Before its launch on Amazon Prime Video, the storm came into the spotlight for two main reasons. The first reason was the union of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Farhan Akhtar who came together for another sports drama. The duo had previously made Olympian Milkha Singh’s biopic masterpiece “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Banani.” Hardly any Hindi public has seen the inspiring story of a great player. Due to Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, it was also estimated that the storm would be strong. The second reason for discussion is the current Hindu-Muslim debate and love jihad in the storm.
Those who watch Milkha and Toofan will clearly see the difference between the two films. This difference exists in all respects. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was also included in the religious dispute that had been going on for many years in the Indian subcontinent. There is a history of partition and religious unrest in Milkha. But there is no attempt to justify anything in the masterpiece. The errors that were there, the circumstances showed almost as they were. There is hardly any attempt to impose anything under those conditions.
On the other hand, in Toofan, Rakesh Mehra tried to sell the movie about the Hindu-Muslim debate, but he was seen justifying and redefining many things here compared to Milkha. He did not adopt the point of view that is legitimately seen on the ground in this debate. Rather, he became romantic and a different point of view about him or the writer came to the fore. Naturally, many people would not agree with the point of view. Take Mulk, or any movie that came out a few months ago, which is made vindicating the legitimate question of Muslims. What does it look like there? A Muslim is a victim or seems to show that he is a patriot. It is intended to show that, like multi-religious Indians, Muslims are also like ordinary Indians. He also has almost the same routine, food, or worries. Muslim does not mean that every morning and night he is eating biryani, kebabs, cooking lamb. Sleeping wearing kurta-pajamas and a cap. Women also wear burqas in the bathroom of the house.
Many times when watching Bollywood movies, one wonders why Muslim women and girls sitting on the balcony of the house are only shown in burqa. Now, who can say that in Islam the veil or burqa is made outside the house and not inside the house? This is visible even in storms. Even women dance in the street with burqa. Is that so? Cinematic theatricality does not mean that something that is not actually should also be told. Any advice or suggestion is fine as long as it is close to reality. Not romantic philosophy.
It is clear that the absurd arguments that are made about Muslims, Bollywood filmmakers, find a middle ground in those arguments. And this middle ground becomes so personal that instead of Muslim, the understanding of the writer or director is visible. Unfortunately, the story of the storm was not written or shown by any Muslims. Even non-Muslims can write stories. You can answer existing questions, but you don’t need to be romantic in fact. At least understand that question correctly. Imagine if the story of the boxer Aziz Ali had been written by a Muslim writer, would it have been the same as it seems right now? Certainly the questions raised about Muslims in the current structure of society would have been answered by other arguments and facts.
In Aziz and Ananya’s marriage, he remained as Muslim as before. She does not need to marry at court in a Hindu dress. It does not show that Ananya’s mother was killed in the terror attack, which is why her father hates Muslims. Look around you, how many of those who work to spread hatred against Muslims have suffered personal losses in terrorist attacks. What is Rakesh Mehra trying to say with this sequence? Shouldn’t it be accepted that Muslims are more responsible for the level of hatred that society has reached for religious reasons? How did Rakesh Mehra put all responsibility for any terrorist’s crimes on Aziz’s shoulders?
Does the whole locality join in the conversion of non-Muslims?
There is another sequence in the storm. Ananya quarrels with her father and comes to stay at Aziz’s house. The entire mohalla is bent on changing Ananya’s Islamic name and religion. He is unwilling to allow Ananya to keep the Hindu identity in the locality. Is this the whole Islamic society of the cities, towns and localities of our country? The exception cannot be denied, but yes. This is to strengthen the very debate about love jihad in which it is claimed that non-religious girls are brainwashed after marriage. Their religion has changed. In the storm, Rakesh Mehra created a new Islam that has nothing to do with reality. After seeing the storm, the perception of three types of Muslims is formed. Before there were two Muslims. They are the same. Like the second, the opponents speak of Muslims. And the third as shown in Storm.
I mean, a Muslim like Aziz Ali is fine. Like Abdul Kalam and Abdul Hameed they are right, but Hamid Ansari and Azam Khan are wrong. Aziz’s amorous marriage to a non-religious girl cannot be called jihad love. Because he did not ask the wife to renounce her identity even after the marriage. That is easy. In the true sense, Aziz Ali is an “Indian Muslim”, whose daughter grows up on the rites of the mother’s side. She is not seen in Namaz, but is seen going to the temple, worshiping God and commenting. Aziz performs the last rites of his wife in a Hindu manner.
Why not qualify it as Rakesh Mehra’s dishonesty towards Muslims in the Hindu Muslim debate? Doesn’t it seem that instead of actually investigating the Hindu-Muslim debate and love of jihad, they have shown the way to the Hinduization of Muslims? In reality, this film does not move in the theory of the “true Indian Muslim”, but in the love Jihad.
The storm finally proves that, in addition to Aziz Ali, other Muslims are wrong. Makes many marriages. Non-Muslims cheat on girls after marriage. The whole town forces the boy and the girl to convert even if they don’t want to. Children born in such marriages are given religious rites by the father. Muslims are mired in the mud of vagrancy and crime. In general, the indication of the storm is that Muslims have religious roots and are fanatics in many ways.
This was not expected of Rakesh Mehra. In Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, he has depicted the partition riots in such a way that it is disgusting to see the attack on Sikhs and Hindus in Pakistan. But it is also shown in the same movie that when Milkha goes to her village in Pakistan after partition, she hugs her childhood friend and keeps crying for a long time. All the pain of the riots fades into the tears of Milkha and her friend. The failure of the storm is that it does not get rid of the hatred between Hindus and Muslims until the very end.