Archive for February, 2008


If Kabir Khan in Shahrukh Khan starred Chak De India puts question mark on the loyalty of the Indian Muslims towards Indian nation, here is Zaid Ahmad Khan (ACP), a true, secular, modern Muslim struggling to prove his credentials of being a loyal citizen towards India. Mukesh Bhatt’s Muzammil Ibrahim starred ‘Dhokha’ or ‘Betrayal’ is the Bollywood’s latest offering that raises several questions about Muslims and their identity in India. Coming for the first time out the rhetoric of his fluffy musicals, Mukesh Bhatt’s Dhokha tries to get to the bottom of delicate question of Hindu-Muslim antagonism. Dhokha displays the actuality of terrorism and its endless costs. As someone has rightly remarked partition is an unending process, beginning of the cultivation of categorical Hindu and Muslim dichotomy, the process that was instigated with partition. After 60 years of partition, there is a continuing dilemma on the subject of Muslims constituting 16% of the total population in a Hindu majoritarian state.                       Muslims in Dhokha are symbolized as misguided, disloyal other worldly communities that have taken other form of living to retaliate namely world celebrated term jihad (holy war). Zaid Ahmad (Muzammil Ibrahim) a true Muslim nationalist, police officer is suspected of his fidelity towards Hindu India. On the night of a lethal bombing at the New Century Club, Mumbai, Zaid helps the horrified victims in the blast. Zaid affirms of donating blood to one of the injured supposed to be a Hindu. The dilemma mounts when the father of the injured repudiates to receive any aid from Zaid as he would like to see his daughter dead rather than letting the blood of a Muslim, a traitor, perfidious creature to flow in his daughters veins. Though the film progressively engages itself in denouncing the people who spread terror in the name of religion and tries to find out reasons for the root cause of terrorism still it doesn’t provide the solution to Islamophobia that’s deeply inculcated into the psyche of general masses. When the media reports about the blast without investigation jihadi group compulsorily is supposed to take the take the responsibility. In an interview with Anti Terrorist Squad head Raj Mehra (Gulshan Grover) it is made clear that Jihadists or Jihadi Sanghathan by referring to Muslims are responsible for the Blast. How often do we   see naxalites being termed as Jihadists? By referring jihad without any inquiry involvement of Muslims becomes necessary. Islam is seen as equivalent of jihad and Muslims as Jihadists thus terrorists as for the mainstream goes. Muslims are shown as community never to be believed, as they can be betray at any instance “yeh qaum Jo hai in ka koi bharosa nahin kabhi bhi kisi ko dhoka desakte hai bloody traitors”.  When Zaid, an honorable police inspector is enquired of his wife’s involvement in the blast, a question that rises in mind is can a Muslim be an Indian?                            

         Zaid till now respected, trendy, dedicated young Indian Muslim abruptly falls in an ambush of proving his dependability as true Muslim Indian police officer. He is typified as person who has a bit commonnality with Arabs “hindi samajh main nahin aati Arbi (Arabic) main samjaoon”. There are two sections of Hindu’s represented in Dhokha. First is the section who believe in Zaid’s innocence despite knowing infidelity of his wife. This section supporting a Muslim is branded as pseudo liberals, pseudo secularists by the opposition. The other group has always remained suspicious of the Muslim loyalty towards India. Their terminology for Muslims appears to be as terrorists, treacherous (jis thali main khate hai usi main chedte hai).         

        At the end even it is shown how the injustices done to person can transform human beings into human bombs. The question that will remain is why only Muslims have to prove their loyalty towards India. There can a bad Hindu, but she/he is never labeled as anti nationalist. Like Hindus, even Muslims have struggled and strived for the independence of India.