Yaadein (2001)

Film : Yaadein

Year of Release : 2001

Director : Subhash Ghai

Producer : Subhash Ghai

Lead Cast : Jackie ShroffHrithik Roshan, Amrish Puri, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Avni Vasa

Q: What is Bollywood’s idea of a likeable and friendly (Hindu) character?

A: One who trashes Hinduism and all that is sacred to his co-religionists.

Here is an example to back this argument – In Yaadein, Jackie Shroff plays a “cool” dad/family guy whose idea of humour is to make foolish sounds to mock Sanskrit, fully aligning with the long-standing industry practice of maligning the ancient language of wisdom.

He is the role model to a friend’s son, Ronit (Hrithik Roshan), who looks down upon his uncle for being a successful and religious businessman. Ronit is so condescending that even when praying to Maa Lakshmi, he sermons her to stop being a deity for the rich and do something for the millions of poor Indians praying to her without any results every day.

Ronit is another example of how a Bollywood hero must always be angry with Bhagwaan to prove his worth. For Ronit, the good uncle mocks Sanskrit, and the bad uncle is a religious Hindu who respects Sanskrit.

There are many such gems in Yaadein. Subhash Ghai’s filmography includes many films blatantly mocking Hindus and Hinduism. Ram Lakhan (1989) exemplifies his Hinduphobic, agenda-driven films. You can find a Gems of Bollywood review of Ram Lakhan here. This review points out how the film’s writer Anwar Khan takes the liberty to name his main eponymous characters after the two most widely worshipped siblings in Hinduism – Lord Ram and his brother Lakshman. He portrays Lakshman in such a way that anyone who has read the ‘Ramayan’ would squirm.

Yaadein was a box-office failure and is still available for free on YouTube.

Jackie Shroff received a nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor at the 47th Filmfare Awards for this film.

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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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