Aamir as Laal Singh Chaddha
Is Aamir Khan secular? This question is irrelevant. Since he is a Muslim, Aamir transcends the debate on secularism. In India, secularism is a debate within the Hindu community. Only the Hindus can be secular, pseudo-secular, or communal. The Muslims are not expected to be secular because they have built an Islamic iron curtain around their religion and community—the debate about secularism cannot pierce this iron curtain.
Jawaharlal Nehru imposed on India the Western concept of secularism. But he and the Congress party leaders who came after him failed to get the Muslims to join the project for creating a secular country. Nehru was sensitive to Muslim aversion to secularization—he knew that the Muslims would not accept secularism as the principle of governance. In the political system that he created, the burden for ensuring that the country remained secular was imposed on the Hindus.
To appease the Muslims, Nehru ignored the role that they had played in India’s partition in 1947—he went a step further and blamed the Hindus for being bigoted and majoritarian. He never urged the Muslims to accept secularism. He often spoke of national integration but he allowed the Muslims to have their own personal law which was based on Islamic principles. He did not try to bring them under the regime of a common civil code.
The bigotry of people like Aamir Khan is the uncomfortable consequence of the pseudo-secular political system that Nehru had built. In this system, Islam is beyond reproach, but Hinduism is an easy target. Aamir Khan cannot be asked to prove his secular credentials by criticizing the problems in Islam—but he enjoys the free pass to criticize Hinduism. He is free to lecture the Hindus and hold them responsible for the woes of the country.
I have never seen any movie starring Aamir. He is a mediocre actor; I will die of boredom if I am made to sit through his film. Yesterday, I saw some clips (less than 3 minutes) from his TV series Satyamev Jayate and the movie PK. In these clips, he was insulting Hindu Gods and he was blaming the Hindus for all kinds of social problems. I think Aamir is deeply conscious of being a Muslim—that is why he feels obliged to present such an ignorant and foolish caricature of Hinduism.
The Hindus have had enough of Aamir's bigotry and his condescending attitude towards Hindu customs. His movie Laal Singh Chaddha, a remake of Tom Hanks's Forrest Gump, is set to be released on 11th August; the good news is that #BoycottLaalSinghChaddha has been trending in social media for a number of days. I hope this boycott succeeds. Aamir’s movies do not deserve Hindu viewership. Let his movie marinate in empty theaters.
Hasta la vista baby, Aamir Khan (said in Terminator style).