First and foremost, I must disclose that I have not watched the movie and I do not intend to. I am writing this blog based on various reviews and also what story line I heard from friends who have watched the movie with great expectation. I trust them and I can not afford to contribute my hard earned money to promote what is offending and insulting to my culture.
You may at this point argue that without watching movie, how can I comment on it. Well, I am aware of the modus operandi of "secular liberal socialist communist" group. Hence I definitely can contemplate the contents of the movie. But before that, please bear with me as in next few lines I would like to lay foundation for my criticism of PK.
When people ask me if I believe in God, I usually ask them to define God. Is it some sky daddy like Abrahamic religions define or some energy or some supreme consciousness or whatever? The reason I ask this is, most often the answer is abrahamic version. With Christianity and Islam dominating the global religious discourse, their definition and view point is the standard lens through which most people see Hindu beliefs or at large pagan beliefs. It is important to understand this because root to all the moral high ground "progressive liberals" take to demean Hindu beliefs and native culture is this abrahamic world view.
"Religion" is alien to Hindu culture. The west having no word to denote Sanatana Dharma, added "ism" consolidating certain Hindu beleifs and called it "Hinduism". Like any other "ism" , its a exclusive club of beleivers and non believers are supposed to be added into the club by whatever means. Thats exactly the definition of religion. This defination is contradictory to what Sanatana Dharma preaches - Vasudaiva Kutumbakam.
Once we understand the above stated, it will be much more easier to understand why PK is cultural attack. The movie tries to scrutinize Hindu beliefs on the standards of Abrahamic religions. By doing so, it endorses the claim of these religions. The claim is - they are the only true religion and the god of their book the only true god. If this is not attack on Hindu culture then what else is?
NDTV published on their site 5 punch lines from the movie. One of the punch line that has offended many is "People who fear go to temples". This is again trying to size up Hindu beliefs through Abrahamic lense. Unlike the God of Bible or Allah of Quran, no Hindu "God' ever threatens to smite or to throw us in hell fire for not worshiping him. Hindu society has had many great "Bhakti" movements and there have been great devotees. Hindus go to temple out of devotion voluntarily and not because some sky daddy is threatening them and forcing them.
I understand that there is also a reference to Idol worship in the movie. PK seems to suggest that if you can directly talk to god why do you need idols?. Do note that Abrahamic religions considers idolaters are worst sinners. When you ask Hindus not to worship idols, you indirectly telling them they are committing sin. Every Hindu knows that Idols are not gods. They are mere idols and before they can be worshiped, "Pran Prathistan" has to happen. Ganesh pooja and Durga pooja celebrations clearly showcase this aspect. Yet neither the director nor the script writers cared to research this so common practice. But hey, they never intended to research or study, all they wanted to was rhetoric questions based on their ignorance and lack of understanding just to appear "progressive liberals" teaching us "sinners"/"evil doers" how to be civil.
Sadhus, Sants and Swamis have been the important custodians of our culture for thousands of years. But Bollywood movies always depict some "godman" as evil doer. This is to put into collective conscious of people that by default "godman" is evil and should never be trusted. Thus making sure these Sadhus, Sants and Swamis lose their importance and credibility. There are numerous ashrams, sadhus, sants and swamis doing great service to people. They run educational institutions, oprhanages and many more services. But all media and "liberal" Bollywood can see is few mad men and project them as "god men".
Finally, the socialist myth is repeated. Questioning the temple wealth and people donating to temples. Here again, the movie team shows lack of research or knowledge. Temples have always been cultural centers and not mere places of worship for Hindus. Numerous temples even now undertake community services, free food for devotees etc. The socialists believe that wealth redistribution by taking from rich and giving to poor will solve all poverty problems. This is the suggestion given each time a "liberal" talks about temple wealth. Only that they seem to have no answer to what next after that wealth is distributed and used up?
A civilization of at least 3000 years has always provided reformers from with in and not from outside. We dont need people with limited world vision abrahamic faiths to teach us. The Hindu culture and society is perfectly capable of course correction itself as and when required.
Let me stop here. By now it must be clear that the agenda of the PK was never to raise awareness or important questions. It was all about ignorant greedy morons trying to rake up controversy and make money. In this foolishness, they have attacked my culture and insulted it. They have left young Hindu minds confused and induced with self loathing. They have all the creative freedom but that is no excuse to demean my culture. The very fact that there is PIL and democratic bycott calls rather than burning down the theaters is proof of the greatness of this culture. Had they attempted this with abrahamic religions, rage boys would have gone berserk on the roads.