Tuesday 11 May 2021
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Manmohan Desai, the visionary, in Coolie

In 1983, Manmohan Desai had weaved a plot of a community where the protagonists were communists and antagonists capitalists. The ‘hero’, essayed by Amitabh Bachchan, was Iqbal, the leader of a communist trade union of porters. In this shot towards the climax, the communist emerges with trademark hammer and sickle. In the next shot, he wears a cloak that flies off the dargah of Haji Ali, with the Shahada (la ilaha il-Allah Mohammed ul Rasool Allah) inscribed on it to protect Iqbal from capitalist Zafar’s bullets. Atheism for offence, faith for defence! How convenient? But that is not the whole story. Desai depicted with these shots the eternal truth of Islamism-Marxism nexus.

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