Short & Straight Vivek Agnihotri’s Q&A for Film


Mohammed and Urvashi – an offbeat subject has brought the sensation after its successful release on internet; on this occasion many of us wanted to know how this thought came to Vivek Agnihotri’s mind who came out with this master piece. In an endeavour to get into it, we got chance to interact with prominent film maker Mr. Vivek Agnihotri. Following is the glimpse of conversation with him on Mohammed and Urvashi.

1. The title of the film is quite intriguing, what does it suggest about your protagonists?

Mohammad is an extremely God fearing man. He is afraid of sin. Mohammad is a caretaker of an isolated Makabara, untouched by the civilization. There is only him and God. I wanted to understand what goes on in his mid. Is he ready? Does he have lust? What does he do for sex? While exploring his mind the film evolved. Urvashi is an illusion. It means Maya. Is it possible for a rigid believer to be attracted by Maya?

2. Fundamentalism in religion and fear of sin, these are the two aspects that make a human being God fearing, and we assume there’s a line that cannot crossed in either of those aspects to keep the surrounding peaceful and going to the extreme. What’s your take on that?

Religion has become the opium of the new times. Religion is used to discipline a society. Discipline makes minds dull. Don’t do this… that’s a sin… God will punish you…. These are the tactics to create fear in our minds. Then this fear dictates all our actions. My question is that by following a strict religious regime, following rituals, surrendering yourself to a religious book, can you fight Maya? Can you beat time? Can you escape Karma?

3. How did the idea for ‘Mohammed and Urvashi’ come up?

I was travelling in Rajasthan and found an isolated Makbara. There was a caretaker. I started talking to him and found all his life is centered on God. Not just he prayed 5 times and read the Holy book in rest of the time; he was extremely sin conscious and won’t even hurt an ant. While on my way back to Jaisalmer, I kept thinking what goes on his mind. Can he spend all his life without any sin? And why is the sex and greed considered to be wrong? What is his Karma? 
Thus evolved a script which initially scared me. It was standing in front of me as a stark, naked truth and truth is always scary. But then I thought if I don’t express myself, it will haunt me. It’s too bold a subject to make a full length feature film so I decided to make a short film, my first ever.

4. Is extremism taking over our country us well? What’s your observation on the current scenario of our nation?

There is extremism in every form. In actions and in expressions. Problem is the ideas in modern times are just fleeting. Nothing stays. Nobody cares for anyone. People are realizing that they are heard only when they take extreme stand…. Be it terrorism or liberalism or fundamentalism or even feminism. We are living in a ‘noisy’ world and to be heard you have to scream or disturb the motor of the world.

5. Did backlash from a certain community because of your title and storyline ever bother you?

I never thought that someone will get upset with the name. It’s only when open threats started coming I looked at the film again. Like I told you that people will go to extremes to be heard. I don’t know what these people who are threatening me with consequences want in their lives but they most certainly do not understand what their God expects from them. I have been physically assaulted earlier and I do not fear my life.

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