - 14 September 2012 at 12:10am

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Posted: 14 September 2012 at 12:18am | IP Logged
The song says 'when Krishna does Ras Leela no one complains but when I do it, I am labelled a loose character'.  If you can step out and think impartially, the line is sort of valid. It's how you interpret it.  

Actually, when Sukhdev narrated this to Parikshit, the latter asked him whether it was right of Krishna to do that.  Sukhdev replied, IIRC, that it's okay for a god to do such things but not humans.

Salman Khan assumes that Krishna is a human - which, given that he's not a Hindu, is not unreasonable on his part.  However, that's precisely where the analogy snaps.  While Rama has always been held up as Maryada Purushottam, the same has never been true about Krishna.  Without maligning Krishna, nobody takes the way Krishna lived as an example of how one should live, as opposed to Rama.  So for movies to suddenly take that route is completely uncalled for.

I also think people should avoid getting drawing analogies in religions they don't practice.  Salman Khan commenting on Ras Leela?  Can you imagine the firestorm that would break if any non-Muslim actor were to do something similar on Mohammed?  That guy's ass would be tossed in jail, and you'd have the entire state in lockdown.

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