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Adipurush:Unveiling the Profound Message Amidst Controversy and Misinterpretation

In the year 2023, exactly 7000 years after the original Ramayana unfolded during the Treta Yuga, we witness yet another rendition of this timeless tale. From Valmiki to Tulsidas, and now, to cater to the sensibilities of the present generation, Om Raut presents Adipurush. Contrary to popular belief, this movie does not aim to retell the Ramayana; rather, its purpose is to portray to the world the essence of "Adi Purush" or the "First Man." It serves as a guide on how one should lead a life guided by righteousness, truth, and humility.

Adipurush, directed by Om Raut, has garnered significant attention and sparked controversy due to perceived disrespect towards the original narrative and the presence of what some deem as "vulgar" dialogues. This opinionated article aims to shed light on the misguided interpretations by both the media and the general public, who focus on trivial details rather than the profound message the film strives to convey.

Undoubtedly, the movie could have made a more substantial impact with enhanced visual effects and animations. However, it is crucial to shift our attention away from the technical aspects and instead delve into the underlying message. Additionally, criticisms have arisen surrounding the depiction of Ram and Laxman with beards in the film. Hinduism encompasses a multitude of interpretations of its deities. For instance, Lord Krishna is envisioned differently by various devotees, with some perceiving him as the blue-skinned child, while others envision him as the dark-skinned cowherd. Given this diversity, it is perplexing why the audience today vehemently criticizes the portrayal of Ram and Laxman with facial hair. The presence of a beard or mustache does not in any way disrespect them or anyone else. Curiously, no such comments were made when Ram Charan was shown as Rama with a heavy beard in the movie RRR. This raises questions of whether the criticism stems from hypocrisy, sheer ignorance, or the tendency to create drama solely because the film is associated with Hinduism. Perhaps we may never truly discern the answer.

Another aspect worth noting is the nomenclature of the characters in Adipurush. In the film, Ram is referred to as Raghava, and Sita as Janaki. Raghava signifies Ram's lineage as a descendant of the Raghu dynasty, while Janaki represents her status as the daughter of Janak. These names reflect the human aspect of Vishnu's Ram avatar. Ram's character epitomizes his beliefs and actions. For example, he considers the demise of Jatayu, who valiantly attempted to rescue Sita from Ravana, as a punishment for failing to cremate his father, Dashratha. To assuage his and Laxman's grief, Ram perceives cremating Jatayu as a means to alleviate his own punishment.

When questioned about his decision not to summon Ayodhya's army for the war against Lanka, Ram elucidates that such an action would contravene righteousness since he is bound by his father's promise to spend fourteen years in exile. He values his father's honor and refuses to let anyone question it, even if it means prioritizing it over his own life. While Sita holds immense value to him, he upholds the promise made by his father.

The movie emphasizes that our actions define our character, transcending the significance of our birth. This concept is exemplified when an elderly lady named Shabari, an ardent devotee of Lord Rama, presents him with half-eaten fruits as a gift. Despite Laxman's initial hesitation, Ram encourages him to focus on the lady's innocent and pure devotion rather than the manner of her offering. This encounter ultimately leads Ram to meet Hanuman and Sugreev, who later become crucial allies in the battle against Ravana. As a reward for her unwavering devotion, Ram grants Shabari liberation.

Adipurush masterfully portrays Ravana's downfall, attributed to his unchecked ego. Despite being a fervent disciple of Lord Shiva, Ravana's ego eventually engulfs his kingdom and everything dear to him. The film underscores how his different personas (depicted through his multiple heads) often contradict his decisions. Notably, Ravana engages in a conversation with his ten heads when Vibhishan suggests returning Sita to Ram.

The movie firmly asserts that truth will invariably triumph over evil, regardless of its strength. When Sugriv and Vali engage in combat, with Vali initially overpowering Sugriv as he attempts to rescue his subjects from collapsing residences, Ram intervenes and kills Vali, subsequently declaring Sugriv as the new king. Laxman queries why they sought help from Sugriv instead of the more powerful Vali, to which Ram explains that a true king is one who cares for and protects his people while upholding truth.

Hanuman, known for his playful nature, boldly declares that anyone daring to harm a woman will face the utter annihilation of their Lanka. Adipurush is best appreciated by those with pure hearts, as it does not contain any obscene dialogues. However, individuals consumed by materialism or fixated on minor details may fail to grasp the essence of this film. It is intriguing to observe that those who revel in objectifying songs about women or resort to abusive language in traffic are the same ones criticizing the film for allegedly having "obscene and disrespectful" dialogues. I firmly believe that the dialogues do not exhibit disrespect but rather serve to develop the characters and their personalities.

In essence, the film conveys the profound message that justice will ultimately triumph over evil. Om Raut did not endeavor to tarnish the previous versions of the Ramayana; instead, he aimed to showcase the principles of truth, righteousness, humility, respect, and compassion that should guide our lives, free from ego and anger. People have misconstrued the very name of the movie, perceiving it as another retelling of the Ramayana, when in reality, the film merely highlights select events. While Adipurush could have had a more substantial impact with superior visual effects, it remains faithful to the values embedded in the Ramayana.


Editor: Ms. Fatima Afrin

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