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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Mookuthi Amman disguises anti-Hindu propaganda as devotional content

Malayalam actress Nayanthara starrer Mookuthi Amman created hype among Tamil Hindus, as it has been very long since such devotional films were produced in Tamil. Every average Hindu family would be watching those nostalgic 90s Amman movies on Tuesday and Friday nights every time without getting bored. That’s the kind of hold such movies have on the masses.

So it was understandable when Mookuthi Amman, directed by RJ Balaji, an RJ turned cricket commentator turned actor and now director-cum-screenplay writer if you can believe it, was much awaited. However, unlike any Tamil devotional movie this one, instead of glorifying Hindu Devis and Devtas ended up putting up one Bhagwan against another while declaring Jesus as Amman’s friend. Yes, you read it right.

Hero’s family belongs to the lower middle class with the father having abandoned them. The second sister is shown as having a boyfriend in the introduction but nothing further is shown about that. Allegedly the boyfriend’s character was a Muslim which made the film crew cut the respective scenes. The third sister goes to a Christian school and despises wearing bindi. On being enquired about this, a nun working in the school says that she is a chosen child and mentions her name as Sophie which is different from the name her mother had given.

Hero, in doubt, calls her using the Christian name, she turns, but he doesn’t think about that issue after that. The girl is shown without bindi till the end even while other family members wear Rudraksha, apply Chandan, etc. Coming to the mother, she believes that her fate would have a turning point if they go to Tirumala Tirupati. She tries and fails 3 times when the children were young. When she tries for the fourth time when some relative grandma advises her to get the permission of their Kula Devata before venturing for Tirupati.

This is actually the norm in most Tamil households. Tamil Hindus get the blessings of their Kula Devata first for every major occasion which includes planning a yatra to Tirupati. While visiting Tirupati is a pilgrimage for Hindus, the film shows it as a picnic.

The height of the propaganda comes when Mookuthi Amman, the Kula Devata of the hero’s family takes offense to the fact that the mother came to visit her only to get her permission for Tirupati yatra. The logic is alright as Tamils do believe in the concept of not upsetting one Bhagwan over another. There are unique practices, or lack of them for example like not celebrating Pongal, as the family deity doesn’t approve of it or wearing a new dress on certain occasions, or not using/eating certain food items.

The propaganda actually comes from the mouth of Amman. She takes offense to the fact that the family wants to go to Tirupati and asks “Am I not your Bhagwan?”. But in a deleted scene where Amman confronts a healing evangelist, she says “Jesus is my friend. He’ll throw you in hell for this”.

This is Dravidar Kazhagam and missionary propaganda that grama devatas (village deities) are different from the Trimurtis and three Devis. The film, while it may look like targeting so-called ‘corporate babas’ such as Sadguru, Nithyananda, and Ramdev, and appears to be based on the Anti-BJP propaganda concept, it is actually outright anti-Hindu.

It pits Siru Dheivam (local gods) against Perundheivam(the trinity). It makes fun of those who go to big temples such as Tirupati, Palani as going there only for the Prasad. This continuous targetting of Tirupati comes from DK and DMK propaganda against the temple. DMK leader and Loksabha MP Kanimozhi once despite grudgingly admiring the administration of the temple said, “why are there security personnel to protect the hundis? Can’t the deity protect them?” in the sense that if the deity can’t protect his own money how is he going to protect you. One may wonder why an atheist would go to a temple. She was on a visit to Tirupati as a part of an entourage of the Vice President to inspect the temple administration.

In the introductory scene itself, it’s alleged that a corporate baba earned ₹ 20,000 crores in a year. It is Baba Ramdev who is being targeted here. The truth is that it was the turnover of Patanjali in a year; not the revenue itself. FCRA NGOs on the other hand, really do receive that much amount every year.

FCRA NGOs in Bharat have nearly ₹ 15,000 crore sitting idle in their bank accounts, received sum to the tune of 17,000 crore in the last financial year and the amount is only growing year by year. Not even a single word on this aspect of a certain religion has been dealt with in the movie though.

While Sadguru is shown as a conniving, land grabbing baba, Paul Dinakaran, a rabid missionary who has built Karunya University in the same hilly region of Coimbatore as Isha Yoga, with ten times more forest land illegally occupied, doesn’t find a mention in the film.

The height of dishonesty is when they try to portray that all these things happen in Kanyakumari, a Christian majority district. What’s more, the place shown in the film, the land of Mookuthi Amman that the godman tries to grab, actually hosts a historical Hindu ashram found way back in 1940. This ashram was specifically founded for the purpose of countering the growing evangelical influence in the district as mentioned by Aravindan Neelakandan, in his review of the movie.

While it is not at all rare to find a hill having a temple in Bharat, in Kanyakumari they are often encroached upon by the different denominations of the church simply by placing a cross atop the mountain and building a church to hold their fort. There are many such instances of Hindus not being able to access the temples atop the hills and light deepam. It is a Tamil Hindu tradition to light deepam atop hills on the occasion of Kartik Purnima.

Finally, in the climax Mookuthi Amman appears before everyone, through the TVs in their living room of course, to give a discourse on not depending on middlemen to speak to Bhagwan. Can you spot the irony? Sanatana Dharma says ‘Aham Brahmasmi’. It’s the two major Abrahamic religions that are out to destroy Sanatana Dharma, that worship the ‘representatives’ of God as the god himself.

So all Tamil Hindus want to say to the missionary-educated, backed, financed Tamil film industry is that “Stay the hell out of our religion and culture and stop the attempts to appropriate them”!

(Featured Image Source: Wikipedia)

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