Hindu Extremists Call For Boycott Of Laal Singh Chaddha, A Remake Of Forrest Gump, Because Its Producer And Lead Actor Is Muslim
Hindu nationalists are calling for a boycott of a new Hindi movie named Laal Singh Chaddha that is based on Hollywood blockbuster Forrest Gump, by one of India’s leading superstars, Aamir Khan. The reason is that he is a Muslim.
‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ is expected to be one of India’s biggest films this year as 57-year-old Khan is among the Indian industry’s most bankable actors having produced money-spinning blockbusters over decades.
Ahead of the film’s August 11 release, the Internet is awash with clips from an interview with Khan from 2015 in which he talked of a growing “sense of fear” at increasing Hindu extremism saying his then-wife, who is Hindu, contemplated leaving India.
“She fears for her child. She fears what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day,” Khan had then said.
In recent weeks, over 200,000 tweets, many from supporters of India’s ruling Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have been shared calling for a boycott of the movie with the hashtag #BoycottLaalSinghChaddha.
“Aamir Khan married two Hindu Women, yet named his kids Junaid, Azad & Ira. [Hins Hindu co-star in the movie] Kareena [Kapoor] married a Muslim & promptly named her kids Taimur & Jehangir,” wrote one tweet. “That’s enough reasons to boycott Lal Singh Chaddha, basically a production from Bollywood’s Love Jihad club.”
Critics say the world’s most prolific film industry and its stars have been gradually changing their output to fit the government narrative since Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a BJP leader, came to power in 2014. This year, a movie titled ‘The Kashmir Files’ about the fleeing of Hindus from Kashmir in 1989-90 saw incidents of people in cinemas calling for revenge killings of Muslims.
School children In Gujarat Refuse To Eat Meals Cooked by Dalits; Principal Says Families Do Not Want To Abandon Casteist Thinking
Nearly 150 school children in Gujarat state’s Morbi district were reported to have refused to eat meals cooked by a woman belonging to a Dalit caste, which is the lowest category in Hindu society and has been discriminated against for centuries.
The students who refused to eat the meals cooked by her belong to what are known as the Other Backward Caste (OBC) that are intermediate castes in the rigid hierarchical Hindu caste society. Under Indian law, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of caste, especially against Dalits who have long been considered “untouchable.”
Afterwards, state officials held meetings with the OBC children’s parents and school officials, including teachers. The school’s principal later said the problem was the children’s parents did not want to abandon their anti-caste practices.
Allegation That Muslims Caused Flooding In Assam Is False, Accused Tell BBC
The Muslim community in Assam state has faced sustained attacks from Hindu extremists online and in the news media who have falsely accused the Muslims of being responsible for devastating floods that hit India’s north-eastern state of Assam in May and June and killed 192 people.
Nazir Hussain Laskar, a construction worker who was jailed for nearly 20 days on the false charges of “damaging” a river embankment, told the BBC he had, in fact, built embankments for 16 years working for the government. Although no evidence of his involvement has been found, social media users have falsely claimed that he was part of a group of Muslim men who deliberately damaged flood defences.
Laskar’s arrest with that of three other Muslim men triggered a barrage of social media posts accusing them of supposedly waging a “flood jihad.” These posts were shared thousands of times, including by prominent influencers with verified accounts. The claims were then repeated by some local media outlets. When in prison, Laskar saw a television news channel accusing him of “flood jihad”.
“I was afraid and could not sleep that night. The other inmates were talking about it. I thought I might get attacked,” Laskar told the BBC.
“There is no such thing as ‘flood jihad’,” said Ramandeep Kaur, superintendent of police. “In earlier years, the administration would make a cut in the embankment themselves to drain the water out. This year it wasn’t done, and some people took it into their own hands.”
“A lot of these [embankment] breaches take place because of the lack of repair and maintenance,” the BBC quoted Nirmalya Choudhury, an associate professor at the Jamsetji Tata School of Disaster Studies in Mumbai, as saying.