Bollywood stars are not only the face of products and big brands but are also looked upon as figures imploring trust with the valiant image they carry for the heroic on-screen characters they play fighting off the evil. However, the reality is a far cry. All the big guns of Bollywood were seen hiding in their pigeonholes while demonised Muslims were targeted by several media houses. They were quiet when the particular community was lynched and their image was being disgraced on the prime time shows of several media channels, who were busy projecting their agenda while shedding the responsibility they are expected to exhibit. The Bollywood sadly distant itself and didn’t blink an eye even when news anchors rationalised violence and verbal attacks on Muslims while peddling the rotten ideology of nationalism on TV.
Surprisingly, the same fraternity was finding a hideout when these specific media organisations started targetting them and to an extent that anchors used the most objectionable and derogatory words to define their existence. We found a post on our Facebook wall which is an open letter by the Editor of Gulf News Bobby Naqvi who mentioned how these celebrities have become prey to this media, which they once used for their promotions.
Let us first check out the Open Letter by the Editor of Gulf News, Bobby Naqvi:
“All the big guns of Bollywood kept quiet when Republic and gang attacked, demonised Muslims. They kept quiet when Muslims were lynched and this pack of rottweilers sullied the image of Muslim community on prime time TV. They kept quiet when news anchors rationalised violent and verbal attacks on Muslims while peddling the rotten ideology of nationalism on TV.
This is the same Bollywood that produced contemporary and period films that followed a set narrative — where Muslim emperors and kings were violent murderous/rapist villains eager to dishonour Hindu women and destroy Hindu kingdoms.
This is the same Bollywood that produced films to glorify pseudo nationalism, again with a set theme — where Muslim jihadis were out to kill Hindus.
This is the same Bollywood that objectified Muslims — Khol-ed eyes, menacing gaze, Kurta-Salwar-Skullcap wearing characters with aggressive swag and evil intentions.
Jihadis and Muslim emperors had to fit in one pre-conceived imagery.
Barring a few exceptions, Bollywood played a big role in vilification of the community. Once this perception built by Bollywood was firmly planted on the psyche of Indians, the mainstream media took it to the next level — this fictionalised image of Muslims was turned into “truth” by news anchors who appear on prime time (not Ravish Bhai) wearing black suits. When these anchors vilified Muslims in English, a section of middle class that consumes news in English language believed every word of it. How can a bespectacled man in dark suit be telling lies?
Today, the Bollywood has spoken up. They suddenly discovered they have a spine after being bitten by the same pack of media rottweilers. The industry is fighting the same stereotyping and vilification that this fraternity willingly endorsed and depicted in films to satisfy the conscience of Muslim-hating audience.
Bollywood knows there is a big market for films that depict Muslims as villains or violent. They should understand that news media believes there is a lucrative market for Bollywood bashing. Target a big star and you get a massive boost in TRPs. Call some star a druggie and you have the same blood thirsty audience glued to TV.
So, Dear Bollywood, next time someone pitches a film idea that vilifies Muslims, please do remember the consequences of making such films.”
The world of cinema is celebrated by millions of people and when we talk about its impact on the second largest populous country in the world, the responsibility falling upon the shoulders of film industry becomes humongous. However, in current times the biggest film industry of India, Bollywood, is busy running their agenda without acting responsibly for the outcome of their reckless behaviour that can affect the social structure of the country with nearly 3.2 billion population.
The Bollywood fails when it fails to truly capture the reality but turns against a particular community and portray them in negative light. Unfortunately, recent times have seen Bollywood following a set narrative, where facts are twisted to glorify one sect of the country while maligning the other. In its new trend, Muslim emperors and kings are deliberately shown in negative light as violent murderous/rapist villains eager to dishonour Hindu women and destroy Hindu kingdoms.
But today, it is the day of resurrection for the Bollywood, as they have suddenly discovered they have a spine and finally decided to break the long-kept silence, after being bashed by the same media who has been lynching Muslims for all these years. The industry is fighting the same stereotyping and vilification that this fraternity willingly endorsed and depicted in films to satisfy the conscience of Muslim-hating audience.
Be cautious while stereotyping any community as we hope the recent incident might have knocked some sense in your head and now you better understand the consequences of making such films.