Raazi Is Bollywood’s Answer To The Chest Thumping Hyper Nationalism Going On Right Now
Nationalism has become a huge talking point in modern India. Having bundled-up with (the very different) patriotism, nationalism has been reduced to a drum beating competition where people have to openly declare their love for the country. It’s not a private affair anymore as you need to prove your Indian-ness to be accepted by the majority of the country.
We’ve seen spokesperson from different political parties trying to force others to say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ just to prove their nationalism. This toxic culture is bringing out the cracks in the social fabric of our beloved nation.
Raazi, Meghna Gulzar’s directorial venture, manages to comment on this disturbing trend without being preachy. The Alia Bhatt starrer movie manages to cut through a lot of smoke around nationalism in a subtle yet effective way.
Raazi is an adaptation of Lt Commander (retd) Harinder S Sikka’s novel Calling Sehmat, on a Kashmiri girl of mixed Sikh-Muslim parentage who gets married into a high-ranking Pakistani military family, so as to spy for India.
Alia Bhatt as Sehmat falls in love with Vicky Kaushal’s character but they are at the opposite ends of this war between the two nations. We see people doing things for the love of their country but they don’t hate each other just because of that. Both of them love their countries but the conflict here arises because of separate countries, not because of conflicting cultures or ideals.
There’s a certain importance given to both the sides without showing any of the parties in bad light. They were just doing their job for their own ‘mulk’ and this nuance in direction helps cement Meghna Gulzar’s position as a phenomenal storyteller.
Raazi is about the heroes who are unnamed but have played a huge role in keeping our country safe. In espionage, there is no room for people who like their names being plastered on every hoarding and newspaper possible. Sehmat’s nationalism was reflected in her actions, not her jingoism.
She didn’t need to prove her nationalism because it is a private affair.
The fact that this movie comes from Dharma Productions adds another feather to its cap. A mainstream production house had the balls to portray a muslim Kashmiri woman putting it all at risk during the current era of bigotry deserves to applauded.
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