Haider points his gun at his uncle Khurram Meer, who took his father away from him. Shattered his life. Most tragically, he is the reason why Haider has a gun in his hand. As he gets ready to pull the trigger, some voices echo in his ears. It stirs his conscience. His intellect is being challenged by what he was told by Roohdar, the one who told him how Indian Army tortured his father and how his uncle was the reason for it. He tells him that his father expects him to take revenge. “Mera Inteqam Lena, Haider,” (Take my revenge, Haider).Haider-Shraddha Kapoor-Kay Kay Menon-Irrfan Khan_Shahid Kapoor-tabu-trailer-full-film-review-poster-bollywoodirect

But Haider could not pull the trigger. He leaves Khurram Meer where he was and walks away. He is still crying. He is still broken. He still does not know what is right and what is wrong. Haider, however, chooses not to kill. Like the several among us who choose to.

It was not easy walking away for Haider. It was not easy to let the man live who killed his beautiful life. ‘Inteqam se sirf inteqam paida hota hai’ (Revenge produces revenge), her mother’s voice had also followed him. It made him take the decision. The decision to quit the gun and to let Meer live. The idea of ‘To live and let live’ must not have come easy to him, at a time when your blood should be boiling. You have the enemy in front of you and you still have the power to forgive him. If not forgive then move on because what is wrong stays wrong, irrespective of your circumstances.Haider-Shraddha Kapoor-Kay Kay Menon-Irrfan Khan_Shahid Kapoor-tabu-trailer-full-film-review-poster-bollywoodirect

Haider does not know that it was Roohdar who told him that how his father was tortured by the Army and not his father himself. He does not have the first account of anything and everything that is going on in his life. He is being told everything. He is being made to believe everything.

Is it relatable in today’s context, keeping the outrageous media in mind?

The climax got to be the best one in the last one decade in Indian cinema. Haider leaving Khurram Meer was director Vishal Bharadwaj’s take. From the play it was inspired, Hamlet, the character kills him. Haider does not. Here is where Vishal Bhardwaj arrives.

That’s what the idea is. Isn’t it? To walk away from the idea of revenge. That’s what Kashmir needs to do. Kashmir, searching for its father in the valley, in the police stations, in jails, in Jhelum. Kashmir which does not know the history of its problems because its history is more than just dates. Different people come to him and tell different stories of betrayal. He listens, agrees and then disagrees. ‘Hum hai ki hum nahi’, he utters. Is he even alive or not?  He cannot decide where he belongs to.Haider-Shraddha Kapoor-Kay Kay Menon-Irrfan Khan_Shahid Kapoor-tabu-trailer-full-film-review-poster-bollywoodirect

Bandook sirf inteqaam lena jaanti hai’. Vishal knows what he is arguing here. This political remark on the gun opens at many ends. At millions of youth in Kashmir, who has taken up a gun to revenge the atrocities or the Indian Army, which gets paid to protect our borders from the ‘enemies’. A gun, at the end of the day, only knows how to take revenge. In such undercurrents, the deep message of Haider  is hidden.

Haider has turned 2 today. Its relevance stays forever. Every time, someone speaks of war, these lines from the film reiterate what the great preacher of the non-violence, who also fought to set the country free, had said, “An eye for an eye makes a man blind.” 69 years after Independence Haider speaks to Kashmir, its people and to the whole country. The same country which is oozing out anger on its neighbor for killing its army men. It speaks, “Jab tak hum apne inteqam se azaad nahi ho jaate., tab tak koi azaadi hum mein azaad nahi kar sakti.” (Lest we set ourselves free from the idea of revenge, we will never get freedom).

Saying this, Haider walks away silently. 

Written By: Shubham Pandey

Haider-Shraddha Kapoor-Kay Kay Menon-Irrfan Khan_Shahid Kapoor-tabu-trailer-full-film-review-poster-bollywoodirect

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