One film critic remarks sarcastically that a time may come in Tamil Nadu when the censor board will question the movie director if there were no anti-Hindu scenes in a movie.
A video of a Tamil actress speaking at a function a few months back surfaced during the lockdown. The video was shot when the actress visited the famous Tanjore city for a shoot.
She found the Tanjore temple maintained well ‘like a palace’ but the local hospital to be in such a condition that she could not bring herself to speak, she said.
So, she wanted people to spend money on maintaining hospitals and schools. She stopped herself from telling people to divert the money meant for temples into hospitals and schools by adding a strategic ‘also’.
But what was evident was her depreciating the value of the ancient Chola temple and its ‘maintenance’.
It was an example of the typical Dravdianist pseudo-rational rhetoric – ‘what use are the temples?’.
Then, in an interview with another actor, the actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan spoke of Saint Thyagaraja as one who would be ‘begging in the streets of Tanjore while singing the praise of Rama’.
Using (by mistake or on purpose ) 'unjavrthi', one of the highest forms of ahimsa meant for the pious, for ‘begging for a living’, is yet another symptom of cultural illiteracy plaguing Kollywood.
Here, the context is interesting.
The actor wanted to differentiate himself from ‘art film’ directors who looked down at commercial films. Talking about the fact that he did not agree with them, he said that he was not like Saint Thyagaraja who could go ‘begging in the streets of Tanjore while singing the praise of Rama.’
Then he went on to say that a person like him would want cars, bungalow, fame etc.
The words came out wrong and with the history of him always deriving a perverted pleasure in attacking Hindu beliefs and culture while crawling before the Islamist extra-constitutional censors, the Hindus got angry, and rightly so.
Throughout the internet, Hindu anger towards these episodes is loud and clear.
Unfortunately, the anonymity and the sense of freedom which the internet provides bring out the worse in people. A significant number of comments on the actress crossed the line of basic human decency and violated the very Dharma which the internet warriors set out to protect.
Right from the Vairamuthu-Aandal controversy, a new trend has emerged where the female members of the other side are talked about in an obscene manner.
Nothing can be more injurious to Dharma than talking obscenely about women.
Those who call themselves Dharma warriors should remember one thing: when Draupadi was humiliated the Pandavas got her justice by fighting and winning the Kurukshetra war and not by disrobing the wife of Duryodhana.
That said, why have Hindus developed a short fuse suddenly, so to speak?
Actually, it is not a short fuse.
‘Kollywood’, as the Chennai film industry is called, has been a churning pot of anti-Hindu propaganda forces for a long time now.
Tamil writer and film critic Haran Prasanna, an expert on the subject, had made an important presentation on the subject at the 2019 Pondy Lit Fest and even since then, the instances of anti-Hindu propaganda in the Tamil film industry have increased exponentially, he says.
With his characteristic sarcasm, he says a time may come in Tamil Nadu when the censor board might question the movie director if there were no anti-Hindu scenes in a movie.
While other religions are treated with over-caution and respect, the Hindu religion is ridiculed at every instance.
Let us see a few examples of explicit and subliminal anti-Hindu messaging in Kollywood movies.
In the movie Kathala Kathala (‘Lover Lover’, 1998) Kamal Haasan and Prabhu Deva act as heroes. They organise educational sessions for street children in a locality.
The children and the heroes kneel down and sing a prayer. Then they get a rude shock to see their class room venue converted into a cow-shed by a religious Hindu who also happens to be a liquor merchant.
He asks one of the heroes (Kamal Haasan) to act as a handicapped person—who gets miraculously healed—for a public meeting to be organised a con-godman.
Now, in Tamil Nadu as elsewhere, that is a standard trick by Christian evangelists.
It is completely absent, if not rare, with Hindu saints.
In fact, even Sri Sathya Sai Baba who was known for his ‘miracles’ created a large hospital for serving the poor offering high standard medical services at low costs and often even free.
Yet, in the movie the fake healer is shown as a saffron-clad Hindu sadhu who heartlessly swindles money from the parents of children and stops them from going to hospitals.
Consider also the hit movie Mozhi (‘Language’, 2007). It normalises anti-Hindu behaviour.
The hero and his friend are shown to be totally secular. They come to their apartment drunk. Then the friend (played by Prakash Raj) vomits in front of a religious Hindu’s house. The house of course belongs to a Brahmin.
The Brahmin’s anger at the drunkard vomiting in front of his house is shown as comedy.
If you are drunk and vomit in front of a religious Hindu’s house and if that Hindu gets angry, that is comedy.
Then, when the hero’s friend wants to marry a Christian girl who is also a widow, the girl’s family insists that the marriage should happen in a Church (implying conversion).
The hero’s friend normalises this by stating ‘some people marry under the sea, some people marry above in a plane, this is only in a church and so I have accepted.’
The movie Manmadhan Ambu (Arrow of Manmadha, 2010) was produced by Udayanidhi Stalin – son of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) supremo.
Haasan was the lead actor in the film along with Madhavan.
In the movie, Haasan himself wrote a song as a prayer of a woman to the goddess Varalakshmi.
The woman prays for a man who satisfies her physically and wants him to clean her bodily fluids after intercourse. Then she tells that to get such a husband she is even ready to get converted.
In the end, she asks the goddess about the latter’s husband ‘who is always sleeping’ and then says the goddess is lucky if she indeed got a husband who is truly so as described in literature.
The song was calculated to hurt Hindu sentiments. But it had crossed a line and so much so that even the passive Hindus of Tamil Nadu pushed back. The Hindu Munnani, a Sangh organisation, organised protests.
In a rare victory for Hindus, Haasan had to eat humble pie and removed the song from the film.
In a message release to his ‘fans’, he said that the song had already been sanctioned by the censors and had already been broadcast three times on Vijay TV, a private satellite channel. Yet, as he did not want to hurt the commercial interests of Udayanidhi Stalin, he had to withdraw the song and he would not have done it had it been his own movie.
Such was his hateful attitude towards the Hindus.
The usual apology for such acts is that people who are ‘truly spiritual’ would not be hurt.
In reality, true spiritual persons would be detached but would fight against all forms of hatred. And these kind of selective attacks on Hinduism indeed constitute hate propaganda.
Haran Prasanna points out how anti-Hindu memes get smoothly inserted into movie scenes.
In a recent movie Raatchasi (2019), the actress who spoke disparagingly about the Tanjore temple, played the lead role of a principal in a government school.
The principal wants the doors of a room open and she says that these are the doors of the school where all are welcome unlike the temple doors where only a few are allowed.
In the anti-Hindu stream that is constantly running in Tamil movies now, there are also the anti-technology and anti-Modi streams getting merged.
The loony-left anti-vaccine brigade also is dominant in Kollywood.
In Aram (2017), vaccines are shown as ‘crueler than snakes’. The director explained this thus to a crowd of adoring and unquestioning journalists: ‘I kept that shot to show that even a snake does not harm when it is a child but the vaccines kill the child.’
So, the Hindus have not suddenly developed a short fuse. On the other hand, the very long fuse of Hindu patience that had been slowly burning over the decades is reaching the detonation point.
Ideally, a Hindu response would be to create an alternative to Kollywood and recapture the industry. But whatever the kind and quality of the reaction, the blame should be squarely on the hypocritical, anti-Hindu elements that seem to have hijacked the Tamil film industry.