|Bhaag Milkha Bhaag in Pakistan|
— This post is not a movie review. You can read reviews of the movie here on IMDB and RT.
This is a post where I mention why I’m not going to watch the above mentioned movie that will ‘run’ in Pakistan on August 23, 2013.
I’m sure the movie will be a success here in Pakistan as it inspired India (and made crores of rupees at the Indian Box Office). I also don’t have any issues with it showing in Pakistan. I’m sure this success will translate into other Bollywood studios producing sport themed movies. I appreciate that Farhan worked really hard in becoming ‘Milkha’ for the movie (Even Milkha accepted that Farhan Akhtar looks like him). I also recognize that he has talent for acting. There is no doubt about that.
However, the only reason why I’m not going to watch this movie is because of its lead actor: Farhan Akhtar.
Farhan Akhtar fueling animosity against Pakistan:
It’s his character in real life that I don’t appreciate. This dates back to an unfortunate event on 02-MAY-2013, where an Indian prisoner, ‘Sarabjit Singh‘, was killed by a fellow prisoner in a Pakistani jail.
Farhan tweeted: ‘… Pak has painted itself a heartless villain, even in the most forgiving Indians eye….’
Farhan didn’t take into consideration the Pakistani lawyer that defended Sarabjit or the support given by the Pakistani civil society and media. Farhan didn’t even take into account the human rights activist, Ansar Burney, who helped bring back 6 Indian sailors that were held hostage (and these sailors were brought back on a Pakistan Navy warship PNS Zulfiqar).
Even if we consider, for the sake of the argument, that the Pakistani government or ‘establishment’ was involved in the murder, the question that comes up is:
“Why did they wait 22 years to ‘kill’ him?”
Farhan’s tweet showed the amount of research he did before he opened his mouth in public. This showed how irresponsible he is as an adult. He added fuel to the animosity that exists in different segments of Indian society. He acted like a troll. He misled hundreds of thousands of his followers. Shame on him.
Another point of view on Milkha Singh:
One way to look at Milkha, is that he is the best male athlete that India has ever produced and he won gold medals (Commonwealth & Asian Games) and prestigious awards like Padam Shri (1958) with an inspiring Cinderella story.
Another way to look at Milkha is that when India required him to perform
at a truly international event (Olympics) and when his training required him to focus on the finish line. He failed miserably. When he was in the lead in the 400 meter event at the Rome Olympics 1960, he slowed down and looked back at the runners who were behind him.
He lost his speed and thus lost his lead and came in fourth. I’m not emphasizing this because of any negativity. I’m adding this because Milkha, himself, considers this the biggest mistake in his life and the worst memory after his parents death.
What we need to appreciate, is the work that went into making this movie, instead of focusing on praising Farhan Akhtar. We need to praise the director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, writer Prasoon Joshi, editor P.S. Bharathi and co-producers Viacom 18 for taking such a project and executing it well.
That is the right way to acknowledge this movie. Just like Milkha’s son, professional golfer Jeev Milkha Singh did in an interview.