Irrespective of whether you have or haven't yet watched Aamir Khan's PK, chances are that you may have already got a taste of the raucous emotions the film has generated since its release on December 19. We don't know which side of the #BoycottPK divide you've chosen, but a closer look at the issue will make you realise it is a non-starter right from the word go.
First things first: Why all this intolerance? A few months ago, it was Vishal Bhardwaj's Haider at the receiving end, braving a similar onslaught for being anti-Indian, and anti-Hindu. Banning a movie or running boycott campaigns amounts to suppressing freedom of expression.
So why exactly is there an online campaign to boycott PK? What are the #BoycottPK campaigners saying to justify themselves?
Their claim is that the movie attacks Hinduism and its practices. But Rajkumar Hirani's main point is that all entities that claim to be mediators between God and humans are scandalous. PK doesn't just attack the practices of Hinduism. Aamir Khan's character in the movie hasn't spared fatwas against girls' education, or conversions by Christian missionaries, either.
Think about it. PK is not the first time the existence of middle-men in religion is questioned. In fact, Umesh Shukla's Akshay Kumar-Paresh Rawal-starrer OMG! raised the same questions in a far more serious manner.
Some #BoycottPK supporters on Twitter even claim that the film promotes 'Love Jihad'! How? Because Anushka's character falls in love with Sushant who plays a Pakistani boy. Now, this is as ridiculous a claim as it can get.
PK may not be a great movie, but it is a good, entertaining one. It talks about an issue that has been holding us to ransom for ages now, and is only turning worse with all the so-called godmen trying to cash in on our misplaced priorities. It questions practices that we would be better off without. And it is not just Hindu practices that it questions.
You might not want to watch the movie because it is a tad too long, because it has too many Bollywood clichés, or even because it is just not smart enough by Hirani-standards. But it is definitely insane to say that it is against religion, or Hinduism. Go watch it and choose your camp wisely.