Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff’s Baaghi 2 has come under severe criticism for its “ignorant and insensitive” first scene which bears an uncanny resemblance to an inhumane real-life incident from occupied Kashmir.
The incident which led to worldwide outcry last year saw Farooq Ahmad Dar, an innocent Kashmiri voter, forcibly being used as a human shield by Indian Army Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi to deter stone pelters in the occupied valley.
Dar, a 26-year-old shawl weaver, was strapped to the front of an army vehicle as a “human shield” as it led a convoy in occupied Kashmir on April 9, 2017. The incident took place during a by-election in the parliamentary seat of the city of Srinagar.
Although the incident had sparked massive condemnation, the Indian army officer was awarded military honours for his ‘sustained’ efforts in “counter-insurgency” operations.
Now, Sajid Nadiadwala has glorified the incident in his latest film Baaghi 2.
The film opens with Indian army officer Ranveer Pratap Singh played by Tiger Shroff using a man in Kashmir as a human shield, tying him to the front of his jeep to protect himself from an angry crowd.
Slamming the scene, Indian film critic Raja Sen in his review of the film wrote, “It is the kind of thing I expected Hindi cinema to tackle at some point, but not in a Tiger Shroff film where his reasoning for this inhumanity is that somebody burned the Indian flag.”
While Dailyo, an online Indian opinion and commentary platform, said, “Pakistan-bashing, hypernationalism and vein-popping bursts of patriotism are fixtures in Army films in the Hindi film industry. But even for Bollywood, this moment feels like a new low.”
Recently, an Indian clothing brand, T-Shirt Bhaiya, owned by Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, the spokesperson of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Delhi unit, launched t-shirts with the caricature of Dar tied against the Indian army jeep.
Many took to Twitter to criticise the film’s opening scene: