Junaid Khan’s Maharaj is going to be released on Netflix on 14 June and the film that is already releasing with limited promotion has found itself in even more trouble as there are allegations of it being anti-Hindu or having material that is offensive to Hindus. The film picks a sensitive topic and that may be the reason this film was released on Netflix over theatres where it faced a complete boycott. Junaid’s father Aamir also felt the wrath of a boycott when his ambitious project Laal Singh Chaddha flopped and was boycotted throughout. Even before the trailer of the upcoming film Maharaj has been released, there are calls for boycotting it because a section of the audience thinks that the film is anti-Hindu. But is that true? Here’s our two cents on this controversy.


Is Maharaj on Netflix anti-Hindu?

No, Maharaj on Netflix is not anti-Hindu, and it is the story of a man who fought hard to bring reforms into Hinduism. The film is about a libel case, or in simpler terms, a defamation case filed against Karsandas Mulji, a reformer who wrote an article in his newspaper Satyaprakash to criticize sexual offenses against women at the hands of Jadunathji Brijratanji Maharaj. The Maharaj was proven guilty of the offense later after several testimonies which also included testimonies that proved that he was being treated for syphilis and exposed countless women to the disease.

The film needs to be seen in the context of the 1860s when there was a desperate need for reforms to weed out traditional practices and encourage positive change like widow re-marriage. The Maharaj was proven guilty of using his position of religious prominence to exploit sexual favors from his female followers and even going to the extent of asking men to offer their wives as a way of spiritual salvation. The movie only talks about the removal of such regressive thought processes and should not be viewed in a political light. Ironically, the issues that were relevant 160 years ago are still relevant as people blindly follow a cult and boycott a film for their cult.

Maharaj Netflix anti Hindu
Credit – Netflix, Wikipedia

Was Karsandas Mulji a Hindu?

Yes, Karsandas Mulji was a Hindu who belonged to the trading caste called Kapol. His actions and commitment to reform also drew backlash from his community resulting in the excommunication from his caste. Karsandas Mulji lived a small but impactful life where he focused on reforms and raised his voice against the corrupt practices of saints. The Maharaj Libel case has etched his name in history as he dared to go up against the high and mighty and came up trumps. His religion or caste should not matter anyway but since the controversy as happened, people have been searching for this question and it re-asserts that it doesn’t matter which religion, caste or anything else, when something goes wrong, you speak up as a human.


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