‘Mulk’ takes a disturbing look at Islamophobia in India

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Updated 04 August 2018
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‘Mulk’ takes a disturbing look at Islamophobia in India

  • A brutal look at the kind of Islamophobia now sweeping across the world
  • Kapoor gives a fine portrayal of disappointment and sorrow

CHENNAI: Anubhav Sinha, known for fancy thrillers and at least one superhero film with Shah Rukh Khan, has in his latest outing given us an extraordinarily disturbing work, “Mulk.” A brutal look at the kind of Islamophobia now sweeping across the world, India especially in recent years, the movie explores this through the microcosm of a Muslim family living in Banaras, considered to be one of the holiest Hindu cities.
”Mulk,” though, begins on a very different note – with beautiful camaraderie between the family of Murad Ali Mohammed (Rishi Kapoor) and his essentially Hindu neighbors. This solidarity even includes an avowed vegetarian eating meat on the sly during Murad Ali’s 65th birthday bash. As the joyous celebration rolls on, there is little indication of the dark clouds hovering.
When Murad Ali’s nephew, Shahid (Prateik Babbar, son of the late Smita Patil), is found to be a terrorist, having bombed a bus and killed 16 innocent people, lines are redrawn and cracks begin to appear in what once seemed like such a friendly neighborhood.
Murad Ali is ostracized by the very people who had adored him and his family, and the cops arrest Shahid’s father, Bilal (Manoj Pahwa). An engaging courtroom drama follows, in which Aarthi (Taapsee Pannu), a lawyer married to Murad Ali’s son, takes on an utterly biased prosecution, which is out to declare the entire family guilty of the heinous crime.
Unfortunately, Pannu springs to life only during the climatic defense argument, which swings between justice and religion, between truth and prejudice. The director dumps just about everything on Kapoor’s shoulders.
Kapoor gives a fine portrayal of disappointment and sorrow – whose transformation from a romantic hero (“Bobby”) into unbelievably inspiring characters (as in “D Day,” “102 Not Out” and now “Mulk”) is what cinematic legend is all about. He helps push the well-crafted narrative with feeling: “Why must I prove my patriotism? This is my country,” is his heart-rending cry.
”Mulk” comes as a whiff of fresh air from the Bollywood stable, often criticized for being a shallow song-and-dance show.


Saudi Arabia’s King Abdul Aziz University launches six-level Chinese proficiency test

Updated 18 June 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s King Abdul Aziz University launches six-level Chinese proficiency test

  • Applications for registration for the test are being received via the KAU’s official website

JEDDAH: King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) on Sunday launched a Chinese language proficiency test under the supervision of KAU’s Chinese Science and Culture Exchange Center.

The Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) test is the first of its kind in the Kingdom. The six-level test assesses non-native Chinese speakers’ ability to use the language in their daily and academic lives.

It is one of various programs provided by the Chinese Science and Culture Exchange Center, including training courses and academic trips to China supervised by Chinese language specialists.

KAU’s vice president for educational affairs, Dr. Abdul Moneim bin Abdul Salam Al-Hayani, praised the center’s efforts, which come in response to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s directives to teach the Chinese language at Saudi schools and universities.

The aim is to promote cultural and academic exchange programs between KAU and distinguished Chinese universities, Al-Hayani said.

The KAU’s dean of student affairs, Dr. Masoud bin Mohammed Al-Qahtani, said providing the HSK test is in line with the directives of the Saudi leadership to teach the Chinese language at schools and universities.  

Applications for registration for the test are being received via the KAU’s official website, and several training programs will be launched, he added.