There is a harrowing sequence in Hansal Mehta’s Omerta where the leading man Rajkummar Rao ’s car is stopped at a checkpost, and he is called to step out by a burly cop who wants to know if he is a Muslim, or married to a Muslim .
Says Hansal, “It is the beard. And I’ve faced this kind of cultural discrimination . There was a time when I used to keep a beard. My music guru Ghulam Mustafa Khan asked me not to keep a beard because it made me look like a Muslim. None of his sons was allowed by Ghulam Mustafa Khan Saab to keep a beard since he didn’t want his children to be identified by their beard as Muslims.That experience stayed with me. I used it in Omerta.”
Says Hansal, “It’s a frightening situation where the young Muslim men would not want to keep beard for the fear of religious identification whereas Hindus would also shun the beard for the same reason. The beard may eventually become a thing of the past.”
Omerta with its hardhitting chronicle on the evolution of a terrorist’s mind ,has caught the attention of the discerning audience,