Nothing wrong in portraying terrorists as terrorists
What is shown in cinema houses is often larger than life. It should hardly come as a surprise that Bollywood’s portrayal of Bodo terrorists has shown them to have actually chopped off the ear of an hostage even though real life they only threatened it. There are no fine distinctions to be made between terrorists who merely threaten their hostages and terrorists who actually carry those threats out.
The All Bodo Student’s Union (ABSU) has successfully lobbied the state government of Assam to ban the screening of Tango Charlie, the offending film, proving yet again that it is easier to squeeze democracy than it is to squeeze terrorists. Those who claim that the movie is slandering the Bodo people found themselves unwilling or unable to forcefully ask the terrorists to stop giving the community a bad name.
According to the ABSU, ‘slander’ of Bodo terrorists is tantamount to slander of the Bodo people. This is wrong. Indeed, by striking a defensive posture against an insinuation that was not even made, the ABSU does a disservice to the very community it seeks to defend.
It has now become routine for Indian governments to ban ‘controversial’ movies — these are simply assaults on freedom of expression that must not be tolerated in a democracy like India. There are institutional mechanisms in India to balance the freedom of expression with the rights of individuals and groups. Rather than bully the government into banning the movie, the ABSU could sue the Tango Charlie’s producers for libel.
Tailpiece: Tango Charlie is just the latest example of anti-war films that are currently in vogue in the Hindi film industry.
To secure peace is to prepare for war. And to wage a war against war is to show its reality, its absurdity, its horror and to show the lives it takes in the name of peace. â€˜Tango Charlieâ€™ attempts to do that. [Apun Ka Choice]