Rajkumar Hirani directed blockbuster ‘PK’ has created a lot of debate in India. The movie attracted the prime time debate on Indian news channels after Hindu right-wing activists staged a series of protests to demand a ban on the movie for its alleged anti-Hindu content.
The movie starts with the arrival of an ‘alien’ in Rajasthan who is soon robbed of his most prized possession: a remote to ensure his return to his native place, somewhere in the skies. His quest to get his remote back turns him into an enthusiastic learner.
Not able to speak in the beginning, he becomes abreast with the Bhojpuri dialect of Hindi. In Sanjay Dutt (Baaya), Aamir Khan (PK) finds a friend and he is made to visit Delhi [Delhi has the reputation of hosting markets for stolen things] where he could have his remote back.
Anushka Sharma aka Jaggu, a media professional, who has just returned from Belgium after feeling ‘ditched’ by Sarfaraz, a Muslim but a Pakistani national, in consonance with what Tapasvi Ji, her family guru, had ‘predicted’ after receiving the ‘instructions’ from God, feels surprised in her first meeting with PK .
PK distributes the posters citing that the God is ‘missing’. Jaggu’s curiosity increases and she gets to know the reality behind the interesting character of PK. Aamir Khan requests a cop for help in finding his remote who passes a sarcastic remark – saying “he is not a God”. Thus starts the journey of Aamir Khan in search of the elusive God.
Meanwhile, his seemingly illogical behavior, though not lacking reason, and his rare acts earn him the notorious name: ‘PK’ (drunk).
The movie brings forward and projects some harsh realities of our society in which the gullible masses are easily duped by fake gurus, Pirs, babas and the like. These cunning people, posing as godmen, have established themselves in every nook and corner and play upon the fear, which the movie has beautifully reflected, of the credulous masses.
PK brings in a very important insight into the day-to-day encounters of people with faith. Why would God make people suffer through a number of harsh ceremonies, rituals and customs in order to listen to them if God is the creator and sustainer of universe and loves his creation? Why would God require money to please Him if he is the creator of all wealth? And more importantly why would God need agents to run his business?
There are a number of similar questions which PK raises with the object to wean away the gullible masses from the grip of fake faith-healers. PK wants people to worship one God who is the creator and sustainer and shun the false gods and beliefs created by the devil-personified fake spiritual gurus and babas.
Yes, we need the places of worship to thank God for His bounties in our individual and collective capacity but we need not personify Him for it opens the ways for corrupt practices in order to satiate the greed of the soothsayers, sorcers, Babas and the like.
The fact is that in every religion the false and irreligious practices are carefully crafted by the ‘licensed’ agents of God to mint money and indulge in moral excesses. Since PK tries to do a post mortem of every religion its main criticism revolves around Hinduism. The reasons are not far to seek. There are thousands of gods assigned different ‘attributes’ and ‘powers’, worshipped in the form of idols (crafted by Human beings), by the gullible Hindu majority of India.
While we should believe in the freedom of conscience but we can’t shut eyes to a historical reality. The Brahmins made the Vedic religion their exclusive property and denied the admission to Shudras and women to touch or listen Vedas. They, further, subjected it to useless rituals, customs, and sacrifices beyond the comprehension of the common men and thereby completely changed its character which then found a reaction in the 6th century BC when people, en-masse, embraced Buddhism based on simple teachings and practice founded by Gautam Buddha.
Nevertheless, Hinduism alone is not prone to religious perverts. In fact, in every religion, there are people who motivate people for actions bereft of logic and reason to consolidate themselves amass fortunes.
Needless to mention, making rather minting money by sorcery, soothsaying and playing upon the fear of people is the most profitable business. Jaggu makes a very valid comment: Our creator would not be unhappy if we use our reason for questioning (obviously to promote human welfare). And that will be the true justice to God.
And then PK strikes, surprisingly though, on a different note. Unlike the most of the Bollywood movies, PK does away with the stereotype that a Pakistani Muslim can’t be loyal and loving! The national news channels of India often resort to Pakistan bashing by blowing the issues out of proportion to increase their TRPs. Who knows the violent protests by Hindu right-wing activists were less motivated by the alleged anti-Hindu content and more by ‘pro-Pakistan’ (anti-India) projection of PK!