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Old Thursday, January 29, 2015
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Default Wrong numbers- My blog for The Nation

http://nation.com.pk/blogs/28-Jan-2015/wrong-numbers


It has been more than a month since the release of Aamir Khan's (and Rajkumar Hirani's) earth-shattering release, the movie PK, which caused quite a bit of commotion and unrest for reasons well-known. What made it a phenomenal success and rendered it equally popular in audience from all walks of life is the unique idea of the film.

It is a blend of social satire and situational-comedy with a touch of sci-fi. The film, while un-familiarizing a number of other things, familiarized the concept of 'wrong numbers'- an expression Aamir Khan reserved for all the fraudsters, impostors, charlatans and confident tricksters always busy deceiving the masses in the name of religion.

These 'wrong numbers' and their absurdities involve exploiting the inherent and immanent susceptibility of the masses to do anything. No matter how unreasonable and groundless it may be, when the said activity promises green postures and the luxuries of a sensual life in the hereafter, the masses enthusiastically offer themselves to be exploited.

The movie and its underlying message is a slap on the face of all organized belief-systems; man-made, methodical ideologies designed to keep the masses in darkness and intended to exploit their emotional sensitivity when it comes to matters of god and religion. It is a brave attempt to question the very foundations of a code of life that most of the denizens of India and Pakistan subscribe to without any interrogation and inquiry.

The movie successfully discloses the machinations of clergy to make gains – political, social and financial – by feeding their coreligionists utter palaver in the name of religious teachings/philosophy. It reveals how the self-proclaimed ''managers of god'' twist logic to their own ends and make the people believe, with utmost certainty, the hypothesis of their own creative imagination.

The movie also unveils how some people voluntarily let the lid of darkness cover their eyes and intentionally reside in a web of contradictions while at the same time laughing at the truth as an overheard joke.

It attempts to target the ingrained, ineradicable, illogical and irrational non-sense suggested and presented by the clergy to the masses to attain solace and eternal relief in the life hereafter.

It shows how an uncalled-for emphasis is put on a routine of practices and rituals by inter-relating the degree of one's religiosity with the kind of clothes that one wears, the length of one's beard and the level of one's antagonism (read enmity) towards the followers of other faiths.

The movie further unearths as to how the clergy, always ready to take cognizance of the slightest criticism towards faith, unknowingly belittle the Almighty by attributing Him human characters. Their concealed stupidity doesn't let them imagine and accept an all-loving, ever-forgiving, compassionate deity.

Unfortunately, a section of the audience misconstrued the story themselves and started propagating the false version presenting the movie as specifically an anti-Hinduism theatrical affair while in reality, the concept is a vicious attack on the edifice of organized belief-system- generally.

It educates us by highlighting the need for peaceful coexistence, interfaith harmony, mutual respect, unity, kindheartedness and the need for loving and protecting God's creatures instead of God for He is the Almighty and doesn't need anybody to protect Him.

The hue and cry by some circles and the negative feedback that the movie has been subjected to over the past month is an indication of these circles’ wild fantasy of invulnerability and their misconception of being immune from all sorts of criticism.

Religious faith has long been used to control population politically, impede scientific innovations, suppress rational thought, promote parochialism and to justify horrific acts of violence. It is all due to the misinterpretation of the religious theology and misrepresentation of historical facts. However, in the 21st century, it’s not possible anymore for a man of healthy mind to give credence to fallacies and put their confidence in people having little to no scientific knowledge.

The movie concludes by inculcating the true essence of religion and the spirit of believing in a God who has created us all and not the other way around.
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