‘RRR’ through Pakistan’s lens

Based on an anti-colonial, revolutionary theme, the Telugu language epic action-drama film ‘RRR’ is one of the most heart-warming movies produced by the Indian entertainment industry in recent years.

At a time when Netflix was live-streaming the violence-marred scenes of the three-hour seven minutes long picture, the TV screens in Pakistan from Lahore’s Batti Chowk and Liberty Roundabout to Islamabad’s D-Chowk displayed the same visuals for the world. The fictional events showed in the S.S. Rajamouli’s – the director of the “Baahubali” blockbusters – thriller have too much commonalities to what is happening in real in Pakistan even after 75 years following the end of the Raj from the sub-continent.

‘RRR’ pairs two of the India’s biggest stars, N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan Teja as friends who made a bound of brotherhood during the series of events. Jr. NTR plays Bheem, a warrior from the Gond tribe, while Charan smolders as Ram, a fearsome police officer who is underestimated by his white superiors. When Ram learnt Bheem wanted to release his kidnapped sister from the clutches of British, he arrested and presented Bheem before the court of his masters. It was contrary to the story of Nazim Jokhio.

In our case, Afzal Jokhio was summoned by Sindhi waderas along with his brother Nazim to the “court” in order to be reprimanded for latter’s publicity of the Arab hunting party. Nazim was then allegedly assaulted and detained, while Afzal was ordered to leave. On the next day, Afzal received the badly tortured dead body of Nazim outside the farmhouse of the wadera. Ram, however, succeeded in recovering his brother Bheem alive from the prison.

The film is trending among top 10 pictures on the American streaming service in Pakistan. ‘RRR’ shows how a group of people of deprived, under-privileged but brave gypsy clan launches a struggle to release their girl from the custody of the British rulers. They accomplished their mission, contrary to the events happening here. But, thanks to the suo motu of Lahore High Court ((LHC) Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti who made this happen in our country too on Sunday night by ensuring the recovery of a kidnapped girl within hours.

A Pakistani aid group dedicated to child protection noted that abuses of children have surged by nearly a third in the country last year. The Sahil organization said the number of cases increased 30 percent in 2021, compared to 2020. In its annual report titled ‘Cruel Numbers’, the group says there were 3,852 cases of child sexual abuse in 2021 in Pakistan. It records cases reported daily in more than 80 national and regional publications across the country.

‘RRR’ calls for launching ruthless struggle against the cruel, justifying the method adopted by many revolutionaries in the world in colonial eras. But the founding fathers of Pakistan and India (Quaid and Gandhi) proved the goal could be achieved through non-violence and peaceful democratic manners.

Iftikhar Alam is a correspondent writing on religion, politics, agriculture, and energy. He takes people on a rich journey through the culture of Punjab. He tweets @imiftikharalam and can be reached at iftikharalam@live.com.

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