Does Mahesh Bhatt have a soft corner for Muslims?

Published: January 17, 2013

The play will be staged on March 29 in Delhi before travelling across the country. PHOTO: FILE

Bollywood film-maker Mahesh Bhatt, who is known for his romantic thrillers Jism and Murder, has taken a turn towards stage again, with his new play Trial of Error. The Indian Express reported that after the success of his 2011 play Last Salute, which was based on the shoe-throwing incident involving former US President George Bush, Bhatt was prompted to bring to stage another social issue.

Trial of Error deals with the prejudices against the Muslims in India, when agencies accuse Muslim youth for any act of terrorism in the country, reports The Indian Express. The play expresses the problems faced by Indian Muslim youth when they are branded as terrorists; and the trauma they face while fighting for justice.

“We condemn and oppose the agencies’ habit of jumping to conclusions that certain Muslim groups might be involved in terror acts after every blast,” said the 64-year-old film-maker.

Bhatt has joined hands with Sandiip Kapoor of Promodome films to stage Trial of Error, with National award-winning playwright Waryam Mast directing it. While Delhi-based actor Imran Zahid will be playing the lead role, Bhatt has a role for himself in mind — he will be narrating the play.

The versatile film-maker, who has made films belonging to every genres, while talking about his switch from romantic thrillers to a social issue said, “If I have made Jism and Murder, then I have also made Saraansh, Arth and Zakhm. I have oscillated between two extremes.”

actor

The plot of the play revolves around a journalist, played by Zahid, in search for truth behind the prejudices against Muslims. However, he gets entangled in a vicious circle during his search and is labelled as a terrorist by the system. The story is about his struggle to prove his innocence and to get out of the mess he is in.

“There are many case studies on the internet as well as TV and newspaper reports, which have helped me prepare for my role. It investigates why innocent young Muslim men are branded terrorists and how fundamentalists take advantage of that,” Imran said, according to The Indian Express.

This is not the first time Zahid is working with Bhatt on stage. The 31-year-old actor has also essayed the role of journalist Muntadharal Zaidi in Bhatt’s previous play Last Salute.

Zahid considers the film-maker his mentor. “Bhaat sahib is my mentor and he says performing on stage will help me polish myself. Also theatre lets you explore those subjects which cannot be adapted to celluloid because making films is an expensive affair,” said Imran.

The rehearsals for the play are already underway and the play will be staged on March 29 in Delhi before travelling across the country to cities including Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Chandigarh and Hyderabad.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2013.              

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Jan 18, 2013 - 12:51AM

    Mahesh Bhatt is a legal Muslim who hides behind Hindu name!

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  • Arvind
    Jan 18, 2013 - 4:00AM

    @Mark:
    So says the RSS brainwashed pseudo-Hindu. Is that latest new conspiracy theory they are teaching in the fanatic RSS shakas these days?

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  • gp65 .
    Jan 18, 2013 - 9:10AM

    @Arvind: There is no conspiracy involved for someone to be a Muslim. Our constitution permits anyone to have any faith. Mahesh Bhatt’s faith being Islam Muslim is also stated in the Wiki article on Mahesh Bhatt. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahesh_Bhatt. His father is a Hindu and mother a Muslim. He however became a Muslim to facilitate his second marriage to Soni Razdan.

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  • Akshay, India
    Jan 18, 2013 - 10:25AM

    @Arvind: Mahesh Bhatt’s mother is a Shia Muslim and he himself converted to Islam so that he can marry his second wife without divorcing the first. You can check it on wiki. However, this does not mean I in any way look at him with suspicion or say anything is wrong with him for empathizing with muslims.

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  • bvcb bvc
    Jan 18, 2013 - 10:25AM

    Mahesh Bhatt took Islam before 2nd marriage and gave himself a Muslim Name as Afzal Khan, which public is not aware much though

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  • Sinclair
    Jan 18, 2013 - 10:55AM

    @Arvind

    Go do your research. Mahesh Bhatt is a muslim. His mother gave him a Hindu name to mask it.

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  • Raj - USA
    Jan 18, 2013 - 11:42AM

    Of all his movies, I liked only one i.e., Arth, based on his real life story.

    On the prejudices against muslims in India, Muslims are looked with suspicion not just in India but also in other countries. Thanks to Pakistan. However, they are not suspected that much in India. India’s Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh personally took up the case of an Indian muslim (I believe his name was Dr. Hanif) who was held in Australia in connection with the London bombings. Dr. Singh, not only got him released but also made Australia to compensate him and also issue an apology. No other country has ever done anything like this (Prime Minister taking intervening personally) for any of its muslim citizens, even Pakistan. India has not come out so strongly ever in support of any of its non-muslim citizens. In India, muslims are more pampered than prejudiced.

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  • Aijaz Haider
    Jan 18, 2013 - 11:50AM

    I don’t think he is hiding behind a Hindu name. Like Dalip Kumar he is a Muslim with a Hindu name.

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  • Gratgy
    Jan 18, 2013 - 6:30PM

    @Aijaz Haider

    Dilip Kumar’s real name is Muhammad Yousuf Khan

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  • gp65.
    Jan 18, 2013 - 11:34PM

    @Sinclair: “His mother gave him a Hindu name to mask it”. Not true. It is true that his mother was Muslim but he grew up Hindu and changed to Islam when he wanted to marry Soni Razdan without divorcing his first wife (Pooja Bhatt’s mom).

    Just like Sharmila Tagore changed to Islam to marry Pataudi but no one knows her by her Muslim name.

    @Raj – USA: “Of all his movies, I liked only one i.e., Arth, based on his real life story”.

    TO each his own but I also liked Saaransh, Naam and Daddy.

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  • indian
    Jan 19, 2013 - 12:21AM

    There is no harm no problem if someonepractice any religion
    india is a free country if he wish to practise Islam then we should not have any problem an about dilip saab please keep your mouth shut

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  • gp65 .
    Jan 19, 2013 - 6:45AM

    @indian: “There is no harm no problem if someonepractice any religion
    india is a free country if he wish to practise Islam then we should not have any problem an about dilip saab please keep your mouth shut”

    Of course you are right. Anyone can practice any religion they want. The issue came up because MArk said Mahesh Bhatt was Muslim and Arvind accused him of some RSS conspiracy theories. This is why everyone is simply substantiating what Mark says.

    Secondly, it is Aijaz Haider, a Pakistani who brought up Dilip Kumar simply based on his own misinformation because he thought that though Dlip Kumar was Muslim he had a Hindu name. Gratgy corrected this information. Deilip Kumar is well respected on both sides of the border and I do no think anyone is passing any judgment about of Dilip Kumsr due to his faith.

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  • bhatt
    Jan 20, 2013 - 3:10PM

    @Arvind:
    His father was a Gujrati film financer, Nana bhai bhatt. Mahesh’s mother was Muslim.Recommend

  • Raza Khan
    Jan 20, 2013 - 3:31PM

    It hardly makes any difference whether he is a Muslim or Hindu! Overall he is an exceptional human being who talks about love, tolerance & forgiveness. I salute Mahesh Butt Sahib!

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  • Gratgy
    Jan 22, 2013 - 4:06PM

    @indian

    Did anyone say they have a problem with Mr Dilip Kumar or Mr Mahesh Bhatt following any religion?

    Are you smoking something and seeing things that are not there?

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