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Akshay Kumar starrer Sooryavanshi slammed for Islamophobia

The movie is created on the narrative of ‘Good Muslim’ and ‘Bad Muslim.’ The film turned out to be a success but it is also attracting immense criticism for once again vilifying Muslims that many commentators believe will further stoke religious conflicts in India.

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Bollywood film, Sooryavanshi, has landed in hot waters for promoting Islamophobia. Indian commentators believe that director Rohit Shetty has taken on the anti-Muslim trope herald by right-wing extremists Hindu in India.

The movie is created on the narrative of ‘Good Muslim’ and ‘Bad Muslim.’ The film turned out to be a success but it is also attracting immense criticism for once again vilifying Muslims that many commentators believe will further stoke religious conflicts in India.

Akshay Kumar is a leading cop in the movie with other A-list celebrities Ajay Devgn and Ranveer Singh making special appearances in the movie as the cops. The team then comes together to bust a supposed terror attack planned by the ‘Islamic’ terror organization in Mumbai following the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

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The practicing Muslims with visible identity markers like beards are offering prayers and are shown as terrorists meanwhile, Muslims serving Indian public institutions with no visible identity markers are depicted as ‘good Muslims’- the version acceptable in India.

Pakistani celebrities and several Indian media outlets slammed the Bollywood stars and the team for putting up the movie that will further stoke anti-Muslim sentiments in India at a time when persecutions against Muslims in India are high. Such content will further reinforce stereotypes and hatred for the Muslim community.

Read more: Bollywood and Hindu Nationalism: A tale of two old allies

Bollywood once again promotes Islamophobia

Pakistani celebrity, Mehwish Hayat, also spoke on Twitter and called out the movie for once again targeting Muslims. Bollywood movies are watched by millions of people worldwide hence the messages they carry leave a strong impact regarding reinforcing and building narratives on audiences.

“Sooryavanshi” is the latest film in Bollywood promoting islamophobia. The tide is turning in Hollywood & I hope that across the border they will also follow suit. As I’ve said, if not positive depictions, at least be fair in the way that you show Muslims. Build bridges not hatred,” said Mehwish Hayat in a tweet.

Rana Ayub, a strong critic of PM Narendra Modi, said that “One of the biggest films that are making waves in Indian theatres, is yet another exercise in criminal Islamophobia that seeks to normalize Narendra Modi’s anti-Muslim agenda,” in a tweet on Twitter. She has penned down an article for ‘Washington Post’ talking about the problematic narrative of the film.

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