It’s refreshing to see the messaging about religious tolerance come right out of the events rather than being put out as preachy dialogues.
Very early in Daredevil Musthafa, we see this line: “For the first time, the fans of a writer have produced a film.” The writer is Poornachandra Tejaswi, and the fans are those who crowdfunded this film directed by Shashank Soghal. Poornachandra Tejaswi is seen in a black-and-white interview clip, where he says that college-goers have a great future. He then adds a disclaimer. “But when I see them at the forefront of communal violence, I wonder if they have a future.” That’s the crux of the narrative. It’s about the fear of the other, which leads to suspicion and hate and anger and – if unchecked – leads to communal violence. The other in this story populated by names like Shankara and Sampath Kumar and Ramanuja arrives in the form of Musthafa. When he enters the classroom, there’s a collective gasp – as though an alien has been sighted. In a lovely touch, his name is so long that it has to be scrunched up while being written in the register – and this leads to people trying to “decipher” the unintelligible name as though in a Sherlock Holmes mystery.
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