Kabir Khan, director of New York, Ek Tha Tiger, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and most recently 83, believes that people in the film industry cannot be ‘apolitical.’ He believes that every scene, dialogue, and character reflects the filmmaker’s political views. He even explained how he incorporates his politics into his films, citing the example of his superhit film Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
In a recent interview, he stated that he is very concerned when people in the film industry claim to be apolitical. He stated, “The point is, as human beings you cannot be apolitical. The way we frame a character is telling our politics. The words, the lines our characters are speaking, is telling our politics. So, don’t assume you are apolitical. ”
He went on to say that claiming to be apolitical “reeks of your privilege,” because what is going on in the country does not affect you, and that “you all with money can live in a bubble.”
The politics of a film are very important to the filmmaker, as they “zeroes down to ‘niyat kya hai, aap batana kya chahte ho ultimately.’” He backed up his claim by citing the “Chicken Kuk-Doo-Koo” song from Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
Khan elaborated, “The Chicken Song at face value is actually the most popular song of the kids because of the way Salman and Kareena are dancing and all that. It’s the most political song of the film because it came in the face of the beef ban. And that song is basically saying– this is Chaudhary Dhaba, which is a metaphor for India. Aadha hai nonveg, aadha hai veg (half dhaba is non-veg, half is veg). You decide what you want to eat and all of us can sit together and eat. So that’s the way you slip into politics. ”