Filmmaker Kabir Khan recently spoke about the depiction of Mughals in Hindi cinema and how the ‘bad politics’ of any film makes him angry.
When he was asked that considering the present political scenario, if he would like to make his directorial debut with a film like Kabul Express today, to which he replied, “For me, the core of a film is the politics of the film. When I say the politics of the film, a lot of people sometimes just misunderstand; politics is not about political outfits. Politics is the way we see anything in this world.”
He also said that he cannot respect films demonising the Mughals, as he considers them the ‘original nation-builders.’
Kabir Khan spoke to Bollywood Hungama, “I find it hugely problematic and disturbing because what really makes me upset is that it’s being done just to go with the popular narrative. I can understand when a filmmaker has researched something and a filmmaker wants to make a point… Of course, there can be different viewpoints. If you want to demonise the Mughals, please base it on some research and make us understand why; why they were the villains that you think they were. Because if you do some research and read history, it’s very tough to understand why they have to be villainised. I think they were the original nation-builders, and to write them off and say they murdered people… But what are you basing it on? Please point out the historical evidence. Please have an open debate, just don’t go with the narrative that you think will be popular.”
He further added, “It’s the easiest thing today, demonising the Mughals and various other Muslim rulers that India had at different points in its history. Trying to fit them into preconceived stereotypes, is distressing. I cannot respect those films, unfortunately. That’s my personal opinion, of course, I can’t speak for larger audiences, but I definitely get upset by those kinds of portrayals.”
He also mentioned that he finds bad politics of a film upsetting, he stated, “I can forgive bad writing, shoddy camera work, you know, sloppy editing, but I can never forgive bad politics because mainstream media films are a very powerful platform and they can really influence a lot of people.”