By Subhash K Jha
BOLLYWOOD: If reliable sources closely connected to Neeraj Pandey’s excellent anti-terrorism film Baby are to be believed the film has been unofficially boycotted by the Muslim community in some pockets as being being anti-Muslim.
A source close to the production house said on condition of anonymity, “We’ve noticed that our film has been perceived as being anti-Muslim by certain small sections . Yes the film has under-performed in certain areas though overall, it is already a profit-making venture for us with collections touching 70 crores in the first week.”
The source agrees that the hardhitting film about the human face terrorism has lost out on a section of Muslim viewership.
“We were very clear about out intentions. Neeraj Pandey was making an anti-terrorism film, not an anti-Muslim film,” says the source firmly.
A right-thinking popular Muslim writer in Bollywood with a vast deal of creative experience behind him says the more sensitive elements in the Muslim community need to stop taking terror attacks personally. “It is a matter of fact that most terrorists are Muslims. We can’t take that fact as shown in Baby personally. The film is against terrorism, not any particular community.”
The intrepid Kabir Khan who has made the hard-hitting film New York on terrorism demonstrates unalloyed contempt for intolerant elements in society. “The pockets of intolerant elements do not represent the whole community. Sadly the tolerant elements do do not stand up and speak out against intolerant. The liberal voice is always meek.”
Actor Imran Zahid who is Mahesh Bhatt’s protege points out a pertinent plot point in Baby. “How can Baby be accused of being anti-Muslim when the head of couner-militancy cell in Baby, played by Danny Denzongpa, is shown to be a Muslim?”