Bollywood has finally begun to produce movies with quality content, which might undoubtedly influence the audience, but is that all that is to it? Is quality content enough to make up for all the wrongs that Bollywood represents?
The extent of influence of cinema is far and wide, and it affects not only the educated but also the uneducated sections of the audience. There should be some moral responsibility on the part of the entire industry and not just on the movie makers—because Bollywood celebrities often make comments which are both shallow and insensitive.
Bollywood, according to me, epitomizes everything wrong in the society whether it is racism, sexism, misogyny, toxic masculinity, hypocrisy, or pseudo-feminism.
Bollywood has always been racist and will be so forever till the end of time whether we consider the representation of South Indians in movies like “Chennai Express” or celebrities endorsing the fairness creams. Bollywood’s fascination with fair skin is quite evident in its various songs, and one such famous example is Kala Chashma.
It brings us to the structural racism in Bollywood where make-up is used to darken the complexion of actors playing a character with dark skin when, in fact, they could simply cast actors with a dark complexion.
The racism in Bollywood does not limit to the skin colour; some celebrities have extended the range of their racist remarks to an entire community.
Bollywood does not even represent the whole of India. How many characters do we see from the Northeast? The movies based on real issues that plague the everyday lives of Indians tend to go unnoticed.
Another aspect is that Bollywood movies come up with the most absurd dance sequences.
Sexism and misogyny are inevitable in Bollywood songs and objectification of women has been prevalent for decades now, especially in item songs. It would be unfair to put the entire blame on their male counterparts when women perform on songs like Fevicol Se.
I get the feeling as if not a single actress branding herself as uber feminist understands the notion of feminism, Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut, Sonakshi Sinha, or Priyanka Chopra—neither of them. For instance, none of them had the guts to stand up against Salman Khan, whose atrocities against women are well-known.
You can’t shame a woman and then call yourself a feminist. Sonam Kapoor referred to Aishwarya Rai as “aunty” because she worked with her father, but she would not call Salman Khan “uncle” because he is her friend. Neither of them supported Aishwarya Rai when she stood up to Salman Khan for physically abusing her.
Why is Salman Khan labelled and idolized as Bhai Jaan? Many people are not even aware of the infamous rape joke Salman Khan made: “When I used to walk out of the ring, after the shoot, I used to feel like a raped woman.” He even got away with murder! Maybe he should go and follow his own advice, Being Human?
Let us not argue about the fact that Salman Khan is a mediocre and over-rated actor, with fragile self-esteem. He patronised Priyanka Chopra when she walked out of the movie “Bharat” and said: “Usually, people leave their husbands for a film like this.” We all saw how great that movie turned out to be!
Khan suggested that Katrina Kaif should get married and have kids when asked about a possible alternative career for her. Sure, Katrina is as appalling as Salman Khan when it comes to acting or maybe even worse, but that hardly gives him the right to make such a misogynistic statement about her.
Bollywood’s still filled with clichés; it is stereotypical with unrealistic action scenes, illogical sci-fi mystery, and cheeky item songs—which are often remakes of an older version. Whatever happened to originality?