More than a highly relied source of entertainment, it looks like our proud film industry is turning out to be a wailing and defensive entity that consistently rants about freedom of expression and how art has no boundaries. For a hundred years now, Bollywood has surely built itself an identity in the international sphere, but has also made Indians make more compromises than they might like to know.
The Hindu dominant nation of India has since forever been a tolerant and ‘good’ audience that has not been vocal about the disappointments is has faced by Bollywood. Since decades, it has been the Hindu priests and ‘managers of God’ who have portrayed in despicable manners, inculcating in us a sense of guilt. We’ve always seen Christian Padres and Islamic Maulanas act decent and dignified in Hindi movies, as opposed to Hindu priests who wouldn’t even care to rape a woman within the temple itself. But the tolerant community that we are, we never opposed the inappropriateness.
The previous generation that withstood such movies where no Islamic or Christian character was portrayed in a wrong way, grew up studying in ‘secularist’ schools. These schools were a brainchild of Nehru and his half-baked understanding of India, which he rhetorically puts forth in his ‘Discovery of India’. The previous generation could never comprehend the fact that it was this man’s decisions and policies that put the country on a downward growth. In fact, they were made to believe that it was India’s orientation in Hinduism that resulted in colonialism and the consequential pathetic conditions. They were made to believe that casteism and racism led to the poor conditions of Indians. Even the spectacular facts such as contribution of Hindutva to the world were reduced to co-incidental and unworthy facts that made the previous generation disregard Hinduism. Sprinkling salt over the wound, Bollywood came up with disgraceful portrayal of Hindutva that further enhanced the impression.
However, the new generation of today is more open minded and unconventional than before, which allows us to see the reality and even question the wrongs. Movies like OMG, PK, Haider, and more were questioned, though well received, for their inaccuracy of certain depictions. Why did Mithun Chakraborthy, being a Hindu himself, have to portray a disgraceful version of a Hindu Guru? Would PK be accepted the same way if it questioned Islam and was released in Pakistan? Even after the Indian audience received these movies, a few rightful questions were claimed to be a symbol of ‘intolerance’. Whom are we kidding here?
An article in The Guardian that appeared in 2014 posed an intense question regarding how Hinduism is the driving philosophy behind Interstellar to Batman to Star Wars and even Matrix Revolutions. A very interesting answer was given stating that the philosophy is driven from Hindutva that states ‘the world is an illusion, and one has to transcend this illusion to do great things’ was accepted without question. While Hollywood’s greatest movies derive motivation from Hindutva, our own film industry is on an untold mission to embarrass the religion since day one. When Hollywood movies such as Life of Pi depicts the beauty of religious diversities, PK shows the same religious diversity as a curse to India. What is wrong with Bollywood? Why are you so agenda driven and narrow minded?
Why after all, should Bollywood offend Hindus and defend itself under the banner of ‘Cinematic expression’ when questioned? Why cast Pakistani actors when its absolutely not a necessity, offend a set of Indians and defend yourself with lame claims? Why be an embodiment of agenda based lies when you have the power to grace the country on international levels?
Learn from Hollywood movies that glorify their country’s history and depict even the wrongs as reasonable. Dear Bollywood, stop being a disgrace to the very country and very religion that your foundation lies on.