Vilification And Mockery Of Sanskrit in Bollywood

Bollywood uses Sanskrit mantras not just for cheap humour but also to push a vile agenda that Hinduism is the religion of vicious criminals (rape, murder, beheading) that must be abandoned without any second thoughts.

Sanskrit mantras are used as background scores during violent crime scenes or uncivilised humour.

It is beyond belief that the Indian society has allowed the industry to continue pushing such denigrating agenda.

Gems of Bollywood has proven in several articles and tweets that Bollywood has, for decades, been attacking the Sanatan Dharma relentlessly and glorifying Abrahamic faiths to probably coerce their audience to leave their dharmic folds. But what is truly appalling is the degree of hate Bollywood wallahs have for Hindus. 

Here are a brief list of clips that back this conclusion:

In Choti Si Baat (1976), Amol Palekar grimaces while using Sanskrit words while practising a speech to woo a woman. He replaces them with Urdu, hoping the “better word” will charm her. 

Hindi’s great literary icon Bhartendu Harishchandra described Urdu as the language of dancers and prostitutes, but Bollywood has subtly pushed it as a polished language while shaming the language of wisdom (Sanskrit).

This agenda wasn’t reserved for the language alone. They also targeted holy men who promoted using the ancient language. 

Bollywood doesn’t see Sadhu or Sant as an ascetic who has taken the complex path to attain moksha through practices guided by their guru. In the films, he is always a saffron-clad monster who is lusty, greedy, and a wicked drunkard. 

This propaganda has gone on for so long that anyone clad in saffron is seen as the villain in the popular discourse. Case in point – the lynching of Palghar Sadhus in broad daylight and the deliberate overlooking of the incident by the mainstream media. 

Look at this gem from a film called ‘Zakhmi Sher’ (1984). Rahi Masoom Raza wrote the dialogues of this film, probably knowing well that he couldn’t have taken such liberties in portraying holy men from his religion.

You can read more about Bollywood’s portrayal of saffron-clad men.

The villains in their films were always tilak-dhaari, janeu-wearing middle aged men. However, as the script writer would insinuate, their religion could’t curb their evil nature, and these men could hatch sinister plans while praying.

Look at this scene from a 1989 film, ‘Ilaaka’, written by Javed Siddiqui, starring Amrish Puri (who was perhaps the top choice to be cast for such roles in the 80s and 90s). This was the stereotypical portrayal of a devout Hindu villain in such ‘formula films’:

It seems like a deliberate trick to lead the audience to believe that Hindu rituals only bring out foul and condemnable things in people. Bollywood antagonists are at their villainous peak while doing havan. Here is a scene from Mard (1998) in which a Hindu villain is sanctioning a beheading while doing the havan-pooja. This film stars Mithun Chakraborthy whose filmography is rich with such Hinduphobia.

All A-list actors have starred in such agenda-driven films. Shah Rukh Khan, who has made a career out of creepy stalker roles, has also acted in films that vilify Sanskrit mantras. Here is a scene from Karan Arjun (1995) in which two brothers (him and Salman Khan) join forces to take down the “evil” Hindu Kali-worshipper Durjan Singh. Once again, the villainous devout tilak-daari Hindu was played by Amrish Puri.

Anwar Khan wrote this film, and Rakesh Roshan directed it. The team decided it wasn’t enough to show Durjan Singh as a greedy murderer. It was also essential to show how religious this character was so that the audience would be sub-consciously disparaging towards anyone who worships Maa Kali.

Salman Khan, too, has a rich filmography with scenes mocking Hindus and their beliefs. Here is a clip from his film Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (2004) along with Priyanka Chopra and Akshay Kumar, in which Sanskrit chants (that too from the Rudra Adhyay of the sacred Yajurveda) is used as a background track for a glamorous fashion shoot and luxury behaviour. 

We highly doubt if the film’s director David Dhawan would have had the audacity to use the Aayats for such scenes. The “We artists respect all religions” platitude is not meant for Sanatan Dharma.

We recommend you read our review of his film Ready (2011)

It is interesting to notice that even if the film has an Urdu name, all that is immoral in the film would be associated with Hinduism. Here is an example from Wajood (1998):

Mantras are used by Hindus to communicate with the Supreme forces in nature and the preservation of Dharma. They are considered so sacred that the person uttering them has to adhere to a specific lifestyle practice to qualify for that duty. Even the person listening to the mantras adheres to decorum, submitting to the holy atmosphere.

However, the Bollywood wallahs decided that anything associated with Sanatan Dharma, including their festivals, must be besmirched so that people don’t associate important days in Hinduism with anything auspicious. All horrible things seem too happen during Hindu festivals in Urduwood films.

But did you notice how the chant is placed in the scenes above? They evoke a sense of suspicion and fear even before the crime happens. That is the subconscious imprint left in the audience after watching such content. Bollywood went above and beyond to ensure the audience doesn’t link these chants to supplication, bhakti and invocation.

And why wouldn’t they if these movies were extolled by the left-leaning, Hindu-hating critics and their coterie with various accolades and awards?

Antarmahal (2005) is a Bengali movie starring Jackie Shroff, Abhishek Bachchan, Soha Ali Khan and Roopa Ganguly. It is based on a story called ‘Protima’, written by Marxist Tarashankar Bandhopadhyay, in which Hindu society is portrayed as a toxic patriarchal system that abuses women in different ways. A predictable agenda from a Marxist, isn’t it? 

In a scene, a mantra-chanting pundit beds the lady of the household he visits while her husband tries to impregnate his second wife. We wonder why these self-appointed reformists of society won’t focus on any other religion. 

This film was an Indo-Bangladeshi venture. Such themes can be expected from filmmakers from a country that persecutes Hindu minorities regularly.

Even though offensive, it is one thing that Bollywood wants to run down Hindus. It projects another level of maliciousness when it suggests that non-Hindus are superior to the Dharmic faithful. The most popular films in Bollywood would have a stereotypical devout Muslim guy who is secretly good because of his faith.


What was the reason for showing that the Hindu is less committed to his religion than the other guy? Were such films funded by the conversion mafia?

In Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar (2011), the clip below quickly summarises the Urduwood attitude towards two religions. Notice how Hinduism and Islam have been portrayed in the film:

Ranbir Kapoor starred in another Hinduphobic film called ‘Shamshera’ last year in which the barbaric villain was, as usual, a tilak-dhaari Hindu named Shuddh Singh (Sanjay Dutt). Even though Gems of Bollywood pointed out the blatant Hindu hatred in the film using several tweets, many critics were livid that the film bombed at the box office.

Bhojpuri actor Ravi Kishan starred in Luck (2009) with Shruti Hassan and Imran Khan. It is a forgettable remake of the Spanish film Intacto. But, as we know, Bollywood can’t even plagiarise without injecting some Hinduphobia into the film. Notice the context in which Shiv Stotra is used in the clip. The rapist murderer is called Raghav Raghuvaran.

We would also like to draw attention towards how Bollywood projects Hinduism under the pretext of making films with progressive themes, like feminism and homosexuality. Starting from the title, these films are offensive.

Here is an example of a women-oriented film that supposedly celebrates powerful women.

Observe how Sanskrit chants have been used in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (2020), a film that supposedly fights homophobia (only among Hindus). Much like Antarmahal and many other films, this movie uses chants as a background score for lust and mating.

The most prominent such misuse of Sanskrit chants were in this OTT series called ‘Aashram’ that was criticised by Gems of Bollywood for blatantly vicious Hinduphobia.

Here is a scene from Luka Chupi (2019) in which a reluctant couple has a pseudo-wedding ceremony in their sleepwear. A baffoon-ish friend conducts this wedding by streaming chants online on his phone, burning trash for havan and using shoelaces for mangalsutra

The film was a box-office success. People who flocked to the theatres for this film were insensitive to such mud-slinging, probably because of decades of propaganda content that brainwashed them.

The consequences of this unchecked violation of Sanatan Dharma rituals are as clear as day. Small children go on so-called reality shows and participate in Hindu-mocking themes set to suggestive choreography. It is hard to blame them for such performances as their decision are taken by their parents, who consumed and enjoyed filthy content thrown by Bollywood for years.

Youngsters find and pay for merriment in songs that deliberately make fun of the faith that their ancestors once followed and defended.

It is surprising, and a bit shameful, that respect for these sacred verses has been upheld in Hollywood more than in Indian popular media culture. This soundtrack from Matrix 3 uses chants without mocking Hinduism.

Chants and Mantras have a context and specific condition under which they must be practised. At Gems of Bollywood, we fully accept that religion is a personal choice, and the Bollywood coterie need not be made up of practising Hindus. However, even non-practising Hindus have no business attacking and demonising practices that are important to others, if not them.

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

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