SS Rajamouli's Baahubali now has a religion and it is decidedly Hindu

The twitter trickle isn't a trend yet. But wait till somebody like Subramanian Swamy wakes up to the potential of the blockbuster as the 'national film' of the imaginary kingdom of Hindutva.

Sandipan Sharma July 16, 2015 10:21:44 IST
SS Rajamouli's Baahubali now has a religion and it is decidedly Hindu

Bajrangi Bhaijaan could divide the Hindutva trolls like never before. Signs of the impending trouble are hidden in Twitter tamasha around Baahubali.

'#Baahubali is the answer to all anti-Hindu Bollywood crooks. That is why the media don't cover it. It is the best ever & based on Hindu epic!' exults @pragnik (Narendra Modi follows the handle) with the kind of triumphalism that will make Kalakeya's roar in the film sound like a pet's purr.

Marcus Antonius prescribes the "pure Hindu film" to every Hindu with family, especially kids.

Some want the 'Hindu' film to be tax-free. Why should the benefit go only to anti-Hindu films? they wonder. Others see in the box-office collection of SS Rajamouli's blockbuster a victory in the perennial Us v/s Them battle, lesson for 'moron' leftists, Aadarsh Liberals and people like Aamir Khan and Rajkumar Hirani who apparently insult Hindu gods.

So, Baahubali now has a religion. It is decidedly Hindu and a slayer of its opponents.

Here are a few of the many tweets that are hailing the 'Hindu' film Baahubali.

 

The Twitter trickle isn't a trend yet. But wait till somebody like Subramanian Swamy wakes up to the potential of the blockbuster as the 'national film' of the imaginary kingdom of Hindutva.

For the Hindutva trolls, Baahubali is indeed an opportunity blessed by none other Shiva himself (as another Twitter bhakt claims to justify its monster success). It's cast, producer, director, technicians, music director (look, Ma, No Khan) gives them an opportunity to beat the Hindutva drum.

For a species immortalised by Chetan Bhagat as bhakts who are sexually frustrated, linguistically challenged and have deep-seated shame about being Hindu/Hindi speaking, this is a rare chance to get back by proclaiming the greatness of its religion and epics.

Never mind the fact that art has no religion and the artist's only dharma is to rise above biases, bigotry in the pursuit of creativity. Never mind the fact that every culture and religion has benefitted from stellar contributions from people of all faith, following and geography. Would 'O Duniya Ke Rakhwale' and 'Man Tarpat Hari Darshan Ko Aaj' have been masterpieces without Mohammad Rafi and Naushad? Was the Taj Mahal made only by Muslim astisans?

SS Rajamoulis Baahubali now has a religion and it is decidedly Hindu

Prabhas in Baahubali. Screengrab from YouTube trailer.

And never mind the fact that Baahubali is a work of fiction and just borrows from the Indian mythology, just as it does from the story of Moses and the works of non-Indians like JRR Tolkein, Peter Jackson and James Cameron.

Baahubali has been influenced by artists and art across the world and only a blind 'bhakt' would insult it by apportioning the film on religious lines. To claim the collective work of a generation of writers and writers as their own is the defining credo of a plagiarist -- and many a Hindutva cheerleader has been accused of intellectual theft -- and of someone who is an intellectually inferior. Baahubali and its team doesn't deserve such moral and cultural debasing.

The Hindutva trolls, it seems, are still in a sulk because of the success of PK. They haven't yet come to terms with the fact that the film was a mammoth hit, in spite of their ill-informed rants, misguided protests and mis-directed poster-burning. PK was an epic smackdown of superstition and rigid beliefs that are the bane of every religion. It is still a mystery why only the Hindutva brigade took it personally. Perhaps, Baahubali's success has given them an opportunity to soothe their battered ego.

But dividing cinema on religious lines is fraught with danger. Up next for release is a film starring Salman Khan and directed by Kabir Khan. What if it succeeds on the box-office tomorrow and shatters Baahubali's record?

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Hindutva trolls have already thought of a valid explanation: It is all because of the blessings of Bajrangbali!

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