This article was published in HuffPost India on 14 oct 2015. Here is the link.
If mainstream Hindi movies increasingly portrayed Muslims as regular Indians leading a “routine Indian life”, it would immensely help in overthrowing the stereotypes that some politicians, extremists and their ilk project. But the depiction of Muslim leads in most of the few recent flicks which do have them — Chak De India (2007), New York (2009), Haider (2014), etc. — is heavily focused on identity issues. While such head-on tackling of Muslim identity crises is necessary and welcome (the 2006 Sachar Committee Report noted that ‘Muslims need to prove on a daily basis that they are not anti-national and terrorists’ and that they ‘live with an inferiority complex as “every bearded man is considered an ISI agent”‘), it should also be liberally supplemented by portrayal of Muslims as simply people rather than Muslim people.