Bollywood: Maligning Hindu Rituals
People in India, for the past few months, are debating over the Hinduphobic films made by the Bollywood and as a result, films are being boycotted as was the case with Aamir Khan starrer Laal Singh Chaddha or Akshay Kumar’s Raksha Bandhan. While there are people who support such films films in the name of creative freedom, it is too lame an excuse for making fun of someone’s belief and faith. In recent years, numerous Hinduphobic films in Bollywood have come to the fore disseminating anti-Hindu propaganda under the cover of freedom of speech and in violation of Article 19(1)(a) of the Indian Constitution. The majority of movies frequently display the Hinduphobia that is synonymous with Bollywood. Bollywood has repeatedly mocked rituals and traditions to further its own limited agenda. Such distortions are inevitable given the stranglehold Islamists and secularists have on the sector. Wokes and the so-called HINOs (Hindus in Name Only, or HINOs) will undoubtedly eat this up, but the real threat is the impact such propaganda will inevitably have on the next generation.
The media serves as a powerful tool to shape people’s perceptions and play a vital influence in the social construction of reality. The cinema serves as a vehicle for artistic expression while also fulfilling the roles of mass media in terms of performing, communication, educating and cultural transmission. The widespread popularity of movies and their audio-visual format give them a global capacity for social influence. As a result, they have the potential to play a significant role in society as a source of entertainment, information, and education as well as a catalyst for social change. Movies are well-liked because they amuse, and they have significantly contributed to the major changes in how we live and how we see the world around us that have changed over the past 50–60 years.
One cannot deny that it is intentional to represent Hindu traditions and rituals in such a negative way. Anti-Hindu content that fosters fear of Hindus is prevalent in movies. Due to these representations, Hinduism is linked to crimes like lynching’s and rapes. Bollywood alters remakes, even when they are of south Asian films, to malign Hinduism. It swaps out the original movies’ pro-Hindu content for alternative minority-pleasing or Hindumisic (anti-Hindu) elements.
Bollywood would never try to disparage Christian or Islamic traditions. For fear of retribution and hurting the feelings of these religions’ adherents, they would even refrain from pointing out the horrors within them. However, as far as Bollywood is concerned, offending Hindu emotions is a normal thing for them! Nothing is immune to criticism, not even movies or religion, but it must not be selective and must cover every religion and its bad aspects.
By Nilabh Krishna