People Are Pissed At Shah Rukh Khan And Emraan Hashmi's New Netflix Show's Portrayal Of Pakistan

By Sajeer Shaikh | 23 Aug, 2019

People are fuming as Shah Rukh Khan and Emraan Hashmi’s, new Netflix show ‘Bard Of Blood’ depicts Pakistan in a negative light yet again.

As we all watch matters between India and Pakistan unfold, one of the things that’s proven to be a disappointing revelation is the blind “patriotism” that has gripped Bollywood celebrities. Their brand of patriotism is far from glory songs or hoisting their national flag.

For some, like Priyanka Chopra, it includes cheering for war and then defending it. 

For others, like Muslim actors Shah Rukh Khan and Emraan Hashmi, it consists of creating a narrative that is anti-Pakistan and perpetuates tired, old stereotypes.

This narrative, backed fully by and to be viewed on Netflix, is called ‘Bard of Blood’ and is yet another story about Indian spies infiltrating Pakistan. This time around, the location is Balochistan.

The fact that Bollywood has little to no understanding of how Pakistanis function has been obvious since the beginning. Adding a ‘janab’ every now and then doesn’t make someone a Muslim or Pakistani terrorist. Indians never got this memo, though. Not even SRK and Emraan, who happen to be Muslims themselves. Research, of course, isn’t a priority when you’re spewing anti-Pakistan rhetoric.

If you haven’t yet seen the trailer, I’ll spare you the details. Again, it caters to the same jingoistic vitriol that one can expect from Bollywood at a time like this. Three Indian spies set out on a “suicide mission,” with Emraan Hashmi taking up the role of an excommunicated RAW agent, to rescue four other RAW agents captured in Balochistan.

The storyline seems like one that’s been done to death. The dialogs, from what I can tell from the trailer, are lazy and lack originality. It’s very clearly a piece of work that actors like SRK and Hashmi had to sign on to stay safe within their country.

Instead of choosing to take a stand, they readily, and with what seems to be an immense degree of pride, placed their names front and center.

Of course, Pakistanis haven’t taken too kindly to the trailer. The general sentiment is more of the same – two actors, who have massive followings, in India and globally, chose to create this piece of work, feeding into the idea of Pakistan being a terrorist wasteland.

It’s ironic that the man who once made the line, “My name is Khan and I’m not a terrorist” famous, is now showing Pakistanis in a negative light to please the mob mentality in India. The irony was not lost on people.

People also called out Netflix for backing a project like this.

Given the current situation, it was also highlighted how such projects go as far as to aid in promoting acts of Muslim genocide.

Basically, people are pissed.

It can’t be said that this isn’t expected from Bollywood. It is. We’ve seen many high-profile actors, directors, and writers succumb to it. This hurts more, of course, given the current situation, and the fact that two high-profile Muslim actors are involved, perpetuating stereotypes that in no way benefit the religion to which they also belong.

You can argue that art does not see religion, but if your art justifies or promotes the oppression or ostracization of a community, it’s straight-up propaganda. And if you’re going to justify propaganda – well, then Bollywood, “don’t embarrass yourself.”


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Cover image via Netflix India

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