Article

Jats run amok in Bollywood


For years, the community has been making news on the big screen

Mayur Lookhar

Haryana is burning.The row over government job reservation for the Jats has snowballed into a dangerous situation. Vandalism and violence has already claimed nine lives.

The Jats, particularly from Haryana, are known for their lath-maar (devil-may-care) attitude. They love a confrontation. Yet, on the flip side, their rustic sense of humour never fails them; more so in dark times.

The Haryanvi Jats have been poorly represented in Bollywood. Often they play the roles of a hired gun with a sense of humour. But the Punjabi Jat won prominence when Dharmendra went hysterical in the song, ‘Main Jat yamla, pagla, deewana’ from the 1975 film Pratiggya.

Here is a review of quintessential Jat moments for Hindi cinema. You decide if they have been well represented in the movies or not. (For the record, this writer is a Mumbai-born Haryanvi).

 

Tera Mera Vaada (2012)

This isn’t Bollywood but a popular Haryanvi comedy.Tera Mera Vaada pins down the community’s humour quite authentically. The extrovert and optimistic Haryanvi collegian has a theory to back his most bizarre answers to ordinary classroom questions.For such imaginative thinking alone, the Jats could demand a quota of government jobs and educational institutions.

Hera Pheri (2000)

If you are indebted to a Jat, you better be quick of wit and limb. Shyam (Suniel Shetty) is smart enough to doge the lath, the bullets and the talvar of Khadak Singh (Om Puri).The Punjabi Jat role seemed to written for the rustic Om Puri.

 

Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya (2012)

An empty mind is the devil’s workshop. Look what happens when a Haryanvi is denied reservation. Om Puri, once again plays the thoroughbred Haryanvi in the 2012 rom-com Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya.

Chaudhary is the kingpin of the kidnapping business. And Mini (Genelia D’Souza) provides tips to Chaudhary to improve his business. She also shows a few fitness moves to the pehelwans.

 

Rajaji (1999)

Shah Rukh Khan often says that “Joh kuch nahi karte hai, wahi aksar kamaal kar jaate hai” (Those who do nothing, are often the one who end up doing great things).

The Haryanvis are stereotyped as lazy people.Govinda’s 1999 comedy film Rajaji is predicated on this stereotype. Rajaji (Govinda) and Shaadilal (Satish Kaushik) are good for nothing Haryanvi villagers who struggle at doing basic jobs.

 

Style (2001)

 

The youth comedy saw Sharman Joshi in his first leading role. The low-frills flick tickled ribs with its collegian humour. Apart from the lead cast, one man who stood out for a small role was journalist-turned-actor Vishwajeet Pradhan.

The actor played Nayansukh, a quintessential Haryanvi guy who introduced himself as, “Raniganj ke randve nahin hum, Haryaney ke kunware hai”(I’m not the widower from Raniganj, but a bachelor from Haryana).

Nayansukh was the typical aggressive-yet-funny Haryanvi, one who is hopeful that there is a Laado (bride) for him too.

 

Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola (2013)

The Jats are intriguing. When dejected and inebriated, they hallucinate about talking pink buffalos. Do watch Matru’s Gulabo.

 

Ghajini (2008)

Partly inspired by Memento, Ghajini is a romantic psychological thriller, first made in Tamil and then successfully reprised in Hindi. Pradeep Rawat played the main antagonist in the both films. He had a double role in the original, while the Hindi one saw him play a brutal Haryanvi killer, Ghajini Dharmatma.

The humour now goes out of the window. And the wild west that Haryana is comes to the fore.

 

NH10 (2015)

 

Honour killing is a sad reality of Haryana. And Navdeep Singh’s 2015 thriller NH10 highlights the menace. Unheralded actor Darshan Kumar's character brutally kills his own sister and her lover.  Depriving the Jats of job reservation would amount to hunar (talent) killing.