Rohit Shetty on criticism of Muslim representation in Sooryavanshi: 'Hindu villains did not create an issue earlier'
Rohit Shetty responds to criticism of Muslim villains in Sooryavanshi, adds that he knows his audience well and ensures they are comfortable with what he shows.
Filmmaker Rohit Shetty has responded to the criticism of Muslim villains in Sooryavanshi and asked why his Hindu villains did not create an issue earlier. In a new interview, Rohit said that while making the film, there was no specific thought behind making villains out of a certain caste or religion. Starring Akshay Kumar in the titular role, Sooryavanshi also featured Ranveer Singh and Ajay Devgn in guest appearances.
In an interview with The Quint, Rohit Shetty was asked about “bad Muslim-good Muslim” narrative in Sooryavanshi. The director responded with, “If I ask you one question - Jaykant Shikre (the antagonist in Singham, essayed by Prakash Raj) was a Hindu, then came in this universe (Rohit Shetty’s cop universe which includes Singham, Singham Returns, and Simmba), a Hindu Godman who was the villain. In Simmba, Durva Yashwant Ranade (played by Sonu Sood) was a Maharashtrian. In these three films, negative forces were Hindu. Why wasn’t that a problem?”
Sooryavanshi revolves around the chase between cops and terrorists who intend to attack Mumbai with a huge horde of RDX. All the main villains in the film are shown to have crossed the border from Pakistan and are staying in India.
He added, “If there is a terrorist who is from Pakistan, what caste will he be? We (creators of Sooryavanshi) are not talking about caste.” The filmmaker also said certain segments of people are viewing it as problematic but he never “thought that way” while making the film. He added, “There is a thought with which a film is made. We never thought that way. Why is it being discussed? If we have a sleeper cell then what caste will a sleeper cell be? Why is a bad and good person being linked to caste, when we as makers never thought about it? If it was wrong, everyone would have talked about it...few people are talking, it is their point of view which they need to change, not us.”
In the interview, Rohit also said that he knows his audience very well, and makes sure that he does not hurt their sentiments. He added that controversies can happen for anything and he focuses on making his target audience comfortable.