Amazon Prime Videos on 22 October made the second season of its much-talked-about web series Mirzapur live with 10 episodes. It went live 3 hours ahead of schedule. It stars Ali Fazal and Divyendu Sharma in the lead roles, but the second season has been sold in the name of Kaalin Bhaiya (Pankaj Tripathi). In season 2, Vijay Verma enters with a double role, playing twins who are ‘goons of Bihar’.
One may recall Ali Fazal (who plays Guddu Pandit in the series) supported the Muslim rioters of Delhi, finding ‘fun’ in the destruction of public property and killing of Hindus. Divyendu Sharma, bypassing the protest, claimed that it did not make any difference to him. Farhan Akhtar, one of the producers of Mirzapur, who used to attend anti-CAA rallies without knowing the subject, could not have been expected to respect the sentiments of Hindus anyway.
Like in the first season, the second season of Mirzapur is full of abuses, where expletives are hurled by characters not only when they are angry but also when they chat casually — as though that is the lingua franca of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The display of obscenity does not ebb. The glorification of ‘loyal’ Muslim characters continues.
In the very first episode of Mirzapur 2, there is a scene where Munna Tripathi (Divyendu Sharma), who somehow survives a brawl, is lying in bed in his house and undergoing treatment. His father Akhandanand Tripathi alias ‘Kaalin Bhaiya’ arranges for a ritual for his ‘long life’. Worshipping involves, as usual, dumb, regressive, burlesque priests — so typical of Bollywood.
In the puja scene, Munna Tripathi is not interested in the ritual, because he is ‘cool’ and ‘new age’. He also treats the priest with contempt. The priest is sluggish, greedy and orthodox.
Sitting in front of the priest who is eating kheer in a plate, Munna admonishes the Brahmin for making the slurping sound. He says, irritated, “Should I get you a bucket to satiate your gluttony. Get lost!” The priest looks at Munna with guilt writ large on his face and flees.
In another scene, Satyananda Tripathi (Kulbhushan Kharbanda), the aged father of Kaalin Bhaiya and former gangster, imparts ‘knowledge’ about the caste-system. He says the caste system was created only so that the power would remain in the hands of Brahmins.
Such dialogues are written deliberately, backed by neither historical reasoning nor research. Through such dialogues, Brahmins are stereotyped as exploiters, rapists and goons.
There is a scene in Episode 6 where Robin (Priyanshu Painyuli), a con man, reveals his real name to his girlfriend and Guddu Pandit’s sister Dimpy (Harshita Gaur) — “Radheshyam Aggarwal”. There is a reference to Lord Krishna here. The con man explains that the public trusts an English name more. Dimpy then tells him that the name suits him because he is a ‘colourful personality’. When it comes to being colourful, Radheshyam says, “Lord Krishna was colourful too, but love was his principal colour.”
Dimpy taunts her boyfriend for mentioning ‘filmy things’ and turns her gaze back at her book. For these characters, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana are ‘filmy things’ and a distorted portrayal of Ras Lila defines the most popular deity of Hinduism!
Women have been insulted in one episode after another. In a Brahmin family, the woman (Bina Tripathi played by Rasika Dugal) first has an affair with the domestic help and then with her father-in-law who catches her red-handed and forces her to have sex with him so that “you carry the seed of none but a Tripathi”. When another daughter-in-law (Madhuri Yadav essayed by Isha Talwar) enters the household, the father-in-law lusts after her too.
In yet another episode, prostitutes enter dressed up in white saris, the traditional wear of Hindu widows in large parts of northern and eastern India.
The most prominent Muslim character, Maqbool (Shaji Chaudhary) is sure of his principles. Maqbool is loyal to the Tripathi dynasty and, no matter what, he continues to take insults until Munna Tripathi kills his mother accidentally while trying to kill Maqbool’s nephew Babar (Aasif Khan).
Lala is another Muslim in Mirzapur, but he calls himself a businessman and talks about abstinence from violence!
And the only truthful witness the father of Guddu and Bablu Pandit, who is a lawyer, finds is another Muslim character (Himant Kapadia as Imran Alam).
On the foundation of the anti-Hindu propaganda that was laid in Season 1, the filmmaker builds a house in Season 2. The series makes an attempt to show women are not respected in Brahmin families. Hooligans are all led by Tripathis, Shuklas and Pandits. Now enter the Tyagis in Bihar, another family of gangsters. That is, all four goon houses are of Brahmins. And the only good characters are all Muslim: Imran, Maqbool and Lala.