It seems that Kangana Ranaut cannot afford the luxury of a solo release for her upcoming movie: ‘Manikarnika’. The official trailer for actor Emraan Hashmi’s new project, ‘Cheat India’, has just released on YouTube. Directed by Soumik Sen, this movie is based on the cheating mafia that is rampant in states like UP, MP, Bihar etc.
Told through the perspective of one such shady conman, the movie is slated to release in theaters on 25th January, the same day as ‘Manikarnika’ and possibly Hrithik Roshan’s next project, ‘Super 30’. The trailer has been received positively by netizens, with over 1.5 million views and counting as of now on YouTube. The movie highlights how the cheating mafia works in India, as told through the eyes of one such kingpin.
However, as evident from the posters, this is yet another movie, that reeks of the vicious Hinduphobia that elite Bollywood is way too notorious for. The protagonist, i.e. Emraan Hashmi, plays the role of Rakesh Singh, who not only sports a tilak most of the time but also worships the Hindu deities, as evident from both the poster and the trailer.
Through such a portrayal, the makers wish to send a subtle message that devout Hindus indulge in such nefarious activities, and it is quite for normal for any Hindu to do such a job. Given that Emraan Hashmi is known for such roles, and he has also tried to glorify the likes of Muhammad Azharuddin in the biopic ‘Azhar’, this is not entirely surprising at all.
Also, this is not the first time that a movie has tried to portray the Sanatan community in a negative fashion. Elite Bollywood has been a regular offender when it comes to portraying Hindus negatively, from the earliest examples of Sukhi Lala in ‘Mother India’ to the more nauseating examples of characters like Tapasvi Maharaj in ‘PK’, Raghav Chetan in ‘Padmaavat’ etc.
One needs no rocket science to understand the blatant Hinduphobia that most of the elite Bollywood wishes to shove down our throats. From the infamous placard campaign on Kathua case to the atrocious campaigning in the run-up to the Hinduphobic drama ‘Mulk’, you name and Bollywood has done it. Even in the upcoming Rohit Shetty flick ‘Simmba’, the villain, as played by Sonu Sood, is a devout Hindu Brahmin, who not only sports a tilak but also wears a ‘Rudraksh’ pendant, commonly worn by the Brahmin priests.
Curiously, the filmmaker, Soumik Sen, is also a man without a clean profile. Having wrote screenplays for forgettable movies like ‘Anthony Kaun Hai?’ ‘Ru Ba Ru’, ‘Hum Tum Aur Ghost’, the ex screenwriter made his directorial debut with the ultra-feminist ‘Gulaab Gang’, starring Madhuri Dixit in a loose portrayal of the social activist Sampat Pal, the leader of the controversial ‘Gulaabi Gang’.
Interestingly, Soumik Sen was also one of the accused in the Me Too campaign, when actress Chandrai Sarkar and another actress, who wished to stay anonymous, accused him of sexually harassing them and sending them lewd messages. Not only did Soumik remain mum on the entire issue, but even Emraan Hashmi also refrained from saying anything about this issue. Is this not hypocrisy? However, going by the attitude of the people behind ‘Cheat India’, it looks like the makers haven’t learnt anything from the fate of movies like ‘Mulk’ and ‘Manmarziyaan’.
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