Filmmaker Kabir Khan said he wouldn’t be surprised if one day he's "pressured" to make pro-India, pro-Hindu stories.
A media report that surfaced a week ago suggested that some officials of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had held meetings with streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime to restrict “anti-Hindu” content on the platforms, and show stories that “represent real Indian culture and ethos” instead.
On Monday, at a panel discussion titled “Films as an agent of social change” at the ongoing Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai Film Festival, Khan was asked if writers and directors in the Hindi film industry were being put under such pressure to make pro-India, pro-Hindu content.
"Nobody's told me. But yes, the conditions are happening, one reads and hears about it. Strange sort of pressures do come on people. As of now, nothing's come on me. I wouldn't be surprised, someday somebody tries to pass this message on to me. I think they know how I'll react so they aren't saying it right now. But yes, we are absolutely living in times where anything can be said," the director said.
However, he insisted that it certainly wouldn't stop him from speaking his mind when it comes to storytelling. "I don't have any fear. You have to keep doing things that you love and believe in. Be happy about what you are making and rest will fall into place," he said.
Would he consider making a political film in today's time? Khan said, "I would like to believe I've already made hardcore political films. When I say hardcore political films, it's not how you are saying it but what you say. Bajrangi Bhaijaan is one of my most political films. Sometimes I'm surprised that it came at a time when there was a rise of right wing, when our society was getting fractured, the divisive politics had come into play. I sometimes get confused because I know there are certain people who are hardcore followers of certain divisive politicians that we have, but they tell me Bajrangi Bhaijaan is their favourite film, so how is that contradiction getting settled?"
Khan's next is on India's 1983 Cricket World Cup win at Lord's. Titled '83, the film will see actor Ranveer Singh as legendary cricketer Kapil Dev.
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