“A thrilling tale of espionage, vengeance, love and duty,” that’s the description Shah Rukh Khan has given to his latest Netflix venture, Bard of Blood.
The show stars Emraan Hashmi in the lead role and was unveiled in a trailer on Netflix.
Hashmi plays RAW agent Kabir Anand who puts together a team comprising of Isha Khanna, played by Made in Heaven fame Sobhita Dhulipala, and Veer, essayed by actor Vineet Kumar to save four Indian spies captured in Pakistan’s province of Balochistan.
Khan producing a Netflix show is no big deal. However, given the current political environment between the neighbouring countries, Khan’s Bard of Blood could only make it worse.
Soon after the trailer came out, Pakistani Twitter lit up and slammed the Dilwale actor for his jingoistic approach to the already intense tensions.
One of the prominent names to criticise Khan was DG ISPR Asif Ghafoor who asked King Khan to use his stature to promote peace and speak against atrocities in Indian occupied Kashmir.
Taking to Twitter, Ghafoor wrote, “Stay in Bollywood syndrome Shah Rukh Khan. For reality see RAW Spy Kulbhushan Jadev, Wing Comd Abhinandan and the state of Feb 27, 2019.”
He added, “You could rather promote peace and humanity by speaking against atrocities in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and against Hindituva of Nazism obsessed RSS.”
Others called out the show for banking on a cliched narrative.
“As if we haven’t seen a series like this a million times before. Bring back the Veer-Zaara SRK,” Ayesha Malik, the Pakistani-American woman who called out Priyanka Chopra for her stance on Kashmir recently, shared.
“It will serve India far better if you guys make a series based on actual events that is rogue spy agency RAW sending agents like Kulbhushan Jadhav to train terrorists in Balochistan and Pakhtunkhwa but they keep getting arrested, and India failing to get them back,” another user Asfandyar Bhittani wrote. “Food for thought.”
“Extremely disappointed to see another Bollywood star like Shah Rukh Khan falling to the level of jingoistic, one sided, short sighted, almost selfish propaganda to probably ‘fit in’ the Hindu supremacist environment and to poorly prove their loyalty. True stars are sensitive not selfish,” Fereeha Idrees penned.
“I have always respected you and expected you to use your huge influence and celebrity power to bring peace and love between Pakistan and India. This will only spread more hatred and will create a false image of Pakistan and Muslims. Sad. Disappointing,” Komal Shahid tweeted.
Ashar Jawad added how India is only living in the fantasies showcased in Bollywood films.
“India is a deluded nation, high on fantasies of Bollywood. They can only make propaganda films to demonise Pakistan. But when their spies and fighter pilots enter Pakistan, they are paraded on TV like this. RAW agent Kulbhushan Jadhav and IAF pilot Abhindandan captured in 2016 and 2019,” he said.
“Your fans regardless of their gender, cast, colour or nationality expected better of you. You have lost respect and massive fan following from Pakistan today. And well done on cashing the current situation between India and Pakistan,” Anum wrote.
Recently, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Saif Ali Khan starrer, Sacred Games second two also garnered a lot of criticism for anti-Pakistan plot line.
The second season that was released on August 15 not only maligns the reputation of Pakistan and its security agencies but critics and audiences have unanimously concluded that show doesn’t offer much; thematically and aesthetically.
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