'Love Jihad' to Padmavati row, why we agree with Anurag Kashyap's 'patriotism has become a formula' quip

Anurag Kashyap's statement comes in the wake of ongoing controversies around movies like Padmavati and issues like 'love jihad', which keep making headlines

Director Anurag Kashyap, who’s known for making hard-hitting films, recently quipped that patriotism has become a ‘formula’. Patriotism and nationalism, these are the two words that have been keeping the country hostage for quite a while now. The anti-national vs patriot debate has gone on for far too long, and has been hijacked by way too many.

Kashyap spoke about how, although his upcoming movie Mukkabaaz is ‘a comment on the issue’ he has now allowed it to overshadow his story, in an interview to the Indian Express. For those of you bubbling with indignation, allow us to justify Kashyap’s statement for a bit first.

Kashyap’s statement comes in the wake of ongoing controversies around movies like Padmavati, Dashakriya and Game of Ayodhya, and issues like ‘love-jihad’, ‘gau-raksha’ (cow protection), ‘desh ka samman’ that keep making headlines. Patriotism has become an underlying issue stoking ‘wrongly motivated’ sentiments in the country.

Anurag Kashyap said “Patriotism has become a formula now. That formula has now come into films and in real life too.” Here’s why we agree with him:

Nationalism and patriotism in movies 

Movies like Akshay Kumar starrer Airlift tried to cash in on the emotion of nationalism by showing a Kuwait-based Indian businessman who saves the lives of lakhs of Indians stuck in Kuwait, following an attack by the Iraqi forces. The movie collected over Rs 200 crore worldwide.

Nationalism and patriotism in real life

On the other hand, there’s Padmavati that seems to be embroiled in controversies, one after the other. One of the BJP leaders even announced a bounty of Rs 10 crore each on Deepika Padukone and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s head.

READWhy this BJP leader doubled the bounty on Deepika Padukone’s head despite being a “big fan”

Suraj Pal Amu, Suraj Pal Amu Deepika Padukone, Padmavati, Padmavati controversy,

Nationalism and patriotism in movies 

Toilet: Ek Prem Katha based on the central government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan became the highest Akshay Kumar grosser till date, crossing the 100 crore mark.

Nationalism and patriotism in real life

Coming back to real life, not only Padmavati, even regional movies like the Marathi movie, Dashakriya was targeted by certain right-wing groups in Pune on the pretext of ‘hurting the community sentiments’. Later, one of the Pune theatres even refused to screen the movie.

READPune hall bows to pressure, cancels Dashakriya’s screening after Brahmin community’s outrage


So much for nationalism that without even watching a movie, threatening artists with life and stalling the release has become almost a ‘trend’.

Nationalism and patriotism in movies 

Talking about patriotism in movies, Bajrangi Bhaijaan cannot be missed, where a large-hearted Indian takes the responsibility of reuniting a mute Pakistani girl to her family. Needless to say, like every other Salman Khan starrer, this one made a huge collection at the box-office with over Rs 600 crore.

Nationalism and patriotism in real life

Terms like ‘Love jihad’ (coined by RSS) being used by mainstream media and political groups on a regular basis to divert attention from real issues. Even when a number of people are continuously losing lives at the hands of these cultural protectors, the victim(s) or survivor(s) become a forgotten story and so are the perpetrators of these hate crimes.

READ‘He was not married to any Hindu woman’: Family of killed labourer rubbishes ‘Love Jihad’ allegations

ALSO READFamily of labourer axed and burnt in Rajasthan demand attacker to be hanged in public

From mundane conversations to prime-time TV debates and from political jargons to protests against movies, ideas of patriotism and nationalism are something that have worked as ‘wrong’ motivation and as mere TRP/number generator.

Call it a ‘formula’ or a ‘tool’, patriotism and nationalism have indeed become a ‘dangerous’ driving force of this nation. Dangerous, because it isn’t uniting but polarising people, instead of a healthy discussion, it is being used to silence dissent, and instead of appreciating different views and art emerging out of it, it is stifling creativity.