Anubhav Sinha Under Threat For His Allegedly Pro-Muslim Film

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You would think that the threats  and bullying for his  new film Mulk  would daunt Anubhav Sinha  who has made romantic  films  all his life.

Suddenly the romantic is facing the flak. “Just because  Mulk addresses some  uncomfortable  home-truths trollers are  having a  field day. They accuse  the film of being funded by Dawood, That’s the easiest  way to malign any Hindi film.I am not  getting affected by such nonsense.”

But  Anubhav is not the  least intimidated. “I  come from Varanasi. Abuses , profanities and threats don’t  bother me. I am 6-foot guy. I can take care  of myself. But  my friends are worried. The  minute the trailer  of Mulk  came out I started getting concerned  calls from friends from abroad and in India. Many  of these  concerned callers were Muslims. ‘Look after  yourself,’ they said. That worried me.”

Anubhav wonders what he has done that should  be cause for concern. “The isolation of  the Indian Muslim due to some terror acts  is an issue that should bother all of us. I grew  up in Varanasi where there would be  a communal riot every other week. Then  I moved to Aligarh where the Muslims  made me feel completely at home. They never made me  feel different from them.So when did this business of ‘them’ and ‘us’  start?”

 Anubhav has steered away from politics all his life. “I’ve  never made a film about politics. Mulk is my  first political film because this  is a subject that I had to address. Although it’s  a political film there  is  not a single politician in my film. My point is, who precipitates  this awful violence against an  80-year  old man who is not guilty  of the crime he is accused of? Even if he was, would we do this  to  an old man in normal  times?”

Though volatile in theme,  Mulk got the actors  Anubhav wanted.  “I went to Rishi  Kpaoor with much dread wondering if not him, then who? But he heard   my narration and immediately agreed  to be  in  the  film. Rajat  Kapoor was  one  of the  last actors to come on board. When he heard what the film was  about he  agreed to do any part I  wanted him to.”

Mulk has just been cleared  by the censor  board with a ‘UA’ certificate.

Anubhav is  delighted. “After  the film was passed with only a few minor cuts I sent a  thankyou message  to all the members  of  the censorboard.I don’t think  too many filmmakers  do that. I went to the censor board thinking  there would be trouble, considering the theme. I even thought  of consulting Anurag Kashyap who  has faced censor troubles repeatedly. Finally  though, I had no trouble  with the censor board at  all.I want to thank them for getting the point. Mulk is a film that needed to be made. We can no longer sweep the isolation of the Indian Muslim community under the carpet.”

Anubhav says he wants to reclaim that part of  Hindutva which has been hijacked by fringe elements. “I greet my friends with  a ‘Jai SriRam’ and they look at me as if to say, ‘Et tu, Brute?’  But I want the fringe groups to know , ‘You don’t represent me’.Jai Sri Ram  doesn’t belong to you.”

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