“Kill Them on the Spot”
A fight between heroes and villains was the popular climax of Bollywood movies till the year 2000. In most of the movies of the 20th century, the heroes were common men cum lovers cum family persons. The climax would culminate with the arrival of the police to arrest the wounded villains or the heroes for killing the villains. In those films, the killing of villains was sort of entertainment, neither encouragement nor inspiration for the audience. It is because the heroes killed the villains out of revenge for personal reasons, not for a great cause. For instance, the death of villains in the Bollywood movies like Sholay, Tridev, Khoon Bhari Maang, Karan Arjun, Bazzigar, Anjam, was a mere act of revenge, which established victory of the good over the evil as a moral of fables but delivered no inspirational message. The police had little role to play in it.
In the 21st century, the heroic act of killing villains on celluloid has got a new definition, a new dimension, and a new purpose beyond mere entertainment. A few recent Bollywood movies have presented the killing of villains in the climax with a message, to say precisely, a lesson for the people who are often dubbed as a passive audience of injustice to humanity and crimes against women in real life. The on-spot punishment of dirty politicians, terrorists, and traffickers of sex outside the temples of law and order in the reel is meant to be the need of the hour in the real.
Kill enemies of society, peace and humanity on the spot without relying on the judicial system, headed by the blindfolded god of law, for months / years seems to be the message of Bollywood movies such as Holiday starring Akshya Kumar, Mardaani starring Rani Mukherjee, and Singham Returns starring Ajay Devgan. In Holiday, Akshya Kumar’s character Virat Bakshi, captain in the Indian Army, kills the villain, a terrorist, and his sleeping agents without knocking on the door of court for their trial and punishment. In Mardaani, Rani Mukherjee’s Shivani Shivaji Roy, a police officer, leaves the villain, a kingpin of flesh trade, to be killed on the spot by a group of teenage girls. Ajay Devgan’s police officer Bajirao Singham does the same in Singham Returns. He plots the killing of a dirty politician and a hypocrite monk as a road accident.
These Bollywood films, released in 2014, make it clear that such arch enemies of humanity must be put to death on the spot rather than being handed over to the judicial system for trial and punishment because they are likely to buy their freedom from law by means of bribery or their connection with high-profile diplomats. They continue eating into the health of society for their loaves and fishes.
The Bollywood trend of killing villains on the spot was initiated by A Wednesday in 2008. One of the small-budget Bollywood blockbusters, A Wednesday starring Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher was released only two months and a half before the haunting 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai in 2008. The movie, the first of its kind, shook the sleeping, helpless conscience of the nation, but ironically and surprisingly the then Government of India failed to imbibe the message and act accordingly post the Mumbai terrorist attacks. Rather, Ajmal Kasab, the terrorist from Pakistan who was captured alive, was treated to the best of Indian hospitality, at zero cost to Pakistan but a whopping cost of 50 crore rupees to Indians, during his confinement for four years until he was hanged on 21st November 2012.
Ungli is the latest film in the series of the reforming, edifying, empowering movies in Indian Cinema. If A Wednesday advocates the power and rights of common stupid men, Ungli calls for today’s educated youth to fight corruption at all levels. The responsibility of the educated, empowered youth of India to point their fingers at drawbacks in the systems of the country is brought to the fore.
An enemy of society and humanity, whether he is a terrorist or trafficker or smuggler or corrupt politician or fraudulent monk, is the enemy of not only the government but also the nation and its people. The common men of India, both the educated and the stupid, should have the right to teach lessons to villains in real life and punish them on the spot if needed.