Viewers watching Salman’s new release Prem Raan Dhan Payo had a surprise ‘treat’ in the interval – which was more difficult to digest than the popcorn! It was a music video called “Mera desh hai mahaan, mera desh hai jawan’ produced by Censor board chief Pahlaj Nihalani. He says it is to ‘thank Modi for all that he has done for the country’.
“Since I am from the film industry, I have good relations with Rajshri Productions, who have made Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. I requested them to attach it to the film,” said Nihalani.
An official from Rajashri productions said that “the song is a deshbhakti song, and Nihalani had a genuine, personal request which is why Rajshri Productions agreed”. The video is being played in halls run by PVR, INOX and Carnival.
Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Ltd, said that “the ad comes stitched with the film, and no one was directly in touch with us for this”.
The movie shows three young men — a Hindu with a teeka on his forehead, a Muslim with the skullcap and a Christian with the cross around his neck — thump their chest, beat drums, wave the tri-colour, sing Modi’s praise, and recount the several programmes and initiatives undertaken by the Prime Minister.
It has lyrics that go – “Yeh kamaal hai Modi ka, yeh Make in India hai / Hai desh-videsh Modi ki leher, ab sabko haath batana hai.”
It also has the line ‘jo sapna dekha Bapu-Modi ne, usse mil jul kar hume sach kar dikhana hai’ being repeated a few times. Surprising thing was, though Modi was shown in person – in the company of many world leaders – Gandhi was represented only by stock shots of a black statue of his.
There were also shots of dams, heritage sites and huge chemical factories interspersed in the video – Modi gets credit for creating all these? So will that not make it more of a Jawaharlal Nehru thing, who called such places the modern temples of India, rather than Gandhi’s vision? Pahlani seems clueless about such ‘facts’.
The audience reacted with disdain and indifference to it, though the sudden appearance of the video in the interval came as a surprise. Commented one sophisticated Muslim viewer ” that Muslim guy shown in the video seems to be a butcher!”
You can’t blame many people for thinking that this ‘Ad for Modiji’ was made immediately after the Bihar debacle!