This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
One of the things that Shabana Azmi really likes about Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is that the Muslim protagonists are treated as normal mainstream people.
Says Shabana enthusiastically, “It is really refreshing and a welcome change to see three Muslim protagonists whose clothes, appearance and demeanour are not defined by their religious belief. That Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan are Muslims in Ae Dil Hai Muskhil doesn’t even strike us. It probably didn’t strike Karan Johar either while making the film.”
Shabana recalls a significant yet funny incident after the premiere of another Karan Johar film Kal Ho Na Ho. “I congratulate Karan for portraying a Muslim hero as a normal working-class human being. Karan scratched his head wondering what I was talking about. He had forgotten that his hero was a Muslim. That is the way it should be in our films. For too long Muslim characters have been symbolized by the ‘Rahim Chacha’ stereotyped the affable father figure who sports a beard and does his prayers five times a day.”
At a time when the Indian Muslim is being increasingly isolated and global political forces, Shabana feels it is important to portray them as part of the main stream society. “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil shows us Muslim characters who are not constantly reminded of or defined by their religious identity. It is an important film in that respect.”
Source: Bollywood Masala original article at “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil doesn’t marginalize Muslims” – Shabana Azmi