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Vishwaroopam: Reinforcing Global Communal Stereotypes, Namaz, Bombs & justification for the US Empire By Feroze Mithiborwala

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  • Feroze Mithiborwala
    *Vishwaroopam: Reinforcing Global Communal Stereotypes, Namaz, Bombs & justification for the US Empire.* By Feroze Mithiborwala February 4, 2013 I was a little
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 3, 2013
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    Vishwaroopam: Reinforcing Global Communal Stereotypes, Namaz, Bombs & justification for the US Empire.

    By Feroze Mithiborwala

    February 4, 2013

    I was a little benumbed whilst watching this technically advanced, but socio-politically regressive movie. Kamal Hassan has lied to all of us when he had stated that this movie is his tribute to Indian Muslims & will make them proud.

    This movie had me even more worried than earlier!

    The message propagated all through the course of this slick production is basically – “One Good Muslim, All the rest - Bad Muslims”.

    The hero, Taufik is an Indian Muslim who saves the world, whilst the rest of the Muslims portrayed in the movie, are all committed to destruction & mayhem, all in the name of their religion.  

    This is the state of the world – Vishwaroopam.

    Yet, let me categorically state that I do not support any cuts, or further censorship of the mobs, but will certainly strive to counter this movie & all like it – intellectually & on the ideological plane, where the true battle lies

    This movie also justifies the US wars & occupation of Afghanistan in ways that even Hollywood would have felt ashamed of portraying. All this for the NRI audience I would tend to venture. My first opposition to the movie stemmed from the fact that the posters prominently posited the infamous ‘stars & stripes’ in the background & I knew that trouble was brewing. Mind you, the Indian Tri-colour is far less prominent & even missing for the most . . . so much for NRI nationalism, or for that matter that of the RNI’s, the Resident Non-Indians, the chatterati where these communal stereotypes hold sway.

    And coming back to the movie, I have never ever seen so many scenes of Namaz in any single film & there is certainly a sickeningly strong overdose of Islamic imagery & the overwhelming majority of it linked to negativity & violence. The movie is one big screenplay of Namaz & Bombs, Namaz & Terror, Namaz & Violence. I wonder as to how Kamal Hassan, who is also the scriptwriter, thought that this would help the cause of Indian Muslims, knowing full well what the community has been through for the past two decades & more. The way the entire community has been ‘terrorized by the terror’ & this has led to their further demonization & isolation.

    More so, the script is deeply flawed, lacks intelligence & an honest research. One would have tended to expect a little more from Bollywood after certain good movies dealing with this genre, such as ‘Dhoka’ (Mahesh Bhatt), ‘New York’ (Kabeer Khan), ‘Qurbaan’ (Saif Ali Khan), ‘My Name is Khan’ (Karan Johar & Shahrukh Khan), ‘Agent Vinod’ (Saif Ali Khan) & last but not the least ‘Tere Bin Laden’ (Abhishek Sharma), certainly the best political satire in a generation. It also had a far more genuine Bin Laden look-alike than the ones that appear in the CIA produced videos.

    All of the above movies were good honest efforts & there is a common thread as well as a degree of intelligent sensitivity that has gone into researching these scripts & directing these movies, none of which faced any public opprobrium or ire, even though they were far more complex than this ignominious, outrageous ill-conceived prejudiced charade called Vishwaroopam.

    Yet, I want no cuts here . . . . . . .

    The two lines attributed to Rahul Bose, whom many of us consider to be our own, are the most dangerous & misleading of all the dialogues in the movie.

    Rahul Bose, who plays Umar (alluding to Mullah Umar, the leader of the Taliban, I would presume), is facing an assault on his village. The Taliban have captured a few American soldiers & are on the move. The US army, attack the village where they have been led by a trace, with the help of Kamal Hassan, who plays Taufik, a RAW agent. Taufik has infiltrated the ranks of the Taliban to rise to be the ipso facto No. 2.

    Wonder what the RAW itself has to comment here.

    With the US helicopter gunships blazing away as they did in Vietnam & Iraq, as they do in Somalia, Yemen & Libya - & hope to in Syria - the Taliban are on the run.

    Here Rahul Umar Bose makes a statement to assure his fellow Talibani’s – “Don’t worry, the Americans do not kill women & children”.

    All I could think of in that Shakespearian moment was - “Et Tu Rahul!!”

    To what extent can an artist such as Rahul Bose sell himself, his very moral intellect, is a question that he & many others need to seriously ponder upon.

    This dialogue would be considered ridiculous & even blasphemous by the Americans themselves, who always refer to the deaths of civilians as ‘collateral damage’, but Kamal Hassan in his willful pandering has gone even beyond the worst in Hollywood.

    Thus the movie further portrays the US soldier manning the gunship, feeling sorry for killing innocents, whilst the Afghans are all portrayed as dehumanized killing machines. I do not think our immediate neighbours are going to appreciate this movie very much. But who cares, our movies are a reflection of our skewed foreign policy as it does appear. And the Afghans are not exactly a market yet.

    The second statement by Rahul Umar Bose is even more dangerous for Indian Muslims & for all the secular activists who have stood by the community as it was demonised, isolated & entrapped into the false-flag terror attacks that we have witnessed since the post-9/11 world. This was the phase of ‘controlled chaos’ & ‘unending perpetual state of wars’ - to use Neoconservative terms.

    Here whilst talking to Kamal Taufik Hassan, Rahul Umar Bose smilingly & nonchalantly mentions that “We were also involved in the terror attacks of Malegaon, Bombay & other Indian cities”. In the Tamil & Telegu versions, Coimbatore & Madurai are mentioned.

    ‘Good God!!’, I exclaimed to myself, even dropping my popcorn – this movie is basically stating that the Taliban & Al Qaeda are active in India & thus certain sections of the Indian Muslim population are certainly enmeshed with the global terror network. This will prove to be catastrophic in the subconscious perceptions that tend to get ingrained deep into our reality.

    This, Mr. Kamal Hassan, is going to be disastrous for Indian Muslims & we can all assure you that.

    But where is the research may we ask? Have you not heard of ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, who even served in the RAW? Are you not aware that since 2007 the role of the Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha in terror attacks across the country is being probed? Particularly in Malegaon, Nanded, Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer, Goa & another 10 more as per the statements of the Home Ministry. Actually there are more than 16 recorded cases, but we will leave that for later. All of which are further linked to the right-wing Manuwadi Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)?

    Are you really unaware of these facts? Are you planning to leave the country, or had you already left India & were living in New York & are thus so ill-informed whilst writing the script, which lacks even an iota of honesty & responsibility?

    And this is thus a question that we as secular activists must ask ourselves. Many Hollywood movies with a geopolitical strategic agenda are produced in tandem with the Pentagon, so as to further the Imperial agenda of global hegemony & the advancement of the Military-Security-Industrial-Corporate-Media Complex.

    The Zionist dominated Hollywood target & portray Palestinians & Arabs in particular & Muslims in general as terrorists & fanatics & thus these societies need to be invaded & civilized - & their resources taken over for good measure.

    This movie by Kamal Hassan in my estimation also certainly falls in that category of disinformation & propaganda to serve the cause of the Empire & to justify the wars, occupation & the genocide of the Afghan nation, as well as the people of Pakistan. Thus not even a fleeting reference to the drone attacks & the killings of innocents, of women & children – thus & as to how it continues to create & foster more & more militants & terrorists.

    Then comes the part where there is a meeting between the leadership of the Taliban led by Rahul Umar & Al Qaeda-Osama Bin Laden. Here again I would request all those who have been taken in by the recent supposed assassination of OBL at the staged operation at Abbotabad, to read the excellent & well researched book by David Ray Griffin - ‘Osama Bin Laden Dead or Alive?’ (http://www.globalresearch.ca/osama-bin-laden-dead-or-alive/15601). According to many honest experts, OBL has been dead since December 15, 2001.

    It is also time, actually high time, for the Indian peace movement to address the issues of the 9/11 false-flag terror attack, which has been central, seminal & defining moment of the 21st century, changing the very trajectory of international politics & leading to an era of wars, occupation & genocide. (http://www.ae911truth.org/).

    Recently more than 12,500 police stations across America received petitions by peace activists stating that the attack on WTC 1, 2 & 7 were an inside job & demanding that the investigation be reopened. This movement is being spearheaded by more than 1700 architects & engineers & they have the support of many prominent intellectuals, scholars, and human-rights activists, whistle-blowers from within the CIA-FBI, as well as vast sections of American society & the numbers are growing. (http://www.ae911truth.org/downloads/documents/AE911Truth_Police_Letter.pdf)

    The reason as to why we will have to grapple with these issues is that, I personally know of Muslim youth who have been quizzed about their positions on 9/11, Bin Laden & Al Qaeda. The youth have been perplexed & horrified & left wondering as to what a job application in the engineering, IT & telecom sectors have to do with their knowledge or lack off, on these issues. With Muslim children who have tried to step out of their ghettoes & seek admission in a multi-cultural milieu, being denied & told to go back where they came from. Of Muslims being denied housing in secular neighbourhoods. All these discriminative practices have also increased in the last decade – thanks to the dominant paradigm of terror.

    Now, let us get back to the movie.

    Soon after the carnage at Rahul Umar’s village, we are transported into America. Here Kamal Taufik Hassan is working incognito singing & dancing to songs written by Javed Akhtar (Lyricist), as any good Muslim should be. Then a terror network begins to unravel & here we have Rahul Umar now planning to explode a Dirty-Bomb made of waste radioactive material, which the good Muslim does foil, but after saying his Namaz! Whilst in the room inside wherein lies the Dirty-Bomb, is a bad Muslim, an African-American of Nigerian descent, busy offering Namaz before he is to blow the city to kingdom come.

    Herein lies another serious problem with this film & that is the tarnishing of African-American Muslims as part of the global terror network. In most Hollywood movies, they are sensitive enough to portray the African American as the FBI boss, under whom the White officers serve. But here the RAW agent is working with only Whites, presumably Anglo-Saxon agents, whilst the African-American Muslim, is in tandem with the Taliban. Another case of out-sourcing I guess.

    Yet again, Kamal Hassan fails in his research. The terror attacks portrayed in the film have never occurred. Also the FBI has been entrapping Muslim youth from various ethnic backgrounds & this too is a documented fact. Since there are no serious terror threats to America, the FBI actually manufactures them, as there is no other way to justify Homeland Security & it’s vast gargantuan powers & budget. FBI agents, informers, or ex-convicts working in tandem with the FBI are sent into Muslim communities with an attempt to create terrorists. During the course of the year, a couple of youth, mainly with a criminal background do get entrapped due to intensive indoctrination about the crimes of the American Empire against their people. These youth are then further induced & provided training to carry out a terror attack. Targets are indentified, funds, bombs & ammunition provided & the day that they do carry out the attack, they are apprehended red-handed. The bombs turn out to be fake & so do the guns & that is how stupid this supposed terrorists are.

    (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/terrorist-plots-helped-along-by-the-fbi.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)

    This information is now available in the mainstream corporate media & should have been studied by Kamal Taufik Hassan, before trying to give the FBI a positive image in India.  

    This movie thus is basically a propaganda tool for the FBI, as well as the US Empire. And now apart from Hollywood, they even have some of the best known names from Bollywood to do their bidding. I wonder as to how much of the financial backing of this movie came from sources such as these & this question must be asked in all seriousness.

    The plot foiled, America saved, sorry, the world saved – Rahul Umar & his Taliban cohorts decide to flee to – India for God’s sake!! Thus we end with the inevitability of Vishwaroopam II-India!

    Actually Kamal Taufik Hassan, might even consider shifting the next locale to Qatar, where the ‘Good Taliban’ now have a functioning office. Here they will all have ample security as the US has a vast network of naval & airforce bases. (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2003-03/20/content_789607.htm).

    So Rahul Umar Bose, the FBI-CIA & Kamal Taufik Hassan can actually sort out all their problems there itself, without dragging India into the picture.

    But therein lies the threat, the clear & present danger to all of us. You can imagine the next movie where Mullah Umar is in Mumbai, or Delhi, maybe in Chennai (threatening Jajayalaitha for the way she dealt with Kamal Hassan), or in Malegaon, or in Srinagar, or Hyderabad, or in the Samjhauta Express, or in Ajmer. Thus taking the blame for all the terror attacks, that now are alleged to be the handiwork of the right-wing Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha, as per the National Investigation Agency (NIA) & certain Anti-Terror Squads (ATS).

    And then, is Osama Bin Laden & his dreaded Al-Qaeda far behind in reaching India?

    The fear that it will instill amongst the ordinary masses of India & the further fear & isolation towards which will be driven the Muslim community is apparent to many.

    The terror of the politics of terror . . . . . . .

    Also a little sincere & not-so-secret advice to film producers, directors, financiers & aspiring writers. In case you are sure that your film (or a book) is going to bomb at the box-office, be sure to include a few scenes that you may think may be offensive to the emotions of the Muslim community. Then arrange a screening prior to the release, even though your film has been cleared by the censor board - & rest assured that a few Muslims will fall prey to your trap & voila – you have your much needed controversy.

    My sincere advice to the Muslim community is the following. Islam is to great a religion for one book or a movie to harm our faith. Let us overcome our insecurities & notice that the tide is turning in our favour. The protests against the film have harmed the image of the Muslim community, even more than Vishawaroopam was planned to. We need to learn to ignore certain barbs hurled at us & do not need to fall for the traps laid for us every time.

    We have every right to protest & this is our constitutional & democratic right. Our strategy should have been to evoke support & call for a debate on the movie, whilst pointing out its flaws & distortions. Demanding the cuts after the censor board had cleared the movie, has harmed our image & further portrayed the community as extremist & undemocratic.

    The problem with Vishwaroopam, is that it has projected only a miniscule part of the reality of the Afghan quagmire over a period of more than three decades. But one cannot deny that today the Taliban & their ilk, do represent a form of a vitiated, extremist & a violent form of Islam. From the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha’s, to the attacks on schools & clinics, to the enforced imposition of a regressive barbaric code on women, to the public flogging & stoning, to the sectarian hatred & killings, to the destruction of Sufi Mazar’s & the genocide of the Shia’s – all this is being waged in the name of Islam.  This cannot be denied by any honest God-loving/fearing Muslim.

    This form of extremism is indeed alien & against the very letter, grain & spirit of Islam. Let us all stand up in unison & condemn this debasement & defilement of Islam. This we really do not venture into often enough – do we honestly?

    In the course of the last 2-3 years, the truth about the terror attacks is being revealed & this is due to the sustained struggle of Muslim organizations, in tandem with our secular allies, despite all the odds, with the entire media & dominant sections of the Government-intelligence-security apparatus ranged against us – but yet we have overcome all these odds. Now is the time to reach out to all the communities that make up this great & dynamic nation & expose the true facts of the terror networks that are now being revealed. (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/joining-the-dots/1068448/)

     If India is not to go the way of Pakistan, with its assorted Lashkar-Frankensteins, then we have to put a stop to those religious extremist forces that threaten to destroy the unity & social fabric of our nation. Now after the statement by the Union Home Minister, the tide has clearly changed in our favour & thus let’s not undermine our struggle by isolating ourselves any further by taking to the streets in the manner that we have & I was personally both angry & ashamed at the public spectacle. There is a certain degree of double-standards, intolerance & hypocrisy within the Muslim community as well.

    Also I would want to appeal here to all those who rightly advised the Muslim community on the values of freedom of expression, democracy & modernity. Kindly stand up, script & produce a movie based on the charge-sheet filed by Hemant Karkare, in a movie that can be titled ‘Bharatroopam’. I would love to see as to how many takers there would be from Bollywood, especially all the ones shouting ‘cultural terrorism’.

    In terms of soft-targets, the Muslim community is far more of a soft-target, than many film makers & writers.

    Yet, I will not ask for a cut, even though both my mind & my heart have suffered a few deep searing cuts.

    This is because I have immense faith in the great legacy of this country. I have great faith in the teachings of Krativeer Jotiba Phule, Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar & Shaheed Bhagat Singh. I have great faith in the people of India, in our secular democracy.

     



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    Feroze Mithiborwala



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    Feroze Mithiborwala



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    Feroze Mithiborwala



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    Feroze Mithiborwala
  • Teesta Setalvad
    Excellent piece Feroze On Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 2:55 AM, Feroze Mithiborwala
    Message 2 of 7 , Feb 5, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      Excellent piece Feroze

      On Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 2:55 AM, Feroze Mithiborwala <feroze.moses777@...> wrote:
       
      [Attachment(s) from Feroze Mithiborwala included below]

      Vishwaroopam: Reinforcing Global Communal Stereotypes, Namaz, Bombs & justification for the US Empire.

      By Feroze Mithiborwala

      February 4, 2013

      I was a little benumbed whilst watching this technically advanced, but socio-politically regressive movie. Kamal Hassan has lied to all of us when he had stated that this movie is his tribute to Indian Muslims & will make them proud.

      This movie had me even more worried than earlier!

      The message propagated all through the course of this slick production is basically – “One Good Muslim, All the rest - Bad Muslims”.

      The hero, Taufik is an Indian Muslim who saves the world, whilst the rest of the Muslims portrayed in the movie, are all committed to destruction & mayhem, all in the name of their religion.  

      This is the state of the world – Vishwaroopam.

      Yet, let me categorically state that I do not support any cuts, or further censorship of the mobs, but will certainly strive to counter this movie & all like it – intellectually & on the ideological plane, where the true battle lies

      This movie also justifies the US wars & occupation of Afghanistan in ways that even Hollywood would have felt ashamed of portraying. All this for the NRI audience I would tend to venture. My first opposition to the movie stemmed from the fact that the posters prominently posited the infamous ‘stars & stripes’ in the background & I knew that trouble was brewing. Mind you, the Indian Tri-colour is far less prominent & even missing for the most . . . so much for NRI nationalism, or for that matter that of the RNI’s, the Resident Non-Indians, the chatterati where these communal stereotypes hold sway.

      And coming back to the movie, I have never ever seen so many scenes of Namaz in any single film & there is certainly a sickeningly strong overdose of Islamic imagery & the overwhelming majority of it linked to negativity & violence. The movie is one big screenplay of Namaz & Bombs, Namaz & Terror, Namaz & Violence. I wonder as to how Kamal Hassan, who is also the scriptwriter, thought that this would help the cause of Indian Muslims, knowing full well what the community has been through for the past two decades & more. The way the entire community has been ‘terrorized by the terror’ & this has led to their further demonization & isolation.

      More so, the script is deeply flawed, lacks intelligence & an honest research. One would have tended to expect a little more from Bollywood after certain good movies dealing with this genre, such as ‘Dhoka’ (Mahesh Bhatt), ‘New York’ (Kabeer Khan), ‘Qurbaan’ (Saif Ali Khan), ‘My Name is Khan’ (Karan Johar & Shahrukh Khan), ‘Agent Vinod’ (Saif Ali Khan) & last but not the least ‘Tere Bin Laden’ (Abhishek Sharma), certainly the best political satire in a generation. It also had a far more genuine Bin Laden look-alike than the ones that appear in the CIA produced videos.

      All of the above movies were good honest efforts & there is a common thread as well as a degree of intelligent sensitivity that has gone into researching these scripts & directing these movies, none of which faced any public opprobrium or ire, even though they were far more complex than this ignominious, outrageous ill-conceived prejudiced charade called Vishwaroopam.

      Yet, I want no cuts here . . . . . . .

      The two lines attributed to Rahul Bose, whom many of us consider to be our own, are the most dangerous & misleading of all the dialogues in the movie.

      Rahul Bose, who plays Umar (alluding to Mullah Umar, the leader of the Taliban, I would presume), is facing an assault on his village. The Taliban have captured a few American soldiers & are on the move. The US army, attack the village where they have been led by a trace, with the help of Kamal Hassan, who plays Taufik, a RAW agent. Taufik has infiltrated the ranks of the Taliban to rise to be the ipso facto No. 2.

      Wonder what the RAW itself has to comment here.

      With the US helicopter gunships blazing away as they did in Vietnam & Iraq, as they do in Somalia, Yemen & Libya - & hope to in Syria - the Taliban are on the run.

      Here Rahul Umar Bose makes a statement to assure his fellow Talibani’s – “Don’t worry, the Americans do not kill women & children”.

      All I could think of in that Shakespearian moment was - “Et Tu Rahul!!”

      To what extent can an artist such as Rahul Bose sell himself, his very moral intellect, is a question that he & many others need to seriously ponder upon.

      This dialogue would be considered ridiculous & even blasphemous by the Americans themselves, who always refer to the deaths of civilians as ‘collateral damage’, but Kamal Hassan in his willful pandering has gone even beyond the worst in Hollywood.

      Thus the movie further portrays the US soldier manning the gunship, feeling sorry for killing innocents, whilst the Afghans are all portrayed as dehumanized killing machines. I do not think our immediate neighbours are going to appreciate this movie very much. But who cares, our movies are a reflection of our skewed foreign policy as it does appear. And the Afghans are not exactly a market yet.

      The second statement by Rahul Umar Bose is even more dangerous for Indian Muslims & for all the secular activists who have stood by the community as it was demonised, isolated & entrapped into the false-flag terror attacks that we have witnessed since the post-9/11 world. This was the phase of ‘controlled chaos’ & ‘unending perpetual state of wars’ - to use Neoconservative terms.

      Here whilst talking to Kamal Taufik Hassan, Rahul Umar Bose smilingly & nonchalantly mentions that “We were also involved in the terror attacks of Malegaon, Bombay & other Indian cities”. In the Tamil & Telegu versions, Coimbatore & Madurai are mentioned.

      ‘Good God!!’, I exclaimed to myself, even dropping my popcorn – this movie is basically stating that the Taliban & Al Qaeda are active in India & thus certain sections of the Indian Muslim population are certainly enmeshed with the global terror network. This will prove to be catastrophic in the subconscious perceptions that tend to get ingrained deep into our reality.

      This, Mr. Kamal Hassan, is going to be disastrous for Indian Muslims & we can all assure you that.

      But where is the research may we ask? Have you not heard of ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, who even served in the RAW? Are you not aware that since 2007 the role of the Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha in terror attacks across the country is being probed? Particularly in Malegaon, Nanded, Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer, Goa & another 10 more as per the statements of the Home Ministry. Actually there are more than 16 recorded cases, but we will leave that for later. All of which are further linked to the right-wing Manuwadi Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)?

      Are you really unaware of these facts? Are you planning to leave the country, or had you already left India & were living in New York & are thus so ill-informed whilst writing the script, which lacks even an iota of honesty & responsibility?

      And this is thus a question that we as secular activists must ask ourselves. Many Hollywood movies with a geopolitical strategic agenda are produced in tandem with the Pentagon, so as to further the Imperial agenda of global hegemony & the advancement of the Military-Security-Industrial-Corporate-Media Complex.

      The Zionist dominated Hollywood target & portray Palestinians & Arabs in particular & Muslims in general as terrorists & fanatics & thus these societies need to be invaded & civilized - & their resources taken over for good measure.

      This movie by Kamal Hassan in my estimation also certainly falls in that category of disinformation & propaganda to serve the cause of the Empire & to justify the wars, occupation & the genocide of the Afghan nation, as well as the people of Pakistan. Thus not even a fleeting reference to the drone attacks & the killings of innocents, of women & children – thus & as to how it continues to create & foster more & more militants & terrorists.

      Then comes the part where there is a meeting between the leadership of the Taliban led by Rahul Umar & Al Qaeda-Osama Bin Laden. Here again I would request all those who have been taken in by the recent supposed assassination of OBL at the staged operation at Abbotabad, to read the excellent & well researched book by David Ray Griffin - ‘Osama Bin Laden Dead or Alive?’ (http://www.globalresearch.ca/osama-bin-laden-dead-or-alive/15601). According to many honest experts, OBL has been dead since December 15, 2001.

      It is also time, actually high time, for the Indian peace movement to address the issues of the 9/11 false-flag terror attack, which has been central, seminal & defining moment of the 21st century, changing the very trajectory of international politics & leading to an era of wars, occupation & genocide. (http://www.ae911truth.org/).

      Recently more than 12,500 police stations across America received petitions by peace activists stating that the attack on WTC 1, 2 & 7 were an inside job & demanding that the investigation be reopened. This movement is being spearheaded by more than 1700 architects & engineers & they have the support of many prominent intellectuals, scholars, and human-rights activists, whistle-blowers from within the CIA-FBI, as well as vast sections of American society & the numbers are growing. (http://www.ae911truth.org/downloads/documents/AE911Truth_Police_Letter.pdf)

      The reason as to why we will have to grapple with these issues is that, I personally know of Muslim youth who have been quizzed about their positions on 9/11, Bin Laden & Al Qaeda. The youth have been perplexed & horrified & left wondering as to what a job application in the engineering, IT & telecom sectors have to do with their knowledge or lack off, on these issues. With Muslim children who have tried to step out of their ghettoes & seek admission in a multi-cultural milieu, being denied & told to go back where they came from. Of Muslims being denied housing in secular neighbourhoods. All these discriminative practices have also increased in the last decade – thanks to the dominant paradigm of terror.

      Now, let us get back to the movie.

      Soon after the carnage at Rahul Umar’s village, we are transported into America. Here Kamal Taufik Hassan is working incognito singing & dancing to songs written by Javed Akhtar (Lyricist), as any good Muslim should be. Then a terror network begins to unravel & here we have Rahul Umar now planning to explode a Dirty-Bomb made of waste radioactive material, which the good Muslim does foil, but after saying his Namaz! Whilst in the room inside wherein lies the Dirty-Bomb, is a bad Muslim, an African-American of Nigerian descent, busy offering Namaz before he is to blow the city to kingdom come.

      Herein lies another serious problem with this film & that is the tarnishing of African-American Muslims as part of the global terror network. In most Hollywood movies, they are sensitive enough to portray the African American as the FBI boss, under whom the White officers serve. But here the RAW agent is working with only Whites, presumably Anglo-Saxon agents, whilst the African-American Muslim, is in tandem with the Taliban. Another case of out-sourcing I guess.

      Yet again, Kamal Hassan fails in his research. The terror attacks portrayed in the film have never occurred. Also the FBI has been entrapping Muslim youth from various ethnic backgrounds & this too is a documented fact. Since there are no serious terror threats to America, the FBI actually manufactures them, as there is no other way to justify Homeland Security & it’s vast gargantuan powers & budget. FBI agents, informers, or ex-convicts working in tandem with the FBI are sent into Muslim communities with an attempt to create terrorists. During the course of the year, a couple of youth, mainly with a criminal background do get entrapped due to intensive indoctrination about the crimes of the American Empire against their people. These youth are then further induced & provided training to carry out a terror attack. Targets are indentified, funds, bombs & ammunition provided & the day that they do carry out the attack, they are apprehended red-handed. The bombs turn out to be fake & so do the guns & that is how stupid this supposed terrorists are.

      (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/terrorist-plots-helped-along-by-the-fbi.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)

      This information is now available in the mainstream corporate media & should have been studied by Kamal Taufik Hassan, before trying to give the FBI a positive image in India.  

      This movie thus is basically a propaganda tool for the FBI, as well as the US Empire. And now apart from Hollywood, they even have some of the best known names from Bollywood to do their bidding. I wonder as to how much of the financial backing of this movie came from sources such as these & this question must be asked in all seriousness.

      The plot foiled, America saved, sorry, the world saved – Rahul Umar & his Taliban cohorts decide to flee to – India for God’s sake!! Thus we end with the inevitability of Vishwaroopam II-India!

      Actually Kamal Taufik Hassan, might even consider shifting the next locale to Qatar, where the ‘Good Taliban’ now have a functioning office. Here they will all have ample security as the US has a vast network of naval & airforce bases. (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2003-03/20/content_789607.htm).

      So Rahul Umar Bose, the FBI-CIA & Kamal Taufik Hassan can actually sort out all their problems there itself, without dragging India into the picture.

      But therein lies the threat, the clear & present danger to all of us. You can imagine the next movie where Mullah Umar is in Mumbai, or Delhi, maybe in Chennai (threatening Jajayalaitha for the way she dealt with Kamal Hassan), or in Malegaon, or in Srinagar, or Hyderabad, or in the Samjhauta Express, or in Ajmer. Thus taking the blame for all the terror attacks, that now are alleged to be the handiwork of the right-wing Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha, as per the National Investigation Agency (NIA) & certain Anti-Terror Squads (ATS).

      And then, is Osama Bin Laden & his dreaded Al-Qaeda far behind in reaching India?

      The fear that it will instill amongst the ordinary masses of India & the further fear & isolation towards which will be driven the Muslim community is apparent to many.

      The terror of the politics of terror . . . . . . .

      Also a little sincere & not-so-secret advice to film producers, directors, financiers & aspiring writers. In case you are sure that your film (or a book) is going to bomb at the box-office, be sure to include a few scenes that you may think may be offensive to the emotions of the Muslim community. Then arrange a screening prior to the release, even though your film has been cleared by the censor board - & rest assured that a few Muslims will fall prey to your trap & voila – you have your much needed controversy.

      My sincere advice to the Muslim community is the following. Islam is to great a religion for one book or a movie to harm our faith. Let us overcome our insecurities & notice that the tide is turning in our favour. The protests against the film have harmed the image of the Muslim community, even more than Vishawaroopam was planned to. We need to learn to ignore certain barbs hurled at us & do not need to fall for the traps laid for us every time.

      We have every right to protest & this is our constitutional & democratic right. Our strategy should have been to evoke support & call for a debate on the movie, whilst pointing out its flaws & distortions. Demanding the cuts after the censor board had cleared the movie, has harmed our image & further portrayed the community as extremist & undemocratic.

      The problem with Vishwaroopam, is that it has projected only a miniscule part of the reality of the Afghan quagmire over a period of more than three decades. But one cannot deny that today the Taliban & their ilk, do represent a form of a vitiated, extremist & a violent form of Islam. From the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha’s, to the attacks on schools & clinics, to the enforced imposition of a regressive barbaric code on women, to the public flogging & stoning, to the sectarian hatred & killings, to the destruction of Sufi Mazar’s & the genocide of the Shia’s – all this is being waged in the name of Islam.  This cannot be denied by any honest God-loving/fearing Muslim.

      This form of extremism is indeed alien & against the very letter, grain & spirit of Islam. Let us all stand up in unison & condemn this debasement & defilement of Islam. This we really do not venture into often enough – do we honestly?

      In the course of the last 2-3 years, the truth about the terror attacks is being revealed & this is due to the sustained struggle of Muslim organizations, in tandem with our secular allies, despite all the odds, with the entire media & dominant sections of the Government-intelligence-security apparatus ranged against us – but yet we have overcome all these odds. Now is the time to reach out to all the communities that make up this great & dynamic nation & expose the true facts of the terror networks that are now being revealed. (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/joining-the-dots/1068448/)

       If India is not to go the way of Pakistan, with its assorted Lashkar-Frankensteins, then we have to put a stop to those religious extremist forces that threaten to destroy the unity & social fabric of our nation. Now after the statement by the Union Home Minister, the tide has clearly changed in our favour & thus let’s not undermine our struggle by isolating ourselves any further by taking to the streets in the manner that we have & I was personally both angry & ashamed at the public spectacle. There is a certain degree of double-standards, intolerance & hypocrisy within the Muslim community as well.

      Also I would want to appeal here to all those who rightly advised the Muslim community on the values of freedom of expression, democracy & modernity. Kindly stand up, script & produce a movie based on the charge-sheet filed by Hemant Karkare, in a movie that can be titled ‘Bharatroopam’. I would love to see as to how many takers there would be from Bollywood, especially all the ones shouting ‘cultural terrorism’.

      In terms of soft-targets, the Muslim community is far more of a soft-target, than many film makers & writers.

      Yet, I will not ask for a cut, even though both my mind & my heart have suffered a few deep searing cuts.

      This is because I have immense faith in the great legacy of this country. I have great faith in the teachings of Krativeer Jotiba Phule, Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar & Shaheed Bhagat Singh. I have great faith in the people of India, in our secular democracy.

       



      --
      Feroze Mithiborwala



      --
      Feroze Mithiborwala



      --
      Feroze Mithiborwala



      --
      Feroze Mithiborwala




      --
      Teesta Setalvad
      'Nirant', Juhu Tara Road,
      Juhu, Mumbai - 400 049

      http://teestasetalvad.blogspot.com/

      www.cjponline.org
      www.gujarat-riots.com
      www.sabrang.com

    • Shruti Joshi
      Thanx, Mr. Mithiborwala, for this analytical write-up. Just one (irritating) detail - every time you have written America/ns you are actually refering to USA,
      Message 3 of 7 , Feb 5, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        Thanx, Mr. Mithiborwala, for this analytical write-up.
         
        Just one (irritating) detail - every time you have written America/ns you are actually refering to USA, hence, it would be respectful to other nations on the continents of Americas to refer to USA as USA and not America!


        From: arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Feroze Mithiborwala
        Sent: Monday, February 04, 2013 2:56 AM
        Subject: [Arkitect India] Vishwaroopam: Reinforcing Global Communal Stereotypes, Namaz, Bombs & justification for the US Empire By Feroze Mithiborwala [1 Attachment]

         

        Vishwaroopam: Reinforcing Global Communal Stereotypes, Namaz, Bombs & justification for the US Empire.

        By Feroze Mithiborwala

        February 4, 2013

        I was a little benumbed whilst watching this technically advanced, but socio-politically regressive movie. Kamal Hassan has lied to all of us when he had stated that this movie is his tribute to Indian Muslims & will make them proud.

        This movie had me even more worried than earlier!

        The message propagated all through the course of this slick production is basically – “One Good Muslim, All the rest - Bad Muslims”.

        The hero, Taufik is an Indian Muslim who saves the world, whilst the rest of the Muslims portrayed in the movie, are all committed to destruction & mayhem, all in the name of their religion.  

        This is the state of the world – Vishwaroopam.

        Yet, let me categorically state that I do not support any cuts, or further censorship of the mobs, but will certainly strive to counter this movie & all like it – intellectually & on the ideological plane, where the true battle lies

        This movie also justifies the US wars & occupation of Afghanistan in ways that even Hollywood would have felt ashamed of portraying. All this for the NRI audience I would tend to venture. My first opposition to the movie stemmed from the fact that the posters prominently posited the infamous ‘stars & stripes’ in the background & I knew that trouble was brewing. Mind you, the Indian Tri-colour is far less prominent & even missing for the most . . . so much for NRI nationalism, or for that matter that of the RNI’s, the Resident Non-Indians, the chatterati where these communal stereotypes hold sway.

        And coming back to the movie, I have never ever seen so many scenes of Namaz in any single film & there is certainly a sickeningly strong overdose of Islamic imagery & the overwhelming majority of it linked to negativity & violence. The movie is one big screenplay of Namaz & Bombs, Namaz & Terror, Namaz & Violence. I wonder as to how Kamal Hassan, who is also the scriptwriter, thought that this would help the cause of Indian Muslims, knowing full well what the community has been through for the past two decades & more. The way the entire community has been ‘terrorized by the terror’ & this has led to their further demonization & isolation.

        More so, the script is deeply flawed, lacks intelligence & an honest research. One would have tended to expect a little more from Bollywood after certain good movies dealing with this genre, such as ‘Dhoka’ (Mahesh Bhatt), ‘New York’ (Kabeer Khan), ‘Qurbaan’ (Saif Ali Khan), ‘My Name is Khan’ (Karan Johar & Shahrukh Khan), ‘Agent Vinod’ (Saif Ali Khan) & last but not the least ‘Tere Bin Laden’ (Abhishek Sharma), certainly the best political satire in a generation. It also had a far more genuine Bin Laden look-alike than the ones that appear in the CIA produced videos.

        All of the above movies were good honest efforts & there is a common thread as well as a degree of intelligent sensitivity that has gone into researching these scripts & directing these movies, none of which faced any public opprobrium or ire, even though they were far more complex than this ignominious, outrageous ill-conceived prejudiced charade called Vishwaroopam.

        Yet, I want no cuts here . . . . . . .

        The two lines attributed to Rahul Bose, whom many of us consider to be our own, are the most dangerous & misleading of all the dialogues in the movie.

        Rahul Bose, who plays Umar (alluding to Mullah Umar, the leader of the Taliban, I would presume), is facing an assault on his village. The Taliban have captured a few American soldiers & are on the move. The US army, attack the village where they have been led by a trace, with the help of Kamal Hassan, who plays Taufik, a RAW agent. Taufik has infiltrated the ranks of the Taliban to rise to be the ipso facto No. 2.

        Wonder what the RAW itself has to comment here.

        With the US helicopter gunships blazing away as they did in Vietnam & Iraq, as they do in Somalia, Yemen & Libya - & hope to in Syria - the Taliban are on the run.

        Here Rahul Umar Bose makes a statement to assure his fellow Talibani’s – “Don’t worry, the Americans do not kill women & children”.

        All I could think of in that Shakespearian moment was - “Et Tu Rahul!!”

        To what extent can an artist such as Rahul Bose sell himself, his very moral intellect, is a question that he & many others need to seriously ponder upon.

        This dialogue would be considered ridiculous & even blasphemous by the Americans themselves, who always refer to the deaths of civilians as ‘collateral damage’, but Kamal Hassan in his willful pandering has gone even beyond the worst in Hollywood.

        Thus the movie further portrays the US soldier manning the gunship, feeling sorry for killing innocents, whilst the Afghans are all portrayed as dehumanized killing machines. I do not think our immediate neighbours are going to appreciate this movie very much. But who cares, our movies are a reflection of our skewed foreign policy as it does appear. And the Afghans are not exactly a market yet.

        The second statement by Rahul Umar Bose is even more dangerous for Indian Muslims & for all the secular activists who have stood by the community as it was demonised, isolated & entrapped into the false-flag terror attacks that we have witnessed since the post-9/11 world. This was the phase of ‘controlled chaos’ & ‘unending perpetual state of wars’ - to use Neoconservative terms.

        Here whilst talking to Kamal Taufik Hassan, Rahul Umar Bose smilingly & nonchalantly mentions that “We were also involved in the terror attacks of Malegaon, Bombay & other Indian cities”. In the Tamil & Telegu versions, Coimbatore & Madurai are mentioned.

        ‘Good God!!’, I exclaimed to myself, even dropping my popcorn – this movie is basically stating that the Taliban & Al Qaeda are active in India & thus certain sections of the Indian Muslim population are certainly enmeshed with the global terror network. This will prove to be catastrophic in the subconscious perceptions that tend to get ingrained deep into our reality.

        This, Mr. Kamal Hassan, is going to be disastrous for Indian Muslims & we can all assure you that.

        But where is the research may we ask? Have you not heard of ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, who even served in the RAW? Are you not aware that since 2007 the role of the Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha in terror attacks across the country is being probed? Particularly in Malegaon, Nanded, Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer, Goa & another 10 more as per the statements of the Home Ministry. Actually there are more than 16 recorded cases, but we will leave that for later. All of which are further linked to the right-wing Manuwadi Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)?

        Are you really unaware of these facts? Are you planning to leave the country, or had you already left India & were living in New York & are thus so ill-informed whilst writing the script, which lacks even an iota of honesty & responsibility?

        And this is thus a question that we as secular activists must ask ourselves. Many Hollywood movies with a geopolitical strategic agenda are produced in tandem with the Pentagon, so as to further the Imperial agenda of global hegemony & the advancement of the Military-Security-Industrial-Corporate-Media Complex.

        The Zionist dominated Hollywood target & portray Palestinians & Arabs in particular & Muslims in general as terrorists & fanatics & thus these societies need to be invaded & civilized - & their resources taken over for good measure.

        This movie by Kamal Hassan in my estimation also certainly falls in that category of disinformation & propaganda to serve the cause of the Empire & to justify the wars, occupation & the genocide of the Afghan nation, as well as the people of Pakistan. Thus not even a fleeting reference to the drone attacks & the killings of innocents, of women & children – thus & as to how it continues to create & foster more & more militants & terrorists.

        Then comes the part where there is a meeting between the leadership of the Taliban led by Rahul Umar & Al Qaeda-Osama Bin Laden. Here again I would request all those who have been taken in by the recent supposed assassination of OBL at the staged operation at Abbotabad, to read the excellent & well researched book by David Ray Griffin - ‘Osama Bin Laden Dead or Alive?’ (http://www.globalresearch.ca/osama-bin-laden-dead-or-alive/15601). According to many honest experts, OBL has been dead since December 15, 2001.

        It is also time, actually high time, for the Indian peace movement to address the issues of the 9/11 false-flag terror attack, which has been central, seminal & defining moment of the 21st century, changing the very trajectory of international politics & leading to an era of wars, occupation & genocide. (http://www.ae911truth.org/).

        Recently more than 12,500 police stations across America received petitions by peace activists stating that the attack on WTC 1, 2 & 7 were an inside job & demanding that the investigation be reopened. This movement is being spearheaded by more than 1700 architects & engineers & they have the support of many prominent intellectuals, scholars, and human-rights activists, whistle-blowers from within the CIA-FBI, as well as vast sections of American society & the numbers are growing. (http://www.ae911truth.org/downloads/documents/AE911Truth_Police_Letter.pdf)

        The reason as to why we will have to grapple with these issues is that, I personally know of Muslim youth who have been quizzed about their positions on 9/11, Bin Laden & Al Qaeda. The youth have been perplexed & horrified & left wondering as to what a job application in the engineering, IT & telecom sectors have to do with their knowledge or lack off, on these issues. With Muslim children who have tried to step out of their ghettoes & seek admission in a multi-cultural milieu, being denied & told to go back where they came from. Of Muslims being denied housing in secular neighbourhoods. All these discriminative practices have also increased in the last decade – thanks to the dominant paradigm of terror.

        Now, let us get back to the movie.

        Soon after the carnage at Rahul Umar’s village, we are transported into America. Here Kamal Taufik Hassan is working incognito singing & dancing to songs written by Javed Akhtar (Lyricist), as any good Muslim should be. Then a terror network begins to unravel & here we have Rahul Umar now planning to explode a Dirty-Bomb made of waste radioactive material, which the good Muslim does foil, but after saying his Namaz! Whilst in the room inside wherein lies the Dirty-Bomb, is a bad Muslim, an African-American of Nigerian descent, busy offering Namaz before he is to blow the city to kingdom come.

        Herein lies another serious problem with this film & that is the tarnishing of African-American Muslims as part of the global terror network. In most Hollywood movies, they are sensitive enough to portray the African American as the FBI boss, under whom the White officers serve. But here the RAW agent is working with only Whites, presumably Anglo-Saxon agents, whilst the African-American Muslim, is in tandem with the Taliban. Another case of out-sourcing I guess.

        Yet again, Kamal Hassan fails in his research. The terror attacks portrayed in the film have never occurred. Also the FBI has been entrapping Muslim youth from various ethnic backgrounds & this too is a documented fact. Since there are no serious terror threats to America, the FBI actually manufactures them, as there is no other way to justify Homeland Security & it’s vast gargantuan powers & budget. FBI agents, informers, or ex-convicts working in tandem with the FBI are sent into Muslim communities with an attempt to create terrorists. During the course of the year, a couple of youth, mainly with a criminal background do get entrapped due to intensive indoctrination about the crimes of the American Empire against their people. These youth are then further induced & provided training to carry out a terror attack. Targets are indentified, funds, bombs & ammunition provided & the day that they do carry out the attack, they are apprehended red-handed. The bombs turn out to be fake & so do the guns & that is how stupid this supposed terrorists are.

        (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/terrorist-plots-helped-along-by-the-fbi.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)

        This information is now available in the mainstream corporate media & should have been studied by Kamal Taufik Hassan, before trying to give the FBI a positive image in India.  

        This movie thus is basically a propaganda tool for the FBI, as well as the US Empire. And now apart from Hollywood, they even have some of the best known names from Bollywood to do their bidding. I wonder as to how much of the financial backing of this movie came from sources such as these & this question must be asked in all seriousness.

        The plot foiled, America saved, sorry, the world saved – Rahul Umar & his Taliban cohorts decide to flee to – India for God’s sake!! Thus we end with the inevitability of Vishwaroopam II-India!

        Actually Kamal Taufik Hassan, might even consider shifting the next locale to Qatar, where the ‘Good Taliban’ now have a functioning office. Here they will all have ample security as the US has a vast network of naval & airforce bases. (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2003-03/20/content_789607.htm).

        So Rahul Umar Bose, the FBI-CIA & Kamal Taufik Hassan can actually sort out all their problems there itself, without dragging India into the picture.

        But therein lies the threat, the clear & present danger to all of us. You can imagine the next movie where Mullah Umar is in Mumbai, or Delhi, maybe in Chennai (threatening Jajayalaitha for the way she dealt with Kamal Hassan), or in Malegaon, or in Srinagar, or Hyderabad, or in the Samjhauta Express, or in Ajmer. Thus taking the blame for all the terror attacks, that now are alleged to be the handiwork of the right-wing Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha, as per the National Investigation Agency (NIA) & certain Anti-Terror Squads (ATS).

        And then, is Osama Bin Laden & his dreaded Al-Qaeda far behind in reaching India?

        The fear that it will instill amongst the ordinary masses of India & the further fear & isolation towards which will be driven the Muslim community is apparent to many.

        The terror of the politics of terror . . . . . . .

        Also a little sincere & not-so-secret advice to film producers, directors, financiers & aspiring writers. In case you are sure that your film (or a book) is going to bomb at the box-office, be sure to include a few scenes that you may think may be offensive to the emotions of the Muslim community. Then arrange a screening prior to the release, even though your film has been cleared by the censor board - & rest assured that a few Muslims will fall prey to your trap & voila – you have your much needed controversy.

        My sincere advice to the Muslim community is the following. Islam is to great a religion for one book or a movie to harm our faith. Let us overcome our insecurities & notice that the tide is turning in our favour. The protests against the film have harmed the image of the Muslim community, even more than Vishawaroopam was planned to. We need to learn to ignore certain barbs hurled at us & do not need to fall for the traps laid for us every time.

        We have every right to protest & this is our constitutional & democratic right. Our strategy should have been to evoke support & call for a debate on the movie, whilst pointing out its flaws & distortions. Demanding the cuts after the censor board had cleared the movie, has harmed our image & further portrayed the community as extremist & undemocratic.

        The problem with Vishwaroopam, is that it has projected only a miniscule part of the reality of the Afghan quagmire over a period of more than three decades. But one cannot deny that today the Taliban & their ilk, do represent a form of a vitiated, extremist & a violent form of Islam. From the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha’s, to the attacks on schools & clinics, to the enforced imposition of a regressive barbaric code on women, to the public flogging & stoning, to the sectarian hatred & killings, to the destruction of Sufi Mazar’s & the genocide of the Shia’s – all this is being waged in the name of Islam.  This cannot be denied by any honest God-loving/fearing Muslim.

        This form of extremism is indeed alien & against the very letter, grain & spirit of Islam. Let us all stand up in unison & condemn this debasement & defilement of Islam. This we really do not venture into often enough – do we honestly?

        In the course of the last 2-3 years, the truth about the terror attacks is being revealed & this is due to the sustained struggle of Muslim organizations, in tandem with our secular allies, despite all the odds, with the entire media & dominant sections of the Government-intelligence-security apparatus ranged against us – but yet we have overcome all these odds. Now is the time to reach out to all the communities that make up this great & dynamic nation & expose the true facts of the terror networks that are now being revealed. (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/joining-the-dots/1068448/)

         If India is not to go the way of Pakistan, with its assorted Lashkar-Frankensteins, then we have to put a stop to those religious extremist forces that threaten to destroy the unity & social fabric of our nation. Now after the statement by the Union Home Minister, the tide has clearly changed in our favour & thus let’s not undermine our struggle by isolating ourselves any further by taking to the streets in the manner that we have & I was personally both angry & ashamed at the public spectacle. There is a certain degree of double-standards, intolerance & hypocrisy within the Muslim community as well.

        Also I would want to appeal here to all those who rightly advised the Muslim community on the values of freedom of expression, democracy & modernity. Kindly stand up, script & produce a movie based on the charge-sheet filed by Hemant Karkare, in a movie that can be titled ‘Bharatroopam’. I would love to see as to how many takers there would be from Bollywood, especially all the ones shouting ‘cultural terrorism’.

        In terms of soft-targets, the Muslim community is far more of a soft-target, than many film makers & writers.

        Yet, I will not ask for a cut, even though both my mind & my heart have suffered a few deep searing cuts.

        This is because I have immense faith in the great legacy of this country. I have great faith in the teachings of Krativeer Jotiba Phule, Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar & Shaheed Bhagat Singh. I have great faith in the people of India, in our secular democracy.

         



        --
        Feroze Mithiborwala



        --
        Feroze Mithiborwala



        --
        Feroze Mithiborwala



        --
        Feroze Mithiborwala

      • Chinu
        I had similar reactions after seeing the uncut Hindi version in Vadodara. I realised half way into the movie that the so called fringe Muslim grps of TN had
        Message 4 of 7 , Feb 5, 2013
        • 0 Attachment
          I had similar reactions after seeing the uncut Hindi version in Vadodara. I realised half way into the movie that the so called fringe Muslim grps of TN had more than a point. It essentialises Muslims, terrorists, and Islam. And gays in the first ten minutes. The movie is an insult to the intelligence of the viewer. I wondered if a film was made on the so called Hindu terrorists and they were shown spouting some sacred mystical Vedic chants or verses from the Gita before every killing of the 'enemy', what would be the reaction of my predominantly fellow Gujarati, presumably Hindu upper class, viewers in the Cinemax. By the end of the movie me and my wife were numbed at the banality of the movie. Here is a talented actor who refuses to grow up. I had similar reactions to his Dashavataram. What a waste of Rs 95 crores! (Chinu) Srinivasan
          Sent from my BlackBerry

          From: Teesta Setalvad <teestateesta@...>
          Sender: arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2013 15:50:08 +0530
          To: <arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com>
          ReplyTo: arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [Arkitect India] Vishwaroopam: Reinforcing Global Communal Stereotypes, Namaz, Bombs & justification for the US Empire By Feroze Mithiborwala

           

          Excellent piece Feroze

          On Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 2:55 AM, Feroze Mithiborwala <feroze.moses777@...> wrote:
           
          [Attachment(s) from Feroze Mithiborwala included below]

          Vishwaroopam: Reinforcing Global Communal Stereotypes, Namaz, Bombs & justification for the US Empire.

          By Feroze Mithiborwala

          February 4, 2013

          I was a little benumbed whilst watching this technically advanced, but socio-politically regressive movie. Kamal Hassan has lied to all of us when he had stated that this movie is his tribute to Indian Muslims & will make them proud.

          This movie had me even more worried than earlier!

          The message propagated all through the course of this slick production is basically – “One Good Muslim, All the rest - Bad Muslims”.

          The hero, Taufik is an Indian Muslim who saves the world, whilst the rest of the Muslims portrayed in the movie, are all committed to destruction & mayhem, all in the name of their religion.  

          This is the state of the world – Vishwaroopam.

          Yet, let me categorically state that I do not support any cuts, or further censorship of the mobs, but will certainly strive to counter this movie & all like it – intellectually & on the ideological plane, where the true battle lies

          This movie also justifies the US wars & occupation of Afghanistan in ways that even Hollywood would have felt ashamed of portraying. All this for the NRI audience I would tend to venture. My first opposition to the movie stemmed from the fact that the posters prominently posited the infamous ‘stars & stripes’ in the background & I knew that trouble was brewing. Mind you, the Indian Tri-colour is far less prominent & even missing for the most . . . so much for NRI nationalism, or for that matter that of the RNI’s, the Resident Non-Indians, the chatterati where these communal stereotypes hold sway.

          And coming back to the movie, I have never ever seen so many scenes of Namaz in any single film & there is certainly a sickeningly strong overdose of Islamic imagery & the overwhelming majority of it linked to negativity & violence. The movie is one big screenplay of Namaz & Bombs, Namaz & Terror, Namaz & Violence. I wonder as to how Kamal Hassan, who is also the scriptwriter, thought that this would help the cause of Indian Muslims, knowing full well what the community has been through for the past two decades & more. The way the entire community has been ‘terrorized by the terror’ & this has led to their further demonization & isolation.

          More so, the script is deeply flawed, lacks intelligence & an honest research. One would have tended to expect a little more from Bollywood after certain good movies dealing with this genre, such as ‘Dhoka’ (Mahesh Bhatt), ‘New York’ (Kabeer Khan), ‘Qurbaan’ (Saif Ali Khan), ‘My Name is Khan’ (Karan Johar & Shahrukh Khan), ‘Agent Vinod’ (Saif Ali Khan) & last but not the least ‘Tere Bin Laden’ (Abhishek Sharma), certainly the best political satire in a generation. It also had a far more genuine Bin Laden look-alike than the ones that appear in the CIA produced videos.

          All of the above movies were good honest efforts & there is a common thread as well as a degree of intelligent sensitivity that has gone into researching these scripts & directing these movies, none of which faced any public opprobrium or ire, even though they were far more complex than this ignominious, outrageous ill-conceived prejudiced charade called Vishwaroopam.

          Yet, I want no cuts here . . . . . . .

          The two lines attributed to Rahul Bose, whom many of us consider to be our own, are the most dangerous & misleading of all the dialogues in the movie.

          Rahul Bose, who plays Umar (alluding to Mullah Umar, the leader of the Taliban, I would presume), is facing an assault on his village. The Taliban have captured a few American soldiers & are on the move. The US army, attack the village where they have been led by a trace, with the help of Kamal Hassan, who plays Taufik, a RAW agent. Taufik has infiltrated the ranks of the Taliban to rise to be the ipso facto No. 2.

          Wonder what the RAW itself has to comment here.

          With the US helicopter gunships blazing away as they did in Vietnam & Iraq, as they do in Somalia, Yemen & Libya - & hope to in Syria - the Taliban are on the run.

          Here Rahul Umar Bose makes a statement to assure his fellow Talibani’s – “Don’t worry, the Americans do not kill women & children”.

          All I could think of in that Shakespearian moment was - “Et Tu Rahul!!”

          To what extent can an artist such as Rahul Bose sell himself, his very moral intellect, is a question that he & many others need to seriously ponder upon.

          This dialogue would be considered ridiculous & even blasphemous by the Americans themselves, who always refer to the deaths of civilians as ‘collateral damage’, but Kamal Hassan in his willful pandering has gone even beyond the worst in Hollywood.

          Thus the movie further portrays the US soldier manning the gunship, feeling sorry for killing innocents, whilst the Afghans are all portrayed as dehumanized killing machines. I do not think our immediate neighbours are going to appreciate this movie very much. But who cares, our movies are a reflection of our skewed foreign policy as it does appear. And the Afghans are not exactly a market yet.

          The second statement by Rahul Umar Bose is even more dangerous for Indian Muslims & for all the secular activists who have stood by the community as it was demonised, isolated & entrapped into the false-flag terror attacks that we have witnessed since the post-9/11 world. This was the phase of ‘controlled chaos’ & ‘unending perpetual state of wars’ - to use Neoconservative terms.

          Here whilst talking to Kamal Taufik Hassan, Rahul Umar Bose smilingly & nonchalantly mentions that “We were also involved in the terror attacks of Malegaon, Bombay & other Indian cities”. In the Tamil & Telegu versions, Coimbatore & Madurai are mentioned.

          ‘Good God!!’, I exclaimed to myself, even dropping my popcorn – this movie is basically stating that the Taliban & Al Qaeda are active in India & thus certain sections of the Indian Muslim population are certainly enmeshed with the global terror network. This will prove to be catastrophic in the subconscious perceptions that tend to get ingrained deep into our reality.

          This, Mr. Kamal Hassan, is going to be disastrous for Indian Muslims & we can all assure you that.

          But where is the research may we ask? Have you not heard of ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, who even served in the RAW? Are you not aware that since 2007 the role of the Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha in terror attacks across the country is being probed? Particularly in Malegaon, Nanded, Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer, Goa & another 10 more as per the statements of the Home Ministry. Actually there are more than 16 recorded cases, but we will leave that for later. All of which are further linked to the right-wing Manuwadi Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)?

          Are you really unaware of these facts? Are you planning to leave the country, or had you already left India & were living in New York & are thus so ill-informed whilst writing the script, which lacks even an iota of honesty & responsibility?

          And this is thus a question that we as secular activists must ask ourselves. Many Hollywood movies with a geopolitical strategic agenda are produced in tandem with the Pentagon, so as to further the Imperial agenda of global hegemony & the advancement of the Military-Security-Industrial-Corporate-Media Complex.

          The Zionist dominated Hollywood target & portray Palestinians & Arabs in particular & Muslims in general as terrorists & fanatics & thus these societies need to be invaded & civilized - & their resources taken over for good measure.

          This movie by Kamal Hassan in my estimation also certainly falls in that category of disinformation & propaganda to serve the cause of the Empire & to justify the wars, occupation & the genocide of the Afghan nation, as well as the people of Pakistan. Thus not even a fleeting reference to the drone attacks & the killings of innocents, of women & children – thus & as to how it continues to create & foster more & more militants & terrorists.

          Then comes the part where there is a meeting between the leadership of the Taliban led by Rahul Umar & Al Qaeda-Osama Bin Laden. Here again I would request all those who have been taken in by the recent supposed assassination of OBL at the staged operation at Abbotabad, to read the excellent & well researched book by David Ray Griffin - ‘Osama Bin Laden Dead or Alive?’ (http://www.globalresearch.ca/osama-bin-laden-dead-or-alive/15601). According to many honest experts, OBL has been dead since December 15, 2001.

          It is also time, actually high time, for the Indian peace movement to address the issues of the 9/11 false-flag terror attack, which has been central, seminal & defining moment of the 21st century, changing the very trajectory of international politics & leading to an era of wars, occupation & genocide. (http://www.ae911truth.org/).

          Recently more than 12,500 police stations across America received petitions by peace activists stating that the attack on WTC 1, 2 & 7 were an inside job & demanding that the investigation be reopened. This movement is being spearheaded by more than 1700 architects & engineers & they have the support of many prominent intellectuals, scholars, and human-rights activists, whistle-blowers from within the CIA-FBI, as well as vast sections of American society & the numbers are growing. (http://www.ae911truth.org/downloads/documents/AE911Truth_Police_Letter.pdf)

          The reason as to why we will have to grapple with these issues is that, I personally know of Muslim youth who have been quizzed about their positions on 9/11, Bin Laden & Al Qaeda. The youth have been perplexed & horrified & left wondering as to what a job application in the engineering, IT & telecom sectors have to do with their knowledge or lack off, on these issues. With Muslim children who have tried to step out of their ghettoes & seek admission in a multi-cultural milieu, being denied & told to go back where they came from. Of Muslims being denied housing in secular neighbourhoods. All these discriminative practices have also increased in the last decade – thanks to the dominant paradigm of terror.

          Now, let us get back to the movie.

          Soon after the carnage at Rahul Umar’s village, we are transported into America. Here Kamal Taufik Hassan is working incognito singing & dancing to songs written by Javed Akhtar (Lyricist), as any good Muslim should be. Then a terror network begins to unravel & here we have Rahul Umar now planning to explode a Dirty-Bomb made of waste radioactive material, which the good Muslim does foil, but after saying his Namaz! Whilst in the room inside wherein lies the Dirty-Bomb, is a bad Muslim, an African-American of Nigerian descent, busy offering Namaz before he is to blow the city to kingdom come.

          Herein lies another serious problem with this film & that is the tarnishing of African-American Muslims as part of the global terror network. In most Hollywood movies, they are sensitive enough to portray the African American as the FBI boss, under whom the White officers serve. But here the RAW agent is working with only Whites, presumably Anglo-Saxon agents, whilst the African-American Muslim, is in tandem with the Taliban. Another case of out-sourcing I guess.

          Yet again, Kamal Hassan fails in his research. The terror attacks portrayed in the film have never occurred. Also the FBI has been entrapping Muslim youth from various ethnic backgrounds & this too is a documented fact. Since there are no serious terror threats to America, the FBI actually manufactures them, as there is no other way to justify Homeland Security & it’s vast gargantuan powers & budget. FBI agents, informers, or ex-convicts working in tandem with the FBI are sent into Muslim communities with an attempt to create terrorists. During the course of the year, a couple of youth, mainly with a criminal background do get entrapped due to intensive indoctrination about the crimes of the American Empire against their people. These youth are then further induced & provided training to carry out a terror attack. Targets are indentified, funds, bombs & ammunition provided & the day that they do carry out the attack, they are apprehended red-handed. The bombs turn out to be fake & so do the guns & that is how stupid this supposed terrorists are.

          (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/terrorist-plots-helped-along-by-the-fbi.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)

          This information is now available in the mainstream corporate media & should have been studied by Kamal Taufik Hassan, before trying to give the FBI a positive image in India.  

          This movie thus is basically a propaganda tool for the FBI, as well as the US Empire. And now apart from Hollywood, they even have some of the best known names from Bollywood to do their bidding. I wonder as to how much of the financial backing of this movie came from sources such as these & this question must be asked in all seriousness.

          The plot foiled, America saved, sorry, the world saved – Rahul Umar & his Taliban cohorts decide to flee to – India for God’s sake!! Thus we end with the inevitability of Vishwaroopam II-India!

          Actually Kamal Taufik Hassan, might even consider shifting the next locale to Qatar, where the ‘Good Taliban’ now have a functioning office. Here they will all have ample security as the US has a vast network of naval & airforce bases. (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2003-03/20/content_789607.htm).

          So Rahul Umar Bose, the FBI-CIA & Kamal Taufik Hassan can actually sort out all their problems there itself, without dragging India into the picture.

          But therein lies the threat, the clear & present danger to all of us. You can imagine the next movie where Mullah Umar is in Mumbai, or Delhi, maybe in Chennai (threatening Jajayalaitha for the way she dealt with Kamal Hassan), or in Malegaon, or in Srinagar, or Hyderabad, or in the Samjhauta Express, or in Ajmer. Thus taking the blame for all the terror attacks, that now are alleged to be the handiwork of the right-wing Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha, as per the National Investigation Agency (NIA) & certain Anti-Terror Squads (ATS).

          And then, is Osama Bin Laden & his dreaded Al-Qaeda far behind in reaching India?

          The fear that it will instill amongst the ordinary masses of India & the further fear & isolation towards which will be driven the Muslim community is apparent to many.

          The terror of the politics of terror . . . . . . .

          Also a little sincere & not-so-secret advice to film producers, directors, financiers & aspiring writers. In case you are sure that your film (or a book) is going to bomb at the box-office, be sure to include a few scenes that you may think may be offensive to the emotions of the Muslim community. Then arrange a screening prior to the release, even though your film has been cleared by the censor board - & rest assured that a few Muslims will fall prey to your trap & voila – you have your much needed controversy.

          My sincere advice to the Muslim community is the following. Islam is to great a religion for one book or a movie to harm our faith. Let us overcome our insecurities & notice that the tide is turning in our favour. The protests against the film have harmed the image of the Muslim community, even more than Vishawaroopam was planned to. We need to learn to ignore certain barbs hurled at us & do not need to fall for the traps laid for us every time.

          We have every right to protest & this is our constitutional & democratic right. Our strategy should have been to evoke support & call for a debate on the movie, whilst pointing out its flaws & distortions. Demanding the cuts after the censor board had cleared the movie, has harmed our image & further portrayed the community as extremist & undemocratic.

          The problem with Vishwaroopam, is that it has projected only a miniscule part of the reality of the Afghan quagmire over a period of more than three decades. But one cannot deny that today the Taliban & their ilk, do represent a form of a vitiated, extremist & a violent form of Islam. From the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha’s, to the attacks on schools & clinics, to the enforced imposition of a regressive barbaric code on women, to the public flogging & stoning, to the sectarian hatred & killings, to the destruction of Sufi Mazar’s & the genocide of the Shia’s – all this is being waged in the name of Islam.  This cannot be denied by any honest God-loving/fearing Muslim.

          This form of extremism is indeed alien & against the very letter, grain & spirit of Islam. Let us all stand up in unison & condemn this debasement & defilement of Islam. This we really do not venture into often enough – do we honestly?

          In the course of the last 2-3 years, the truth about the terror attacks is being revealed & this is due to the sustained struggle of Muslim organizations, in tandem with our secular allies, despite all the odds, with the entire media & dominant sections of the Government-intelligence-security apparatus ranged against us – but yet we have overcome all these odds. Now is the time to reach out to all the communities that make up this great & dynamic nation & expose the true facts of the terror networks that are now being revealed. (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/joining-the-dots/1068448/)

           If India is not to go the way of Pakistan, with its assorted Lashkar-Frankensteins, then we have to put a stop to those religious extremist forces that threaten to destroy the unity & social fabric of our nation. Now after the statement by the Union Home Minister, the tide has clearly changed in our favour & thus let’s not undermine our struggle by isolating ourselves any further by taking to the streets in the manner that we have & I was personally both angry & ashamed at the public spectacle. There is a certain degree of double-standards, intolerance & hypocrisy within the Muslim community as well.

          Also I would want to appeal here to all those who rightly advised the Muslim community on the values of freedom of expression, democracy & modernity. Kindly stand up, script & produce a movie based on the charge-sheet filed by Hemant Karkare, in a movie that can be titled ‘Bharatroopam’. I would love to see as to how many takers there would be from Bollywood, especially all the ones shouting ‘cultural terrorism’.

          In terms of soft-targets, the Muslim community is far more of a soft-target, than many film makers & writers.

          Yet, I will not ask for a cut, even though both my mind & my heart have suffered a few deep searing cuts.

          This is because I have immense faith in the great legacy of this country. I have great faith in the teachings of Krativeer Jotiba Phule, Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar & Shaheed Bhagat Singh. I have great faith in the people of India, in our secular democracy.

           



          --
          Feroze Mithiborwala



          --
          Feroze Mithiborwala



          --
          Feroze Mithiborwala



          --
          Feroze Mithiborwala




          --
          Teesta Setalvad
          'Nirant', Juhu Tara Road,
          Juhu, Mumbai - 400 049

          http://teestasetalvad.blogspot.com/

          www.cjponline.org
          www.gujarat-riots.com
          www.sabrang.com

        • Feroze Mithiborwala
          Thank You Teesta, We need to talk to Kamal Haasan, Rahul Bose, Shekhar Kapoor, Javed Akhtar, before we head for Vishwaroopam II. I did speak to Mahesh Bhatt &
          Message 5 of 7 , Feb 5, 2013
          • 0 Attachment
            Thank You Teesta,
             
            We need to talk to Kamal Haasan, Rahul Bose, Shekhar Kapoor, Javed Akhtar, before we head for Vishwaroopam II. I did speak to Mahesh Bhatt & he did hear me out. Rahul Bose stands with the film & disagrees with me entirely, he says.
             
            I also did speak to Javed Akhtar briefly & he now Mahesh Bhatt have seen the film.
             
            Admiral Ramdas & Lalita ji are in agreement & like the idea of a public debate amongst the secular camp.
             
            Can we all work on this together?
             
            Kindly let us know.
             
            . . . . we also need a statement in support of the all-Girl Band - Pragaash, against the Mufti's fatwa.& am working on it with friends in Delhi.
             
            aapka bhai
            feroze
             


             
            On 5 February 2013 15:50, Teesta Setalvad <teestateesta@...> wrote:
             

            Excellent piece Feroze

            On Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 2:55 AM, Feroze Mithiborwala <feroze.moses777@...> wrote:
             
            [Attachment(s) from Feroze Mithiborwala included below]

            Vishwaroopam: Reinforcing Global Communal Stereotypes, Namaz, Bombs & justification for the US Empire.

            By Feroze Mithiborwala

            February 4, 2013

            I was a little benumbed whilst watching this technically advanced, but socio-politically regressive movie. Kamal Hassan has lied to all of us when he had stated that this movie is his tribute to Indian Muslims & will make them proud.

            This movie had me even more worried than earlier!

            The message propagated all through the course of this slick production is basically – “One Good Muslim, All the rest - Bad Muslims”.

            The hero, Taufik is an Indian Muslim who saves the world, whilst the rest of the Muslims portrayed in the movie, are all committed to destruction & mayhem, all in the name of their religion.  

            This is the state of the world – Vishwaroopam.

            Yet, let me categorically state that I do not support any cuts, or further censorship of the mobs, but will certainly strive to counter this movie & all like it – intellectually & on the ideological plane, where the true battle lies

            This movie also justifies the US wars & occupation of Afghanistan in ways that even Hollywood would have felt ashamed of portraying. All this for the NRI audience I would tend to venture. My first opposition to the movie stemmed from the fact that the posters prominently posited the infamous ‘stars & stripes’ in the background & I knew that trouble was brewing. Mind you, the Indian Tri-colour is far less prominent & even missing for the most . . . so much for NRI nationalism, or for that matter that of the RNI’s, the Resident Non-Indians, the chatterati where these communal stereotypes hold sway.

            And coming back to the movie, I have never ever seen so many scenes of Namaz in any single film & there is certainly a sickeningly strong overdose of Islamic imagery & the overwhelming majority of it linked to negativity & violence. The movie is one big screenplay of Namaz & Bombs, Namaz & Terror, Namaz & Violence. I wonder as to how Kamal Hassan, who is also the scriptwriter, thought that this would help the cause of Indian Muslims, knowing full well what the community has been through for the past two decades & more. The way the entire community has been ‘terrorized by the terror’ & this has led to their further demonization & isolation.

            More so, the script is deeply flawed, lacks intelligence & an honest research. One would have tended to expect a little more from Bollywood after certain good movies dealing with this genre, such as ‘Dhoka’ (Mahesh Bhatt), ‘New York’ (Kabeer Khan), ‘Qurbaan’ (Saif Ali Khan), ‘My Name is Khan’ (Karan Johar & Shahrukh Khan), ‘Agent Vinod’ (Saif Ali Khan) & last but not the least ‘Tere Bin Laden’ (Abhishek Sharma), certainly the best political satire in a generation. It also had a far more genuine Bin Laden look-alike than the ones that appear in the CIA produced videos.

            All of the above movies were good honest efforts & there is a common thread as well as a degree of intelligent sensitivity that has gone into researching these scripts & directing these movies, none of which faced any public opprobrium or ire, even though they were far more complex than this ignominious, outrageous ill-conceived prejudiced charade called Vishwaroopam.

            Yet, I want no cuts here . . . . . . .

            The two lines attributed to Rahul Bose, whom many of us consider to be our own, are the most dangerous & misleading of all the dialogues in the movie.

            Rahul Bose, who plays Umar (alluding to Mullah Umar, the leader of the Taliban, I would presume), is facing an assault on his village. The Taliban have captured a few American soldiers & are on the move. The US army, attack the village where they have been led by a trace, with the help of Kamal Hassan, who plays Taufik, a RAW agent. Taufik has infiltrated the ranks of the Taliban to rise to be the ipso facto No. 2.

            Wonder what the RAW itself has to comment here.

            With the US helicopter gunships blazing away as they did in Vietnam & Iraq, as they do in Somalia, Yemen & Libya - & hope to in Syria - the Taliban are on the run.

            Here Rahul Umar Bose makes a statement to assure his fellow Talibani’s – “Don’t worry, the Americans do not kill women & children”.

            All I could think of in that Shakespearian moment was - “Et Tu Rahul!!”

            To what extent can an artist such as Rahul Bose sell himself, his very moral intellect, is a question that he & many others need to seriously ponder upon.

            This dialogue would be considered ridiculous & even blasphemous by the Americans themselves, who always refer to the deaths of civilians as ‘collateral damage’, but Kamal Hassan in his willful pandering has gone even beyond the worst in Hollywood.

            Thus the movie further portrays the US soldier manning the gunship, feeling sorry for killing innocents, whilst the Afghans are all portrayed as dehumanized killing machines. I do not think our immediate neighbours are going to appreciate this movie very much. But who cares, our movies are a reflection of our skewed foreign policy as it does appear. And the Afghans are not exactly a market yet.

            The second statement by Rahul Umar Bose is even more dangerous for Indian Muslims & for all the secular activists who have stood by the community as it was demonised, isolated & entrapped into the false-flag terror attacks that we have witnessed since the post-9/11 world. This was the phase of ‘controlled chaos’ & ‘unending perpetual state of wars’ - to use Neoconservative terms.

            Here whilst talking to Kamal Taufik Hassan, Rahul Umar Bose smilingly & nonchalantly mentions that “We were also involved in the terror attacks of Malegaon, Bombay & other Indian cities”. In the Tamil & Telegu versions, Coimbatore & Madurai are mentioned.

            ‘Good God!!’, I exclaimed to myself, even dropping my popcorn – this movie is basically stating that the Taliban & Al Qaeda are active in India & thus certain sections of the Indian Muslim population are certainly enmeshed with the global terror network. This will prove to be catastrophic in the subconscious perceptions that tend to get ingrained deep into our reality.

            This, Mr. Kamal Hassan, is going to be disastrous for Indian Muslims & we can all assure you that.

            But where is the research may we ask? Have you not heard of ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, who even served in the RAW? Are you not aware that since 2007 the role of the Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha in terror attacks across the country is being probed? Particularly in Malegaon, Nanded, Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer, Goa & another 10 more as per the statements of the Home Ministry. Actually there are more than 16 recorded cases, but we will leave that for later. All of which are further linked to the right-wing Manuwadi Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)?

            Are you really unaware of these facts? Are you planning to leave the country, or had you already left India & were living in New York & are thus so ill-informed whilst writing the script, which lacks even an iota of honesty & responsibility?

            And this is thus a question that we as secular activists must ask ourselves. Many Hollywood movies with a geopolitical strategic agenda are produced in tandem with the Pentagon, so as to further the Imperial agenda of global hegemony & the advancement of the Military-Security-Industrial-Corporate-Media Complex.

            The Zionist dominated Hollywood target & portray Palestinians & Arabs in particular & Muslims in general as terrorists & fanatics & thus these societies need to be invaded & civilized - & their resources taken over for good measure.

            This movie by Kamal Hassan in my estimation also certainly falls in that category of disinformation & propaganda to serve the cause of the Empire & to justify the wars, occupation & the genocide of the Afghan nation, as well as the people of Pakistan. Thus not even a fleeting reference to the drone attacks & the killings of innocents, of women & children – thus & as to how it continues to create & foster more & more militants & terrorists.

            Then comes the part where there is a meeting between the leadership of the Taliban led by Rahul Umar & Al Qaeda-Osama Bin Laden. Here again I would request all those who have been taken in by the recent supposed assassination of OBL at the staged operation at Abbotabad, to read the excellent & well researched book by David Ray Griffin - ‘Osama Bin Laden Dead or Alive?’ (http://www.globalresearch.ca/osama-bin-laden-dead-or-alive/15601). According to many honest experts, OBL has been dead since December 15, 2001.

            It is also time, actually high time, for the Indian peace movement to address the issues of the 9/11 false-flag terror attack, which has been central, seminal & defining moment of the 21st century, changing the very trajectory of international politics & leading to an era of wars, occupation & genocide. (http://www.ae911truth.org/).

            Recently more than 12,500 police stations across America received petitions by peace activists stating that the attack on WTC 1, 2 & 7 were an inside job & demanding that the investigation be reopened. This movement is being spearheaded by more than 1700 architects & engineers & they have the support of many prominent intellectuals, scholars, and human-rights activists, whistle-blowers from within the CIA-FBI, as well as vast sections of American society & the numbers are growing. (http://www.ae911truth.org/downloads/documents/AE911Truth_Police_Letter.pdf)

            The reason as to why we will have to grapple with these issues is that, I personally know of Muslim youth who have been quizzed about their positions on 9/11, Bin Laden & Al Qaeda. The youth have been perplexed & horrified & left wondering as to what a job application in the engineering, IT & telecom sectors have to do with their knowledge or lack off, on these issues. With Muslim children who have tried to step out of their ghettoes & seek admission in a multi-cultural milieu, being denied & told to go back where they came from. Of Muslims being denied housing in secular neighbourhoods. All these discriminative practices have also increased in the last decade – thanks to the dominant paradigm of terror.

            Now, let us get back to the movie.

            Soon after the carnage at Rahul Umar’s village, we are transported into America. Here Kamal Taufik Hassan is working incognito singing & dancing to songs written by Javed Akhtar (Lyricist), as any good Muslim should be. Then a terror network begins to unravel & here we have Rahul Umar now planning to explode a Dirty-Bomb made of waste radioactive material, which the good Muslim does foil, but after saying his Namaz! Whilst in the room inside wherein lies the Dirty-Bomb, is a bad Muslim, an African-American of Nigerian descent, busy offering Namaz before he is to blow the city to kingdom come.

            Herein lies another serious problem with this film & that is the tarnishing of African-American Muslims as part of the global terror network. In most Hollywood movies, they are sensitive enough to portray the African American as the FBI boss, under whom the White officers serve. But here the RAW agent is working with only Whites, presumably Anglo-Saxon agents, whilst the African-American Muslim, is in tandem with the Taliban. Another case of out-sourcing I guess.

            Yet again, Kamal Hassan fails in his research. The terror attacks portrayed in the film have never occurred. Also the FBI has been entrapping Muslim youth from various ethnic backgrounds & this too is a documented fact. Since there are no serious terror threats to America, the FBI actually manufactures them, as there is no other way to justify Homeland Security & it’s vast gargantuan powers & budget. FBI agents, informers, or ex-convicts working in tandem with the FBI are sent into Muslim communities with an attempt to create terrorists. During the course of the year, a couple of youth, mainly with a criminal background do get entrapped due to intensive indoctrination about the crimes of the American Empire against their people. These youth are then further induced & provided training to carry out a terror attack. Targets are indentified, funds, bombs & ammunition provided & the day that they do carry out the attack, they are apprehended red-handed. The bombs turn out to be fake & so do the guns & that is how stupid this supposed terrorists are.

            (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/terrorist-plots-helped-along-by-the-fbi.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)

            This information is now available in the mainstream corporate media & should have been studied by Kamal Taufik Hassan, before trying to give the FBI a positive image in India.  

            This movie thus is basically a propaganda tool for the FBI, as well as the US Empire. And now apart from Hollywood, they even have some of the best known names from Bollywood to do their bidding. I wonder as to how much of the financial backing of this movie came from sources such as these & this question must be asked in all seriousness.

            The plot foiled, America saved, sorry, the world saved – Rahul Umar & his Taliban cohorts decide to flee to – India for God’s sake!! Thus we end with the inevitability of Vishwaroopam II-India!

            Actually Kamal Taufik Hassan, might even consider shifting the next locale to Qatar, where the ‘Good Taliban’ now have a functioning office. Here they will all have ample security as the US has a vast network of naval & airforce bases. (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2003-03/20/content_789607.htm).

            So Rahul Umar Bose, the FBI-CIA & Kamal Taufik Hassan can actually sort out all their problems there itself, without dragging India into the picture.

            But therein lies the threat, the clear & present danger to all of us. You can imagine the next movie where Mullah Umar is in Mumbai, or Delhi, maybe in Chennai (threatening Jajayalaitha for the way she dealt with Kamal Hassan), or in Malegaon, or in Srinagar, or Hyderabad, or in the Samjhauta Express, or in Ajmer. Thus taking the blame for all the terror attacks, that now are alleged to be the handiwork of the right-wing Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha, as per the National Investigation Agency (NIA) & certain Anti-Terror Squads (ATS).

            And then, is Osama Bin Laden & his dreaded Al-Qaeda far behind in reaching India?

            The fear that it will instill amongst the ordinary masses of India & the further fear & isolation towards which will be driven the Muslim community is apparent to many.

            The terror of the politics of terror . . . . . . .

            Also a little sincere & not-so-secret advice to film producers, directors, financiers & aspiring writers. In case you are sure that your film (or a book) is going to bomb at the box-office, be sure to include a few scenes that you may think may be offensive to the emotions of the Muslim community. Then arrange a screening prior to the release, even though your film has been cleared by the censor board - & rest assured that a few Muslims will fall prey to your trap & voila – you have your much needed controversy.

            My sincere advice to the Muslim community is the following. Islam is to great a religion for one book or a movie to harm our faith. Let us overcome our insecurities & notice that the tide is turning in our favour. The protests against the film have harmed the image of the Muslim community, even more than Vishawaroopam was planned to. We need to learn to ignore certain barbs hurled at us & do not need to fall for the traps laid for us every time.

            We have every right to protest & this is our constitutional & democratic right. Our strategy should have been to evoke support & call for a debate on the movie, whilst pointing out its flaws & distortions. Demanding the cuts after the censor board had cleared the movie, has harmed our image & further portrayed the community as extremist & undemocratic.

            The problem with Vishwaroopam, is that it has projected only a miniscule part of the reality of the Afghan quagmire over a period of more than three decades. But one cannot deny that today the Taliban & their ilk, do represent a form of a vitiated, extremist & a violent form of Islam. From the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha’s, to the attacks on schools & clinics, to the enforced imposition of a regressive barbaric code on women, to the public flogging & stoning, to the sectarian hatred & killings, to the destruction of Sufi Mazar’s & the genocide of the Shia’s – all this is being waged in the name of Islam.  This cannot be denied by any honest God-loving/fearing Muslim.

            This form of extremism is indeed alien & against the very letter, grain & spirit of Islam. Let us all stand up in unison & condemn this debasement & defilement of Islam. This we really do not venture into often enough – do we honestly?

            In the course of the last 2-3 years, the truth about the terror attacks is being revealed & this is due to the sustained struggle of Muslim organizations, in tandem with our secular allies, despite all the odds, with the entire media & dominant sections of the Government-intelligence-security apparatus ranged against us – but yet we have overcome all these odds. Now is the time to reach out to all the communities that make up this great & dynamic nation & expose the true facts of the terror networks that are now being revealed. (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/joining-the-dots/1068448/)

             If India is not to go the way of Pakistan, with its assorted Lashkar-Frankensteins, then we have to put a stop to those religious extremist forces that threaten to destroy the unity & social fabric of our nation. Now after the statement by the Union Home Minister, the tide has clearly changed in our favour & thus let’s not undermine our struggle by isolating ourselves any further by taking to the streets in the manner that we have & I was personally both angry & ashamed at the public spectacle. There is a certain degree of double-standards, intolerance & hypocrisy within the Muslim community as well.

            Also I would want to appeal here to all those who rightly advised the Muslim community on the values of freedom of expression, democracy & modernity. Kindly stand up, script & produce a movie based on the charge-sheet filed by Hemant Karkare, in a movie that can be titled ‘Bharatroopam’. I would love to see as to how many takers there would be from Bollywood, especially all the ones shouting ‘cultural terrorism’.

            In terms of soft-targets, the Muslim community is far more of a soft-target, than many film makers & writers.

            Yet, I will not ask for a cut, even though both my mind & my heart have suffered a few deep searing cuts.

            This is because I have immense faith in the great legacy of this country. I have great faith in the teachings of Krativeer Jotiba Phule, Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar & Shaheed Bhagat Singh. I have great faith in the people of India, in our secular democracy.

             



            --
            Feroze Mithiborwala



            --
            Feroze Mithiborwala



            --
            Feroze Mithiborwala



            --
            Feroze Mithiborwala




            --
            Teesta Setalvad
            'Nirant', Juhu Tara Road,
            Juhu, Mumbai - 400 049

            http://teestasetalvad.blogspot.com/

            www.cjponline.org
            www.gujarat-riots.com
            www.sabrang.com




            --
            Feroze Mithiborwala
          • Feroze Mithiborwala
            Right on Shruti - i agree with you entirely. Its the USA, that i will write from hereon. Thanks for this. regards feroze ... -- Feroze Mithiborwala Right on
            Message 6 of 7 , Feb 5, 2013
            • 0 Attachment
              Right on Shruti - i agree with you entirely. Its the USA, that i will write from hereon.
               
              Thanks for this.
               
              regards
              feroze

              On 5 February 2013 16:24, Shruti Joshi <shruti.joshi@...> wrote:
               

              Thanx, Mr. Mithiborwala, for this analytical write-up.
               
              Just one (irritating) detail - every time you have written America/ns you are actually refering to USA, hence, it would be respectful to other nations on the continents of Americas to refer to USA as USA and not America!


              From: arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Feroze Mithiborwala

              Sent: Monday, February 04, 2013 2:56 AM
              Subject: [Arkitect India] Vishwaroopam: Reinforcing Global Communal Stereotypes, Namaz, Bombs & justification for the US Empire By Feroze Mithiborwala [1 Attachment]

               

              Vishwaroopam: Reinforcing Global Communal Stereotypes, Namaz, Bombs & justification for the US Empire.

              By Feroze Mithiborwala

              February 4, 2013

              I was a little benumbed whilst watching this technically advanced, but socio-politically regressive movie. Kamal Hassan has lied to all of us when he had stated that this movie is his tribute to Indian Muslims & will make them proud.

              This movie had me even more worried than earlier!

              The message propagated all through the course of this slick production is basically – “One Good Muslim, All the rest - Bad Muslims”.

              The hero, Taufik is an Indian Muslim who saves the world, whilst the rest of the Muslims portrayed in the movie, are all committed to destruction & mayhem, all in the name of their religion.  

              This is the state of the world – Vishwaroopam.

              Yet, let me categorically state that I do not support any cuts, or further censorship of the mobs, but will certainly strive to counter this movie & all like it – intellectually & on the ideological plane, where the true battle lies

              This movie also justifies the US wars & occupation of Afghanistan in ways that even Hollywood would have felt ashamed of portraying. All this for the NRI audience I would tend to venture. My first opposition to the movie stemmed from the fact that the posters prominently posited the infamous ‘stars & stripes’ in the background & I knew that trouble was brewing. Mind you, the Indian Tri-colour is far less prominent & even missing for the most . . . so much for NRI nationalism, or for that matter that of the RNI’s, the Resident Non-Indians, the chatterati where these communal stereotypes hold sway.

              And coming back to the movie, I have never ever seen so many scenes of Namaz in any single film & there is certainly a sickeningly strong overdose of Islamic imagery & the overwhelming majority of it linked to negativity & violence. The movie is one big screenplay of Namaz & Bombs, Namaz & Terror, Namaz & Violence. I wonder as to how Kamal Hassan, who is also the scriptwriter, thought that this would help the cause of Indian Muslims, knowing full well what the community has been through for the past two decades & more. The way the entire community has been ‘terrorized by the terror’ & this has led to their further demonization & isolation.

              More so, the script is deeply flawed, lacks intelligence & an honest research. One would have tended to expect a little more from Bollywood after certain good movies dealing with this genre, such as ‘Dhoka’ (Mahesh Bhatt), ‘New York’ (Kabeer Khan), ‘Qurbaan’ (Saif Ali Khan), ‘My Name is Khan’ (Karan Johar & Shahrukh Khan), ‘Agent Vinod’ (Saif Ali Khan) & last but not the least ‘Tere Bin Laden’ (Abhishek Sharma), certainly the best political satire in a generation. It also had a far more genuine Bin Laden look-alike than the ones that appear in the CIA produced videos.

              All of the above movies were good honest efforts & there is a common thread as well as a degree of intelligent sensitivity that has gone into researching these scripts & directing these movies, none of which faced any public opprobrium or ire, even though they were far more complex than this ignominious, outrageous ill-conceived prejudiced charade called Vishwaroopam.

              Yet, I want no cuts here . . . . . . .

              The two lines attributed to Rahul Bose, whom many of us consider to be our own, are the most dangerous & misleading of all the dialogues in the movie.

              Rahul Bose, who plays Umar (alluding to Mullah Umar, the leader of the Taliban, I would presume), is facing an assault on his village. The Taliban have captured a few American soldiers & are on the move. The US army, attack the village where they have been led by a trace, with the help of Kamal Hassan, who plays Taufik, a RAW agent. Taufik has infiltrated the ranks of the Taliban to rise to be the ipso facto No. 2.

              Wonder what the RAW itself has to comment here.

              With the US helicopter gunships blazing away as they did in Vietnam & Iraq, as they do in Somalia, Yemen & Libya - & hope to in Syria - the Taliban are on the run.

              Here Rahul Umar Bose makes a statement to assure his fellow Talibani’s – “Don’t worry, the Americans do not kill women & children”.

              All I could think of in that Shakespearian moment was - “Et Tu Rahul!!”

              To what extent can an artist such as Rahul Bose sell himself, his very moral intellect, is a question that he & many others need to seriously ponder upon.

              This dialogue would be considered ridiculous & even blasphemous by the Americans themselves, who always refer to the deaths of civilians as ‘collateral damage’, but Kamal Hassan in his willful pandering has gone even beyond the worst in Hollywood.

              Thus the movie further portrays the US soldier manning the gunship, feeling sorry for killing innocents, whilst the Afghans are all portrayed as dehumanized killing machines. I do not think our immediate neighbours are going to appreciate this movie very much. But who cares, our movies are a reflection of our skewed foreign policy as it does appear. And the Afghans are not exactly a market yet.

              The second statement by Rahul Umar Bose is even more dangerous for Indian Muslims & for all the secular activists who have stood by the community as it was demonised, isolated & entrapped into the false-flag terror attacks that we have witnessed since the post-9/11 world. This was the phase of ‘controlled chaos’ & ‘unending perpetual state of wars’ - to use Neoconservative terms.

              Here whilst talking to Kamal Taufik Hassan, Rahul Umar Bose smilingly & nonchalantly mentions that “We were also involved in the terror attacks of Malegaon, Bombay & other Indian cities”. In the Tamil & Telegu versions, Coimbatore & Madurai are mentioned.

              ‘Good God!!’, I exclaimed to myself, even dropping my popcorn – this movie is basically stating that the Taliban & Al Qaeda are active in India & thus certain sections of the Indian Muslim population are certainly enmeshed with the global terror network. This will prove to be catastrophic in the subconscious perceptions that tend to get ingrained deep into our reality.

              This, Mr. Kamal Hassan, is going to be disastrous for Indian Muslims & we can all assure you that.

              But where is the research may we ask? Have you not heard of ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, who even served in the RAW? Are you not aware that since 2007 the role of the Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha in terror attacks across the country is being probed? Particularly in Malegaon, Nanded, Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer, Goa & another 10 more as per the statements of the Home Ministry. Actually there are more than 16 recorded cases, but we will leave that for later. All of which are further linked to the right-wing Manuwadi Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)?

              Are you really unaware of these facts? Are you planning to leave the country, or had you already left India & were living in New York & are thus so ill-informed whilst writing the script, which lacks even an iota of honesty & responsibility?

              And this is thus a question that we as secular activists must ask ourselves. Many Hollywood movies with a geopolitical strategic agenda are produced in tandem with the Pentagon, so as to further the Imperial agenda of global hegemony & the advancement of the Military-Security-Industrial-Corporate-Media Complex.

              The Zionist dominated Hollywood target & portray Palestinians & Arabs in particular & Muslims in general as terrorists & fanatics & thus these societies need to be invaded & civilized - & their resources taken over for good measure.

              This movie by Kamal Hassan in my estimation also certainly falls in that category of disinformation & propaganda to serve the cause of the Empire & to justify the wars, occupation & the genocide of the Afghan nation, as well as the people of Pakistan. Thus not even a fleeting reference to the drone attacks & the killings of innocents, of women & children – thus & as to how it continues to create & foster more & more militants & terrorists.

              Then comes the part where there is a meeting between the leadership of the Taliban led by Rahul Umar & Al Qaeda-Osama Bin Laden. Here again I would request all those who have been taken in by the recent supposed assassination of OBL at the staged operation at Abbotabad, to read the excellent & well researched book by David Ray Griffin - ‘Osama Bin Laden Dead or Alive?’ (http://www.globalresearch.ca/osama-bin-laden-dead-or-alive/15601). According to many honest experts, OBL has been dead since December 15, 2001.

              It is also time, actually high time, for the Indian peace movement to address the issues of the 9/11 false-flag terror attack, which has been central, seminal & defining moment of the 21st century, changing the very trajectory of international politics & leading to an era of wars, occupation & genocide. (http://www.ae911truth.org/).

              Recently more than 12,500 police stations across America received petitions by peace activists stating that the attack on WTC 1, 2 & 7 were an inside job & demanding that the investigation be reopened. This movement is being spearheaded by more than 1700 architects & engineers & they have the support of many prominent intellectuals, scholars, and human-rights activists, whistle-blowers from within the CIA-FBI, as well as vast sections of American society & the numbers are growing. (http://www.ae911truth.org/downloads/documents/AE911Truth_Police_Letter.pdf)

              The reason as to why we will have to grapple with these issues is that, I personally know of Muslim youth who have been quizzed about their positions on 9/11, Bin Laden & Al Qaeda. The youth have been perplexed & horrified & left wondering as to what a job application in the engineering, IT & telecom sectors have to do with their knowledge or lack off, on these issues. With Muslim children who have tried to step out of their ghettoes & seek admission in a multi-cultural milieu, being denied & told to go back where they came from. Of Muslims being denied housing in secular neighbourhoods. All these discriminative practices have also increased in the last decade – thanks to the dominant paradigm of terror.

              Now, let us get back to the movie.

              Soon after the carnage at Rahul Umar’s village, we are transported into America. Here Kamal Taufik Hassan is working incognito singing & dancing to songs written by Javed Akhtar (Lyricist), as any good Muslim should be. Then a terror network begins to unravel & here we have Rahul Umar now planning to explode a Dirty-Bomb made of waste radioactive material, which the good Muslim does foil, but after saying his Namaz! Whilst in the room inside wherein lies the Dirty-Bomb, is a bad Muslim, an African-American of Nigerian descent, busy offering Namaz before he is to blow the city to kingdom come.

              Herein lies another serious problem with this film & that is the tarnishing of African-American Muslims as part of the global terror network. In most Hollywood movies, they are sensitive enough to portray the African American as the FBI boss, under whom the White officers serve. But here the RAW agent is working with only Whites, presumably Anglo-Saxon agents, whilst the African-American Muslim, is in tandem with the Taliban. Another case of out-sourcing I guess.

              Yet again, Kamal Hassan fails in his research. The terror attacks portrayed in the film have never occurred. Also the FBI has been entrapping Muslim youth from various ethnic backgrounds & this too is a documented fact. Since there are no serious terror threats to America, the FBI actually manufactures them, as there is no other way to justify Homeland Security & it’s vast gargantuan powers & budget. FBI agents, informers, or ex-convicts working in tandem with the FBI are sent into Muslim communities with an attempt to create terrorists. During the course of the year, a couple of youth, mainly with a criminal background do get entrapped due to intensive indoctrination about the crimes of the American Empire against their people. These youth are then further induced & provided training to carry out a terror attack. Targets are indentified, funds, bombs & ammunition provided & the day that they do carry out the attack, they are apprehended red-handed. The bombs turn out to be fake & so do the guns & that is how stupid this supposed terrorists are.

              (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/terrorist-plots-helped-along-by-the-fbi.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)

              This information is now available in the mainstream corporate media & should have been studied by Kamal Taufik Hassan, before trying to give the FBI a positive image in India.  

              This movie thus is basically a propaganda tool for the FBI, as well as the US Empire. And now apart from Hollywood, they even have some of the best known names from Bollywood to do their bidding. I wonder as to how much of the financial backing of this movie came from sources such as these & this question must be asked in all seriousness.

              The plot foiled, America saved, sorry, the world saved – Rahul Umar & his Taliban cohorts decide to flee to – India for God’s sake!! Thus we end with the inevitability of Vishwaroopam II-India!

              Actually Kamal Taufik Hassan, might even consider shifting the next locale to Qatar, where the ‘Good Taliban’ now have a functioning office. Here they will all have ample security as the US has a vast network of naval & airforce bases. (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2003-03/20/content_789607.htm).

              So Rahul Umar Bose, the FBI-CIA & Kamal Taufik Hassan can actually sort out all their problems there itself, without dragging India into the picture.

              But therein lies the threat, the clear & present danger to all of us. You can imagine the next movie where Mullah Umar is in Mumbai, or Delhi, maybe in Chennai (threatening Jajayalaitha for the way she dealt with Kamal Hassan), or in Malegaon, or in Srinagar, or Hyderabad, or in the Samjhauta Express, or in Ajmer. Thus taking the blame for all the terror attacks, that now are alleged to be the handiwork of the right-wing Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha, as per the National Investigation Agency (NIA) & certain Anti-Terror Squads (ATS).

              And then, is Osama Bin Laden & his dreaded Al-Qaeda far behind in reaching India?

              The fear that it will instill amongst the ordinary masses of India & the further fear & isolation towards which will be driven the Muslim community is apparent to many.

              The terror of the politics of terror . . . . . . .

              Also a little sincere & not-so-secret advice to film producers, directors, financiers & aspiring writers. In case you are sure that your film (or a book) is going to bomb at the box-office, be sure to include a few scenes that you may think may be offensive to the emotions of the Muslim community. Then arrange a screening prior to the release, even though your film has been cleared by the censor board - & rest assured that a few Muslims will fall prey to your trap & voila – you have your much needed controversy.

              My sincere advice to the Muslim community is the following. Islam is to great a religion for one book or a movie to harm our faith. Let us overcome our insecurities & notice that the tide is turning in our favour. The protests against the film have harmed the image of the Muslim community, even more than Vishawaroopam was planned to. We need to learn to ignore certain barbs hurled at us & do not need to fall for the traps laid for us every time.

              We have every right to protest & this is our constitutional & democratic right. Our strategy should have been to evoke support & call for a debate on the movie, whilst pointing out its flaws & distortions. Demanding the cuts after the censor board had cleared the movie, has harmed our image & further portrayed the community as extremist & undemocratic.

              The problem with Vishwaroopam, is that it has projected only a miniscule part of the reality of the Afghan quagmire over a period of more than three decades. But one cannot deny that today the Taliban & their ilk, do represent a form of a vitiated, extremist & a violent form of Islam. From the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha’s, to the attacks on schools & clinics, to the enforced imposition of a regressive barbaric code on women, to the public flogging & stoning, to the sectarian hatred & killings, to the destruction of Sufi Mazar’s & the genocide of the Shia’s – all this is being waged in the name of Islam.  This cannot be denied by any honest God-loving/fearing Muslim.

              This form of extremism is indeed alien & against the very letter, grain & spirit of Islam. Let us all stand up in unison & condemn this debasement & defilement of Islam. This we really do not venture into often enough – do we honestly?

              In the course of the last 2-3 years, the truth about the terror attacks is being revealed & this is due to the sustained struggle of Muslim organizations, in tandem with our secular allies, despite all the odds, with the entire media & dominant sections of the Government-intelligence-security apparatus ranged against us – but yet we have overcome all these odds. Now is the time to reach out to all the communities that make up this great & dynamic nation & expose the true facts of the terror networks that are now being revealed. (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/joining-the-dots/1068448/)

               If India is not to go the way of Pakistan, with its assorted Lashkar-Frankensteins, then we have to put a stop to those religious extremist forces that threaten to destroy the unity & social fabric of our nation. Now after the statement by the Union Home Minister, the tide has clearly changed in our favour & thus let’s not undermine our struggle by isolating ourselves any further by taking to the streets in the manner that we have & I was personally both angry & ashamed at the public spectacle. There is a certain degree of double-standards, intolerance & hypocrisy within the Muslim community as well.

              Also I would want to appeal here to all those who rightly advised the Muslim community on the values of freedom of expression, democracy & modernity. Kindly stand up, script & produce a movie based on the charge-sheet filed by Hemant Karkare, in a movie that can be titled ‘Bharatroopam’. I would love to see as to how many takers there would be from Bollywood, especially all the ones shouting ‘cultural terrorism’.

              In terms of soft-targets, the Muslim community is far more of a soft-target, than many film makers & writers.

              Yet, I will not ask for a cut, even though both my mind & my heart have suffered a few deep searing cuts.

              This is because I have immense faith in the great legacy of this country. I have great faith in the teachings of Krativeer Jotiba Phule, Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar & Shaheed Bhagat Singh. I have great faith in the people of India, in our secular democracy.

               



              --
              Feroze Mithiborwala



              --
              Feroze Mithiborwala



              --
              Feroze Mithiborwala



              --
              Feroze Mithiborwala




              --
              Feroze Mithiborwala
            • Sadanand Patwardhan
              An excellent observation that is often observed in breach. The US establishment would like everyone to believe including their citizenry that America means US
              Message 7 of 7 , Feb 5, 2013
              • 0 Attachment
                An excellent observation that is often observed in breach. The US
                establishment would like everyone to believe including their citizenry
                that America means US and US means America. Quite a few US citizens
                would tell you quite innocently that they are Americans, completely
                unmindful of the fact that their are other nations in the Western
                Hemisphere.

                A related mistake most of us make is in stating that US did this and US
                did that; when it is the US Administration [we call it government] and
                US establishment that is calling the shots; many times even against the
                wishes of their citizens. Though it is cumbersome to talk of US
                Administration every time, it is worth the trouble because it then helps
                us to remain focused on who the real culprit is.

                Many references Feroze has come up with in his article including to 9/11
                are thanks to White Anglo Saxon [women and men], or even Jew
                investigators, thinkers, writers, and journalists. If the super power is
                to be defeated, then it would be done only in cooperation with its
                citizenry. Therefore, that little trouble taken in identifying US
                Administration as the real culprit, and not America but USA as the
                country, is well worth every keyboard hit.

                Sadanand
                =============================================
                --- In arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com, Shruti Joshi wrote:
                >
                > Thanx, Mr. Mithiborwala, for this analytical write-up.
                >
                > Just one (irritating) detail - every time you have written America/ns
                you are actually refering to USA, hence, it would be respectful to other
                nations on the continents of Americas to refer to USA as USA and not
                America!
                >
                > ________________________________
                > From: arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Feroze Mithiborwala
                > Sent: Monday, February 04, 2013 2:56 AM
                > Subject: [Arkitect India] Vishwaroopam: Reinforcing Global Communal
                Stereotypes, Namaz, Bombs & justification for the US Empire By Feroze
                Mithiborwala [1 Attachment]
                >
                >
                > [Attachment(s) from Feroze Mithiborwala included below]
                > Vishwaroopam: Reinforcing Global Communal Stereotypes, Namaz, Bombs &
                justification for the US Empire.
                > By Feroze Mithiborwala
                > February 4, 2013
                > I was a little benumbed whilst watching this technically advanced, but
                socio-politically regressive movie. Kamal Hassan has lied to all of us
                when he had stated that this movie is his tribute to Indian Muslims &
                will make them proud.
                > This movie had me even more worried than earlier!
                > The message propagated all through the course of this slick production
                is basically - "One Good Muslim, All the rest - Bad Muslims".
                > The hero, Taufik is an Indian Muslim who saves the world, whilst the
                rest of the Muslims portrayed in the movie, are all committed to
                destruction & mayhem, all in the name of their religion.
                > This is the state of the world - Vishwaroopam.
                > Yet, let me categorically state that I do not support any cuts, or
                further censorship of the mobs, but will certainly strive to counter
                this movie & all like it - intellectually & on the ideological plane,
                where the true battle lies
                > This movie also justifies the US wars & occupation of Afghanistan in
                ways that even Hollywood would have felt ashamed of portraying. All this
                for the NRI audience I would tend to venture. My first opposition to the
                movie stemmed from the fact that the posters prominently posited the
                infamous 'stars & stripes' in the background & I knew that trouble was
                brewing. Mind you, the Indian Tri-colour is far less prominent & even
                missing for the most . . . so much for NRI nationalism, or for that
                matter that of the RNI's, the Resident Non-Indians, the chatterati where
                these communal stereotypes hold sway.
                > And coming back to the movie, I have never ever seen so many scenes of
                Namaz in any single film & there is certainly a sickeningly strong
                overdose of Islamic imagery & the overwhelming majority of it linked to
                negativity & violence. The movie is one big screenplay of Namaz & Bombs,
                Namaz & Terror, Namaz & Violence. I wonder as to how Kamal Hassan, who
                is also the scriptwriter, thought that this would help the cause of
                Indian Muslims, knowing full well what the community has been through
                for the past two decades & more. The way the entire community has been
                'terrorized by the terror' & this has led to their further demonization
                & isolation.
                > More so, the script is deeply flawed, lacks intelligence & an honest
                research. One would have tended to expect a little more from Bollywood
                after certain good movies dealing with this genre, such as 'Dhoka'
                (Mahesh Bhatt), 'New York' (Kabeer Khan), 'Qurbaan' (Saif Ali Khan), 'My
                Name is Khan' (Karan Johar & Shahrukh Khan), 'Agent Vinod' (Saif Ali
                Khan) & last but not the least 'Tere Bin Laden' (Abhishek Sharma),
                certainly the best political satire in a generation. It also had a far
                more genuine Bin Laden look-alike than the ones that appear in the CIA
                produced videos.
                > All of the above movies were good honest efforts & there is a common
                thread as well as a degree of intelligent sensitivity that has gone into
                researching these scripts & directing these movies, none of which faced
                any public opprobrium or ire, even though they were far more complex
                than this ignominious, outrageous ill-conceived prejudiced charade
                called Vishwaroopam.
                > Yet, I want no cuts here . . . . . . .
                > The two lines attributed to Rahul Bose, whom many of us consider to be
                our own, are the most dangerous & misleading of all the dialogues in the
                movie.
                > Rahul Bose, who plays Umar (alluding to Mullah Umar, the leader of the
                Taliban, I would presume), is facing an assault on his village. The
                Taliban have captured a few American soldiers & are on the move. The US
                army, attack the village where they have been led by a trace, with the
                help of Kamal Hassan, who plays Taufik, a RAW agent. Taufik has
                infiltrated the ranks of the Taliban to rise to be the ipso facto No. 2.
                > Wonder what the RAW itself has to comment here.
                > With the US helicopter gunships blazing away as they did in Vietnam &
                Iraq, as they do in Somalia, Yemen & Libya - & hope to in Syria - the
                Taliban are on the run.
                > Here Rahul Umar Bose makes a statement to assure his fellow Talibani's
                - "Don't worry, the Americans do not kill women & children".
                > All I could think of in that Shakespearian moment was - "Et Tu
                Rahul!!"
                > To what extent can an artist such as Rahul Bose sell himself, his very
                moral intellect, is a question that he & many others need to seriously
                ponder upon.
                > This dialogue would be considered ridiculous & even blasphemous by the
                Americans themselves, who always refer to the deaths of civilians as
                'collateral damage', but Kamal Hassan in his willful pandering has gone
                even beyond the worst in Hollywood.
                > Thus the movie further portrays the US soldier manning the gunship,
                feeling sorry for killing innocents, whilst the Afghans are all
                portrayed as dehumanized killing machines. I do not think our immediate
                neighbours are going to appreciate this movie very much. But who cares,
                our movies are a reflection of our skewed foreign policy as it does
                appear. And the Afghans are not exactly a market yet.
                > The second statement by Rahul Umar Bose is even more dangerous for
                Indian Muslims & for all the secular activists who have stood by the
                community as it was demonised, isolated & entrapped into the false-flag
                terror attacks that we have witnessed since the post-9/11 world. This
                was the phase of 'controlled chaos' & 'unending perpetual state of wars'
                - to use Neoconservative terms.
                > Here whilst talking to Kamal Taufik Hassan, Rahul Umar Bose smilingly
                & nonchalantly mentions that "We were also involved in the terror
                attacks of Malegaon, Bombay & other Indian cities". In the Tamil &
                Telegu versions, Coimbatore & Madurai are mentioned.
                > 'Good God!!', I exclaimed to myself, even dropping my popcorn - this
                movie is basically stating that the Taliban & Al Qaeda are active in
                India & thus certain sections of the Indian Muslim population are
                certainly enmeshed with the global terror network. This will prove to be
                catastrophic in the subconscious perceptions that tend to get ingrained
                deep into our reality.
                > This, Mr. Kamal Hassan, is going to be disastrous for Indian Muslims &
                we can all assure you that.
                > But where is the research may we ask? Have you not heard of ATS Chief
                Hemant Karkare, who even served in the RAW? Are you not aware that since
                2007 the role of the Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha in terror attacks
                across the country is being probed? Particularly in Malegaon, Nanded,
                Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer, Goa & another 10 more as per the
                statements of the Home Ministry. Actually there are more than 16
                recorded cases, but we will leave that for later. All of which are
                further linked to the right-wing Manuwadi Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
                (RSS)?
                > Are you really unaware of these facts? Are you planning to leave the
                country, or had you already left India & were living in New York & are
                thus so ill-informed whilst writing the script, which lacks even an iota
                of honesty & responsibility?
                > And this is thus a question that we as secular activists must ask
                ourselves. Many Hollywood movies with a geopolitical strategic agenda
                are produced in tandem with the Pentagon, so as to further the Imperial
                agenda of global hegemony & the advancement of the
                Military-Security-Industrial-Corporate-Media Complex.
                > The Zionist dominated Hollywood target & portray Palestinians & Arabs
                in particular & Muslims in general as terrorists & fanatics & thus these
                societies need to be invaded & civilized - & their resources taken over
                for good measure.
                > This movie by Kamal Hassan in my estimation also certainly falls in
                that category of disinformation & propaganda to serve the cause of the
                Empire & to justify the wars, occupation & the genocide of the Afghan
                nation, as well as the people of Pakistan. Thus not even a fleeting
                reference to the drone attacks & the killings of innocents, of women &
                children - thus & as to how it continues to create & foster more & more
                militants & terrorists.
                > Then comes the part where there is a meeting between the leadership of
                the Taliban led by Rahul Umar & Al Qaeda-Osama Bin Laden. Here again I
                would request all those who have been taken in by the recent supposed
                assassination of OBL at the staged operation at Abbotabad, to read the
                excellent & well researched book by David Ray Griffin - 'Osama Bin Laden
                Dead or Alive?'
                (http://www.globalresearch.ca/osama-bin-laden-dead-or-alive/15601).
                According to many honest experts, OBL has been dead since December 15,
                2001.
                > It is also time, actually high time, for the Indian peace movement to
                address the issues of the 9/11 false-flag terror attack, which has been
                central, seminal & defining moment of the 21st century, changing the
                very trajectory of international politics & leading to an era of wars,
                occupation & genocide. (http://www.ae911truth.org/).
                > Recently more than 12,500 police stations across America received
                petitions by peace activists stating that the attack on WTC 1, 2 & 7
                were an inside job & demanding that the investigation be reopened. This
                movement is being spearheaded by more than 1700 architects & engineers &
                they have the support of many prominent intellectuals, scholars, and
                human-rights activists, whistle-blowers from within the CIA-FBI, as well
                as vast sections of American society & the numbers are growing.
                (http://www.ae911truth.org/downloads/documents/AE911Truth_Police_Letter.\
                pdf)
                > The reason as to why we will have to grapple with these issues is
                that, I personally know of Muslim youth who have been quizzed about
                their positions on 9/11, Bin Laden & Al Qaeda. The youth have been
                perplexed & horrified & left wondering as to what a job application in
                the engineering, IT & telecom sectors have to do with their knowledge or
                lack off, on these issues. With Muslim children who have tried to step
                out of their ghettoes & seek admission in a multi-cultural milieu, being
                denied & told to go back where they came from. Of Muslims being denied
                housing in secular neighbourhoods. All these discriminative practices
                have also increased in the last decade - thanks to the dominant paradigm
                of terror.
                > Now, let us get back to the movie.
                > Soon after the carnage at Rahul Umar's village, we are transported
                into America. Here Kamal Taufik Hassan is working incognito singing &
                dancing to songs written by Javed Akhtar (Lyricist), as any good Muslim
                should be. Then a terror network begins to unravel & here we have Rahul
                Umar now planning to explode a Dirty-Bomb made of waste radioactive
                material, which the good Muslim does foil, but after saying his Namaz!
                Whilst in the room inside wherein lies the Dirty-Bomb, is a bad Muslim,
                an African-American of Nigerian descent, busy offering Namaz before he
                is to blow the city to kingdom come.
                > Herein lies another serious problem with this film & that is the
                tarnishing of African-American Muslims as part of the global terror
                network. In most Hollywood movies, they are sensitive enough to portray
                the African American as the FBI boss, under whom the White officers
                serve. But here the RAW agent is working with only Whites, presumably
                Anglo-Saxon agents, whilst the African-American Muslim, is in tandem
                with the Taliban. Another case of out-sourcing I guess.
                > Yet again, Kamal Hassan fails in his research. The terror attacks
                portrayed in the film have never occurred. Also the FBI has been
                entrapping Muslim youth from various ethnic backgrounds & this too is a
                documented fact. Since there are no serious terror threats to America,
                the FBI actually manufactures them, as there is no other way to justify
                Homeland Security & it's vast gargantuan powers & budget. FBI agents,
                informers, or ex-convicts working in tandem with the FBI are sent into
                Muslim communities with an attempt to create terrorists. During the
                course of the year, a couple of youth, mainly with a criminal background
                do get entrapped due to intensive indoctrination about the crimes of the
                American Empire against their people. These youth are then further
                induced & provided training to carry out a terror attack. Targets are
                indentified, funds, bombs & ammunition provided & the day that they do
                carry out the attack, they are apprehended red-handed. The bombs turn
                out to be fake & so do the guns & that is how stupid this supposed
                terrorists are.
                >
                (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/terrorist-plots-helped\
                -along-by-the-fbi.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)
                > This information is now available in the mainstream corporate media &
                should have been studied by Kamal Taufik Hassan, before trying to give
                the FBI a positive image in India.
                > This movie thus is basically a propaganda tool for the FBI, as well as
                the US Empire. And now apart from Hollywood, they even have some of the
                best known names from Bollywood to do their bidding. I wonder as to how
                much of the financial backing of this movie came from sources such as
                these & this question must be asked in all seriousness.
                > The plot foiled, America saved, sorry, the world saved - Rahul Umar &
                his Taliban cohorts decide to flee to - India for God's sake!! Thus we
                end with the inevitability of Vishwaroopam II-India!
                > Actually Kamal Taufik Hassan, might even consider shifting the next
                locale to Qatar, where the 'Good Taliban' now have a functioning office.
                Here they will all have ample security as the US has a vast network of
                naval & airforce bases.
                (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2003-03/20/content_789607.htm).
                > So Rahul Umar Bose, the FBI-CIA & Kamal Taufik Hassan can actually
                sort out all their problems there itself, without dragging India into
                the picture.
                > But therein lies the threat, the clear & present danger to all of us.
                You can imagine the next movie where Mullah Umar is in Mumbai, or Delhi,
                maybe in Chennai (threatening Jajayalaitha for the way she dealt with
                Kamal Hassan), or in Malegaon, or in Srinagar, or Hyderabad, or in the
                Samjhauta Express, or in Ajmer. Thus taking the blame for all the terror
                attacks, that now are alleged to be the handiwork of the right-wing
                Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha, as per the National Investigation
                Agency (NIA) & certain Anti-Terror Squads (ATS).
                > And then, is Osama Bin Laden & his dreaded Al-Qaeda far behind in
                reaching India?
                > The fear that it will instill amongst the ordinary masses of India &
                the further fear & isolation towards which will be driven the Muslim
                community is apparent to many.
                > The terror of the politics of terror . . . . . . .
                > Also a little sincere & not-so-secret advice to film producers,
                directors, financiers & aspiring writers. In case you are sure that your
                film (or a book) is going to bomb at the box-office, be sure to include
                a few scenes that you may think may be offensive to the emotions of the
                Muslim community. Then arrange a screening prior to the release, even
                though your film has been cleared by the censor board - & rest assured
                that a few Muslims will fall prey to your trap & voila - you have your
                much needed controversy.
                > My sincere advice to the Muslim community is the following. Islam is
                to great a religion for one book or a movie to harm our faith. Let us
                overcome our insecurities & notice that the tide is turning in our
                favour. The protests against the film have harmed the image of the
                Muslim community, even more than Vishawaroopam was planned to. We need
                to learn to ignore certain barbs hurled at us & do not need to fall for
                the traps laid for us every time.
                > We have every right to protest & this is our constitutional &
                democratic right. Our strategy should have been to evoke support & call
                for a debate on the movie, whilst pointing out its flaws & distortions.
                Demanding the cuts after the censor board had cleared the movie, has
                harmed our image & further portrayed the community as extremist &
                undemocratic.
                > The problem with Vishwaroopam, is that it has projected only a
                miniscule part of the reality of the Afghan quagmire over a period of
                more than three decades. But one cannot deny that today the Taliban &
                their ilk, do represent a form of a vitiated, extremist & a violent form
                of Islam. From the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha's, to the attacks
                on schools & clinics, to the enforced imposition of a regressive
                barbaric code on women, to the public flogging & stoning, to the
                sectarian hatred & killings, to the destruction of Sufi Mazar's & the
                genocide of the Shia's - all this is being waged in the name of Islam.
                This cannot be denied by any honest God-loving/fearing Muslim.
                > This form of extremism is indeed alien & against the very letter,
                grain & spirit of Islam. Let us all stand up in unison & condemn this
                debasement & defilement of Islam. This we really do not venture into
                often enough - do we honestly?
                > In the course of the last 2-3 years, the truth about the terror
                attacks is being revealed & this is due to the sustained struggle of
                Muslim organizations, in tandem with our secular allies, despite all the
                odds, with the entire media & dominant sections of the
                Government-intelligence-security apparatus ranged against us - but yet
                we have overcome all these odds. Now is the time to reach out to all the
                communities that make up this great & dynamic nation & expose the true
                facts of the terror networks that are now being revealed.
                (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/joining-the-dots/1068448/)
                > If India is not to go the way of Pakistan, with its assorted
                Lashkar-Frankensteins, then we have to put a stop to those religious
                extremist forces that threaten to destroy the unity & social fabric of
                our nation. Now after the statement by the Union Home Minister, the tide
                has clearly changed in our favour & thus let's not undermine our
                struggle by isolating ourselves any further by taking to the streets in
                the manner that we have & I was personally both angry & ashamed at the
                public spectacle. There is a certain degree of double-standards,
                intolerance & hypocrisy within the Muslim community as well.
                > Also I would want to appeal here to all those who rightly advised the
                Muslim community on the values of freedom of expression, democracy &
                modernity. Kindly stand up, script & produce a movie based on the
                charge-sheet filed by Hemant Karkare, in a movie that can be titled
                'Bharatroopam'. I would love to see as to how many takers there would be
                from Bollywood, especially all the ones shouting 'cultural terrorism'.
                > In terms of soft-targets, the Muslim community is far more of a
                soft-target, than many film makers & writers.
                > Yet, I will not ask for a cut, even though both my mind & my heart
                have suffered a few deep searing cuts.
                > This is because I have immense faith in the great legacy of this
                country. I have great faith in the teachings of Krativeer Jotiba Phule,
                Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar & Shaheed Bhagat
                Singh. I have great faith in the people of India, in our secular
                democracy.
                >
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