Subhash Ghai should be complimented for making a movie like Black and White. He has the courage to spell it out clearly that religious indoctrination is the biggest threat to mankind today. The film has a on-the-face way of dealing with issues that concern us most today ? poisoning young minds with religious bigotry and consequent terrorism.
Black and White'sstory is all about a Pakistani young boy Nomair Qazi (brilliantly played by Anurag Sinha) trained in terrorist camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan sneaking into Delhi on a suicide mission. His mission as spelt out by the Pakistani jehadi groups is to kill the VIPs attending the annual Independence Day parade at Red Fort.
He masquerades as a Gujarati Muslim under the guise of a riot victim. He comes from Pakistan loaded with documents to prove his Gujarati lineage. Black and White does not pull any punches on debates on Islam. Though several newspaper reviews have suggested that the movie gets preachy, the scene that opens the protagonist of the movie Anil Kapoor as Prof Rajan Mathur (a Urdu teacher at Zakir Hussain College) at a Chandni Chowk debate with friends is gripping. Being used to politically correct ways of dealing with minority issues a viewer is taken aback by the no-holds-barred opinion of one of the resident Muslims who argues that jehad is about killing the kafir for not following the Islamic tenets. Anil Kapoor is at pains to argue that such interpretation of Holy Koran is wrong.
The movie is so heavily nuanced that any ordinary viewer used to Govinda flicks would miss the central theme of Black and White. The gullibility of the professor and his wife (played by Shefali Shah) in trusting the Pakistani boy in spite of lurking suspicion and uneasiness is so realistic and unnerving. Ghai has been able to include several everyday issues in the movie that a believing Muslim confronts. Should women be involved in modern professions and work along with men, should Muslims make money in any business activities with non-Muslims, are political expediency and personal gains from teaming with Hindus legitimate in Islam, etc. The cut-and-dry dialogues stun viewers, and most viewers would liken them to real life situations in both Hindu and Muslim community.
Nomair Qazi during his stay in India comes across various facets of Islamic life which he always thought were black and white. India provides him with the grey shades and his mind starts to question the impracticality of practicing the jehadi version of Islam. At the end when Prof Mathur is held for sheltering a terrorist, even as Nomair Qazi'sfriends kill his wife Shefali, he has a message for the terrorists that weigh in tones. If the Islamic terrorist groups abroad think that they can infiltrate into this country with jehadis who have skewed ways of thinking, then this country has the ability to convert them back into a modern, liberal-minded global citizens. Hope the message reaches the right quarters.