Raazi vs Calling Sehmat- lets understand the real ‘ Sehmat’
         Date: 11-Oct-2018

Author- Team JK Now
The Bollywood film Raazi has earned a lot of praises from the audience. People are in awe of Sehmat, the Kashmiri Muslim girl, who, in the film, following her father’s footsteps becomes an Indian Spy, goes to Pakistan, marries an army man (selected by her ailing father) the son of Brigadier in the Pakistani Army. The Brigadier and his family very innocently welcome the bride with open arms, oblivious of her ulterior motives. Sehmat succeeds in her plan and returns safely back to her country, with a child in her womb.……..

Although the film is based on Harinder Sikka’s book, ‘Calling Sehmat’, a true story, there are many deviations from the book, which cannot be justified as these changes are undermining and underplaying the character of Sehmat. Following are some points which need to be considered to understand the Real Sehmat.
- Sehmat’s father Hidayat was a Kashmiri Muslim, a very successful businessman and her mother Tejshwari, was a Hindu, Punjabi.
- Her parents followed their respective religions even after their marriage and the prayer and meditation room in their house had photo of Mecca, Hindu gods and goddesses, saints, Sufis.
- Right from childhood her parents taught her that God is One and she loved singing Meerabai Bhajans with her mother.
- Sehmat was extremely beautiful, tall, fair skin, with deep blue eyes and very confident.
- She was studying in Delhi and was also learning Violin and was a trained classical dancer.
- In the intercollegiate dance competition in her college, she played the role of Meerabai and while dancing on the stage, went in to trance in her devotion to Lord Krishna. Such was her engrossment that she suffered a cut from the nail on stage, she was bleeding from her foot, but she didn’t realize it.
- She was deeply in love with a Hindu boy, Abhinav, who was extremely handsome, hailed from a very rich family and was the only child. He was madly in love with Sehmat and he had decided that either he will marry Sehmat or will remain single all his life. They had planned to marry each other.
- Sehmat’s father was suffering from cancer and when he knew that he does not have much time, he called Sehmat to Kashmir. Without forcing her or without putting any pressure on her he shared his wish that he wanted Sehmat to fill his shoes as a spy in Pakistan and also that he had arranged her marriage in Pakistan.
- Her father died after a month, unlike shown in the film that he died after her marriage. This is important because although he shared his wish, he was not alive to pressurize her, if she wished she could have continued with her life and the plans of marrying her love. But her love for her Watan was so strong that she sacrificed all, including her only love.
- Brigadier Sayeed, was happy with the marriage of his younger son Iqbal, with Sehmat as he had an eye on the business of Hidayat, and Sehmat was the only heir, thus indirectly the business would belong to his family.
- Brigadier Sayeed and his son Iqbal get promotions due to Sehmat.
- In the film after completing her task in Pakistan when Sehmat reaches back to Indian side by road after entering this side she faints, showing her as weak and exhausted. However, in the book she comes back to India by air force plane to Delhi. She is given a grand and warm welcome, where her mother and Abhinav are also present. When she sees the Tiranga, she goes close to the tricolor, kneels down, whispers ‘O my dear Motherland how I missed you, thank you for having me back’ and kisses the ground!!!!! How could such important incident be deleted from the film? This incident actually, defines Sehmat, shows her extreme patriotism, she was so overwhelmed to be back and seeing the Tiranga, even that in the presence of unknown crowd and dignitaries, assembled to honor her, she did not mind kissing the floor, to show her love and respect for her Motherland!!!!
- She refused to abort the child of her husband.
- Despite knowing about her pregnancy Abinav was eager to marry her and take care of the child too but Sehmat refused the proposal.
- Her guilt of killing Abdul, the servant of Sayeeds in Pakistan, and her elder brother in law, was so deep in her mind that despite giving birth to the child, she was not happy, not was she able to focus on child. Instead of going to her ancestral home in Srinagar, she decided to go to Maler Kotla, the village of Abdul in Punjab, she was joined by her mother and Sehmat lived there till her death.
- Her son was formally adopted by Abhinav, he took the child to Delhi with him, till Sehmat got back to normalcy. Although Abhinav had formally adopted him he did not change the religion of this son and named him Samar Khan, who grew up and joined the armed forces. Sehmat was extremely proud of the fact that her son was serving the motherland now.
- Sehmat was so disturbed by the fact that she had killed two persons that she started losing interest in life, stopped meeting anyone and would keep staring outside the window.
- It was a fakir, a spiritually evolved soul, whose singing struck a chord inside Sehmat. He told her about the Upanishads, the Karma, the past life and this life, the purpose of life, the farce of material world. After her interactions with the fakir, Sehmat became the normal self.
- She dedicated her life to serve people of Maler Kotla, worked for women’s rights, intervened to prevent fights between Hindus and Muslims, she was a messenger of peace, she was loved and respected by all in Maler Kotla.

Such was the personality, beauty, love, character, bravery, commitment and patriotism of Sehmat, which is diluted in the film, for reasons best known to the director and producer of Raazi……..