Indoo Ki Jawani (2020)

Release Date: 2020
Director/Writer: Abir Sengupta

Lead Cast: Aditya Seal, Kiara Advani, Mallika Dua, Mohammed Iqbal Khan

It remains to be known how someone could clear ‘Indoo Ki Jawaani’ for release. This movie blatantly promotes Love Jihad and supports the Pakistani perspective on several critical issues.

It has a straightforward agenda – Hindu women are better off with Pakistani men than Hindu men.

Here is the film’s plot – Kiara Advani plays Indira Gupta, aka Indoo, an attractive young woman ogled at by all men in her neighbourhood. She has a boyfriend who is desperate to consummate the relationship, but she wants to wait till they are married. One day, she catches him cheating on her in bed with another woman.

Instead of feeling relieved over the good riddance, Indoo oddly concludes that her boyfriend became a debauchee because she refused to meet his physical needs. She decides to lose her virginity as soon as possible to save her future relationships. She joins a dating app and meets Samar (Aditya Seal) – a man from Hyderabad.

On a night when a Pakistani terrorist is on the loose somewhere in the town, the couple decides to meet at her house when the parents are away. Samar seems like a likeable man, but soon Indoo discovers he is a Pakistani. He is indeed from Hyderabad, but from the one in Pakistan. While this confusion results in some angry war of words between the two on whose country is worse, the terrorist enters the house pretending to be a food delivery agent.

The rest of the story is about how Indoo and Samar take down a terrorist on their first date.

Amid this broad plot line, the movie inserts various dialogues that project India (and Indians) in a lousy light, especially when the two have a heated argument about their countries. These so-called funny scenes portray Hindu men as salacious fools, and Hindu women as lecherous.

It sheds all the good spotlight on a hero who is a Pakistani, and the only worthy match for the bawdy eponymous female protagonist, whom he calls ‘India’ because ‘Indira’ had accidentally typed her name on the app as ‘India’.

So ‘India’ apologises to the Pakistani for “being judgemental” and thinking that a Pakistani man would ever harm her. Not once in their exchange does Samar admit that he should have informed her about his true identity much before. Is it so outrageous that a young woman should be cautious around a stranger who didn’t fully reveal his identity to her?

Would Samar have been just as smug had a stranger Hindu man from Kashmir or Hyderabad tried to hook up with his sister while the parents were away? We don’t think so.

Naming a film as if it were a porn film but whose central plot is how a couple take down a terrorist on their first date suggests that perhaps writer-director Abir Sengupta wanted any excuse to push misleading narratives, especially about inter-faith relationships and the establishment across the border. We list some of these problematic issues,
such as:

1. Terrorism has nothing to do with religion or Pakistan. Only if India and Pakistan became friends would all terrorism end.

Samar and Indoo’s date is interrupted by an armed terrorist who tells her how convenient it becomes for him when India and Pakistan fight. The terrorist, for some strange reason best known to the film’s writer, doesn’t associate himself with Pakistan. This trick would lead the audience to believe Pakistan has nothing to do with harbouring terrorists.

It is a misleading suggestion that terrorism could be curbed if India and Pakistan became friends. Terrorism can be tackled only when Pakistan decides to stop nurturing it.

The truth is that terrorism emanating from Pakistan is why India refuses to talk with them. Islamabad supports and covertly trains shooters to carry out various attacks on India. The Pakistani Army that runs the country follows a military doctrine of ‘making India bleed with a thousand cuts.’

Should we just forget that Osama Bin Laden was found in Pakistan’s Abbottabad when the US special forces took him down?

2. Pakistanis are the nicest people who treat women more honourably than Hindu men and fight terrorists better than the Indian establishment.

Samar accepts Indoo’s invitation to have the first date at her home. When she tries to seduce him, he preaches, “Your first time should be with someone special.” Indoo is also impressed by his progressive attitude towards women (that men in her locality apparently lack). Notice how her name sounds erringly similar to ‘Hindu’.

A while later, he rushes back to save her from a terrorist impersonating a food delivery agent. But not before he approaches the cops and her neighbours for help. It is shown that both the policemen and the Hindu worshippers at the ‘jagraata’ are utterly useless in such a crisis.  They arrive at the very end of the film.

3. India is a union of states that want to separate from it.

The film has a scene that features a vicious exchange of words between the two protagonists, spewing hate for the other’s country. Indoo argues that Pakistan is a hotbed of terrorism. But Samar dominates the exchange: “But your country is just a union of 25 smaller countries. One cannot agree with the other.”

We are at a loss to understand why the writer is pandering to this anti-India disinformation that can only please people on the other side of the border. Pakistan is dealing with an alarming economic crisis and separatist movements in Sind and Balochistan, but not a word on their reality. Who exactly are the intended audience for this film?

4. Hindu women are desperate to get laid, and only a Pakistani man can take care of them virtuously.

The movie promotes the narrative that Pakistani films have been promoting for decades. A Pakistani man is more capable of handling a Hindu woman’s needs (because the men in her community are unworthy of doing so).

The narrative further suggests that he doesn’t look at her as a casual date. He is so decent and virtuous that he advises the girl to have her first time with “someone special.”

Why this obsession with portraying Pakistani men as holier-than-thou? Should the audience ignore reports of abductions, rape, forced conversions and conversion-nikah that plague Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Christian girls daily in Pakistan? Pakistani Muslim men carry out all these crimes. So why project a different image of these people onscreen?

5. A Hindu woman is better off dating a Pakistani stranger than known Hindu men who are only bawdy and lustful.

As mentioned earlier, the movie portrays all Hindu men badly. It repeatedly messages that a woman is safer with a Muslim man from Pakistan than tilakdhaari, jagraata-attending, religious Hindu men who ogle at her. Every man in Indoo’s neighbourhood calls her beta or didi while hitting on her.

Hindu women aren’t shown to be virtuous. The older women are helpless with their philandering husbands and obstinate sons, while the younger ones (Sonal, Alka, Indoo) are all horny. What a portrayal of Hindu society!

The movie repeatedly makes suggestions in favour of inter-faith relationships. Check out this gem below, where Indoo is ridiculed by her friend Sonal for choosing to stay a virgin till she got married:

6. Hindu religious events are just an excuse for men to hit on young women in the neighbourhood.

If the movie has plugged so many ‘pro-Love Jihad’ and ‘Love for Pakistan’ messages, why would it stop short of demonising the Hindu society? Worshippers are thinking of Indoo even while doing jagraata. They are no good even when Samar is looking for help to save Indoo from a terrorist who fraudulently entered her house, because they are immersed in flaunting their religious zeal.

Only Bollywood will have the audacity to show a religious event as a cover for bawdy behaviour.

Take a look at this gem here:

Also notice how a murti of Lord Shiva installed at the jagraata shows him smoking up!

Writer Abir Sengupta not only decided that a lascivious woman should be named India but also that people who refer to their homeland as ‘Bharat Ma’ are just negligent and drunk government officials and cops.

Even though crime against women continues to worry every family, Sengupta sets up this scene to tell young women that watching out for odd behaviour in their surroundings is just paranoia. This film tells every woman to trust every man on the road and cave into his demands, or else she will be a butt of jokes among her friends. Her boyfriend doesn’t seem to respect her consent.

But such disrespect for a woman’s opinion is a topic of mockery. Quite rich coming from an industry that has built itself on molestation and rape scenes to attract audience.

We also didn’t miss noticing how Indira Gupta, who is part of a vegetarian Hindu Bania family, is shown to be loving meat. Dietary choices are personal, but it’s quite apparent that one Bollywood film after another is purposely encouraging Hindu boys and girls to break away from vegetarianism.

+ posts

I watch how Bollywood engages with and represents Hindu society. A non-Marxist film critic writing in English.

We Need Your Support

Your Aahuti is what sustains this Yajna. With your Aahuti, the Yajna grows. Without your Aahuti, the Yajna extinguishes.
We are a small team that is totally dependent on you.
To support, consider making a voluntary subscription.

UPI ID - gemsofbollywood@upi / gemsofbollywood@icici

Related Posts



Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!