Sectarian Riots, Hindu-Muslim Friendship and Sushant Singh Rajput: An Obituary

Sectarian Riots, Hindu-Muslim Friendship and Sushant Singh Rajput: An Obituary

My first cinematic encounter with the actor Sushant Singh Rajput is with the film Kai Po Che! (2013). I did not know that it was his debut film as his acting was so natural and vibrant. Later, I got to know that he used to play some roles as an actor in Television drama. The reason why he is so dear to me and millions of other people is not simply because of his acting, but of his aura, the attitude, the non-conventional way of acting and so and so forth.

Personally, he stands out as an outstanding actor for risking his life and reputation by working on a film that deals with Hindu-Muslim riot, an issue which is a kind of taboo and hush-hush topic in Indian society. The screenplay gathers momentum when tragedy strikes in the form of the 2001 Gujarat earthquake and the 2002 Godhra riots, where some radical Hindu extremists attacked Muslim households and committed crimes against humanity by killing nearly 1,000 people. The movie was adapted from Chetan Bhagat’s novel The Three Mistakes of My Life (2008).

Amidst many happenings in the movie including the post-college, pre-what-career-to-pursue period and struggles faced by three young men, a love affair between Amrita Puri (Vidya) and Govind, the climax of the film and the crux of its message was mainly the century-old philosophy of human friendship and triumph over all differences of opinions, religions and ethnicity. In the film, Sushant (as Ishaan) has a great passion for cricket and he teaches cricket to the neighbourhood Muslim boy, Ali (Digvijay Deshmukh) who was a little boy. Gradually, their friendship grew and Ishaan starts treating Ali as a little brother (like a choto bhai).

But such love, friendship and brotherly relationship did not last long. The spring was over, the cold dark inhuman riots began. The violence inflicted fear among people. But the Ishaan-Ali brotherhood and teacher-student tie grow more intensely as the threat of violence increases, and then turns to bloodshed. Risking his own life, Ishaan (a Hindu by religion) desperately tries to save Ali (a Muslim by religion) and his father’s lives from the extremists. They killed Ishaan by mistake while shooting at Ali. What can be a more sacrificial image than this? What can be more loving than this? A Hindu brother is risking life and sacrificing his own life for saving a Muslim boy and his family.

The movie leaves us with the thought that communal barriers can be broken and abolished. Maybe, in a small way or perhaps not so perfectly, the film tries to convey a message of friendship to Hindu and Muslims in India through something where they are united: the national pastime, the Cricket.

His acting in later films also was versatile and brilliant. But, one can arguably claim that, only for the film Kai Po Che!, he will be remembered. The message of friendship between two religious groups will remain relevant to this day and for the years to come. If some people will be immortal, I have no doubt in my heart, Sushant Singh Rajput will be one of them.

Abu Sufian – who is also known as The Silent Poet – is a Bangladeshi poet and writer.

Abu Sufian

Abu Sufian

Abu Sufian – who is also known as The Silent Poet – is a Bangladeshi poet and writer. His poems have been published in literary journals including Scarlet Leaf Review, Criterion, Literary Voyage, The Literary Herald, Tuck Magazine and Clairvoyance. Sufian also contributed in five international poetry anthologies: Voice of Monarch Butterflies (2016), Apple Fruits of an Old Oak (2016), Where Are You From? (2017), Dandelion in a Vase of Roses (2017) and Persian Sugar in English Tea, Vol. III (2018). He can be reached via his Facebook poetry page: The Silent Poet at https://www.facebook.com/Sufian.Author



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