Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt is once again in the headlines, and this time too, for all the wrong reasons. Old videos of the veteran Bollywood director praising radical Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has once again surfaced on social media. In both the videos, Bhatt not only praised Zakir Naik, but also expressed his desire to make a film on him.
In one video, Bhatt praises Zakir Naik, saying, “At the onset, let me salute Dr. Zakir Naik for daring to lock horns with the mighty British Empire… I salute his audacity which comes from his Imaan… If he had any grey spot in his heart, he wouldn’t have risked locking horns with these bullies… The world is becoming the most entertained and the least informed one… We, as Indians, owe it to our brother (Zakir Naik) who is national pride, (and) a prized treasure.”
Back when Mahesh Bhatt was invited as a guest on Zakir Naik’s Peace TV, he was asked whether he would feature the hate preacher in his films. To which Bhatt stated, “The life of Zakir Saheb is a fascinating story in itself. It contains material for a feature film. I don’t know whether Zakir Naik will want to play the role of a hero in the movie. We can find someone to play his role, provided he gives me permission to do so. Please get the idea approved from him and then only I can make a film.”
For the unversed, both of these videos are from 2010, when Zakir Naik used to promote his slanderous propaganda in India. Praising such a hateful person and spreading propaganda about his hateful, slanderous thoughts shows to what extent Bhatt can fall in the name of minority appeasement.
Remember the 26/11 attack? For this attack, Mahesh Bhatt not only tried to give a clean chit to the Islamic terrorists but also published a book, “26/11 – RSS conspiracy” blaming the RSS for this attack. However, when his son Rahul Bhatt’s strings were attached to one of the main conspirators of the attack, David Coleman Headley, he had nothing to say.
Ever since Mahesh Bhatt made the statement about Sushant in which he where he wanted to portray him as a mentally deranged person, all of his controversies are opening up one by one. In the late 1980s, Mahesh Bhatt kissed his daughter Pooja Bhatt on her lips for the cover page of Filmfare Magazine, straddling Indian culture, and father daughter’s relationship. On top of that he also said, “If Pooja had not been my daughter, I would have married her”.
But Mahesh Bhatt’s controversies didn’t end here. IPS officer Rakesh Maria, in his autobiography, ‘Let me say it now’ told that when the possibility of killing Gulshan Kumar came to light, he had asked Bhatt to inform Gulshan about this, but he didn’t do so, and in August 1997 Gulshan was gunned down.
The supporter of a terrorist campaigner for minority appeasement proves that for people like Mahesh Bhatt, neither the integrity of the nation matters nor the self-respect of the nation.