More people have died of religious wars than diseases: Rajkumar Hirani

  • Namita S Kalla, Hindustan Times, Jaipur
  • Updated: Feb 16, 2015 15:32 IST

Film director Rajkumar Hirani, who has churned out blockbusters like Munna bhai MBBS, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, 3 Idiots, and PK, said that it is a fashion in the country to give an unnecessary religious twist to an issue for personal gains. "Political parties and people who desire publicity protests by raising religious issues and use it for their personal gain. The film industry is a soft target to aim such protests. In our country people have died more of religious wars than diseases."

Hirani was in the pink city to participate in a talk show organised by FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO), Jaipur Chapter. In conversation with Apra Kucchal, the chairperson of FLO Jaipur chapter, Hirani opened his heart out and talked about various issues including religious sentiments, facing controversies, a proposed movie on Sanjay Dutt, and his no regret attitude.

Claiming that he is not an atheist and did not intend to hurt the religious sentiments in his last released film PK, Hirani said, "I believe in God and I believe in religion. But I am against a religion that instills fear. God is misused by many who wish to mint money by scaring people in the name of God."

The 52 year old director said that the religious issue is very close to his heart and someday he intends to make a documentary on it. "PK is just a small trailer of how I perceive the misuse of God and religious sentiments. Since PK was an entertainer I had restrictions but I want to make a documentary that will include more details on the subject."

Hirani said that the controversies didn't bother him. "The protests and controversies don't worry me. I believe that end of the day it is your work and the true spirit behind it that matters the most. I made a good movie with great sincerity and despite the fact that some publicity hungry people threw protests and dharnas, the majority of the audience loved the movie and were able to relate with my idea. Else how does one justify the huge success of the film both in terms of viewership and monetary collections. While there are four who protests there are four thousand who protect."

He added that the poster where Aamir Khan dons a transistor to cover himself was blown out of proportion. "Why do we make such a hue and cry about nudity, aren't we all born that way? Nakedness wasn't meant to be bad, it is we as human race created the 'shame- shame' factor. The climatic conditions, and the amount of food that we eat and the huge bellies that we have, we need to wear clothes. But there is nothing to be ashamed of nudity." ( laughs )

The director who is known for making films with a social message said that he made such films not just to fulfil a social responsibility but because he derived joy by doing so. "I don't deliberately make such movies. And is not important for every director to make films that raise social issues, else it would be boring. I start by making an entertainer but when I pick instances from my life, those that reflect my beliefs and experiences, it turns out to be a film with a social message."

Commenting on his future project that might be a movie on Sanjay Dutt, Hirani said, "Sanju was my first hero. And for many films we had a cordial relationship. But in the recent times I have come to know him better. During the most recent visits Sanju shared his life with me; everything from his childhood days, to his relationship with his dad, the drug days, and the days at jail, and the wonderful days of his life. Someday I will make a movie on him. It will be the story of a fraud man who did have a good heart and the other side of his life which was much better than the one he lived in the eyes of the people."

From aiming to be an engineer to landing into B.Com and discontinuing his CA, to becoming an editor, and then a director, Hirani said he has never been materialistic and has no regrets. "Regret and worry are two futile emotions. I believe in giving my best to anything that I do, the rest just follows. Also I don't think too much about money. Money should be able to satiate your need and not your greed. I believe more money is for banks."

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