Bollywood as a mix of junk food and Islamism

Bollywood today has hijacked the identity of Indian cinema to such an extent that people hardly realize that there is more to Indian cinema.

We eat junk food with the full knowledge that it is, well, junk. We crave it, gorge on it, all in the name of taste and don’t care how much of a land whale and waste dump it makes out of us. We justify it even in the name of having “fun.”

Junk food has its equivalent in the Indian entertainment scenario in the form of the Mumbai film industry, better known by its cheap, plagiarized moniker of Bollywood. For more than six decades now, it has done the same thing to the brains of the Indian people what junk food does to the bodies of people worldwide.

What can one say about the creativity of an entertainment entity whose name itself is an imitation?

A surfing tour of various entertainment television channels will reveal that more than half of the ginormous number of channels typically air the abhorrent visage of a Bollywood personality. What is shown does not matter. It might be an interview of a 40 something actor (?) who still enjoys playing the roles half his age, or an actress (?) who still wears teenager-clothes to hide the hideous abrasions that age and excessive make up has left on her face or a starlet who thinks that wearing derriere-hugging attire displaying her waxed legs constitutes acting and putting a fake accent means she has arrived, or a director who talks about his newest “creative and path breaking” venture with the usual opening lines “It’s actually a love story set in a very different scenario….”.  The rest of the space is filled up by repeated trailers of new releases (which no one will remember three weeks after their release), nation-impacting news of which film star is sleeping with who, and shots of Bollywood starlets in some gaudy-gown in events like Cannes (the media would like us to believe that these leading ladies of Bollywood get all the attention there when the truth is that they are hardly noticed).

However, the real tragedy is that there is no escape from this for anyone. No one can say that he or she does not care about this kind of news. One gets exposed and battered by the constant assault of this mind-numbing news, 24/7. After all, one cannot just walk on the street and claim that he has not inhaled the polluted air. We all are today like the ducks bred for foie gras and we are brutally being force-fed this nonsense, and the media is the steel pipe shoved down in our gullets.

hindi filmsThe part of the media—visual or print is the same in this. One look at any news channel and very easily conclude that India is run by Bollywood and television stars. The very fate of the country depends on the length of a starlet’s skirt. Instances of entire prime time slots of news channels being hired to promote a new film are now somewhat of a norm. In other words, which actress sleeps with which director or which actor is lusting after which starlet is what constitutes current affairs today.

On the media’s part, it is its sacred duty to promote Bollywood as the sole Indian cinema, in fact, even as the face of new India. It sings paeans of how Bollywood is taking the world by storm (sure it is, if Indian and Pakistani expats constitute your world), how Bollywood films are making their presence felt in the world judging by the images of skimpily clad Bollywood actresses on the red carpet in Cannes and Venice. No other proof is required.

In 2001, when Lagaan was nominated for the best foreign language film at the Oscars, newspapers and the visual media went berserk and all that mattered was Lagaan’s storyline and how it was so unique (when the truth was that barring the cricket component, it was just another tale of the romanticization of destitute village life) and the history of the Academy awards. When it lost out to a worthier No Man’s Land, our media carried articles belittling the Oscars by any means possible—how America-centric they are, to how ridiculously dressed the invitees are. One bright fellow even wrote on the event of Denzel Washington and Halle Berry being the first African American pair to win the honours for Best Actor and Actress, that after 9/11, America does not want to take chances with anything, and therefore it has begun pacifying its biggest racial minority by giving these two the awards. It appears that Bollywood has not just bought the newspaper, but also that writer’s brains. On TV, there were third rung actors speaking about how by not awarding Lagaan, the west has failed to the Indian culture. The pig circus didn’t seem to end.

The truth is that Bollywood is anything but artful and meaningful cinema, barring a handful of glorious exceptions. One look at its track record and one can see that it has been dominated by frightful homogeneity. The silent film era was dominated by mythological films which continued till the end of 1930s with the arrival of talkies. The 1940s and 1950s were dominated by candyfloss escapist romances where nothing seemed to be wrong in the world except for a comically evil villain in the form of the heroine’s father or a ruffian. The 1960s and 1970s went a step further. All the films in this period had without exception, along with the usual love triangles and quadrangles, the glorification of poverty and the socialist way of life in India.

In Bollywood’s films of the 50s, 60s and 70s, the villains were always rich men, whose greatest crime was being rich. Being rich meant that one had to be a smuggler or a black marketer. Or just a big businessman or industrialist. That was evil enough. The hero was always a virtuous man (because he was poor) and used to ensure in the end that justice prevailed by the defeat of the devious rich baddies businessmen. It makes you cringe when you watch TV programmes about the “golden era” of films and old timers wishing that those “great” films were back again. The only saving grace about those films was their great music. Some examples of the leading actors of that era would shed some light. I’ve deliberately used their sobriquets:

dilipMr Showman, whose claim to fame was his cheap impersonation of Charlie Chaplin and showing his leading ladies semi-nude on screen. His descendants joined the film industry in pathetic succession after pathetic succession.

Mr Jumping Jack who thought that wearing white shoes and doing P.T in the name of dance constituted acting.

Mr Evergreen who thought that jerking movements of the limbs and eyes was a great feat of acting. He continued making films under his banner where he played everything from a journalist to a sharpshooter to a lawyer in the same film.

The first Bollywood Superstar, whose talent was largely making twisted movements with his hands and delivering all the dialogues in the same style in all the films and swirling around in circles in the name of dancing. His immense popularity which included female fans writing letters in blood to him was the proof of the pedestrian standards that Bollywood set for itself and the film-going public.

Mr Bharaat, who had the delusion of being the biggest patriot in the country’s history and made supposedly patriotic films which turned out to be laugh riots in spite of his best efforts.

To top these was the grandpa of all the actors, who in his six decades of acting hardly got to do anything else other than wearing a green shawl and thick glasses. But he is considered an iconic actor. And then, one cannot even mention the 1980s and 1990s without resorting to expletives.

Cheap and lewd antics became the name of the game. Films became so pedestrian and cheap that they were forgotten as soon as they came. Up to such an extent that you could ask even the most ardent film goer today to name one remarkable film from the 1980s and there would be silence.

The beginning of the 1990s saw a horrible twist in the tale. Now, every film had gigantic families living in palatial houses who had nothing to do but hold weddings and rituals and break into a dance. The men in the film have nothing to do except take part in the frivolous antics of the household. This has percolated to TV and now irrevocably they are all made on such storylines. Or actors in their 30s trying to convince us that they’re college students, who had nothing to do but carry two notebooks to colleges and dance in the basketball court and playgrounds. The era of truly meaningless and mindless cinema had begun and it continues till date.

karishmaIf the earlier films glorified poverty, these glorified extravagant lifestyles and unrealistic dreams and ambitions. The leading man may earn his living as a factory worker but he had to sing his songs in the Alps. The leading men of the films today consist of a vast army of Khans, one of who considers stammering as acting and another who says taking a shirt off on screen is all that is needed to act. It also comprises star kids who are considered “talented” as they are still surviving after all the dozens of the films that they have done have bombed.

This was also the time when the underworld became mainstream in the film industry. Drugs, extortion and anti-national investments flowed into the producers coffers to make more pedestrian fare, which continues unabated. Blood money funds Bollywood and it’s the movie-watchers who buy tickets and fill the coffers of these criminals.

If you think I’m exaggerating, being too harsh and one-sided, you need to answer the following questions:

1. Has Bollywood made even one movie portraying the country’s condition logically, realistically and reasonably, in more than sixty years of its existence? Has it even addressed one burning issue that faces the country and the world today?

2. Has Bollywood in its “historical” films, ever depicted history in a sane manner without over-the-top melodrama? Has it ever shown the country’s true heroes in a way that they deserve? Why can’t it look beyond glorifying invading barbarians in the name of making biopics and period films?

3. Why do all films resemble different-coloured gunny bags which have the same grade of rice in them? Why this eerie similarity?

4. Is there nothing in the world worth showing other than a “love story”? Is dancing like a steroid-pumped baboon with dozens of other apes count as romance?

5. Isn’t there any difference between history and melodrama? Why can’t the depictions of kings and freedom fighters be spared from being in a romantic angle? Must war films have songs as well?

6.Are large rooms with glowing bulbs the only thing to be shown in the name of spy films? Are romance and jingoism the only two topics left on earth?

7.Does Indian culture mean nothing other than showing gigantic joint families in palatial residences who have nothing to do but sing and dance every other day?

8. Why do the awards given to Hindi films every year have ridiculous categories like “best villain”, “best comedian”, “best newcomer actor/actress”? Doesn’t it show that the same stuff is churned out again and again and again? And pray, why are the award functions held in English when the films are being made in Hindi?

9. Why does “inspiration” never come from the numerous literary works and short stories available but from Hollywood (and now also from South Korean) films? Inspiration is nothing but another word for plagiarism, which has run unabated and amok in Bollywood since beginning. Maybe creativity means hiding your sources.

10. Why is it that more than the story and the script, what matters most is who’s acting in it and who’s making it?

People defending Bollywood are always quick to point out that Hollywood too is full of trash. They are right. Hollywood is full of trash and it too, has a very hideous underbelly. But no matter how bad a year is for it, at least a few good films are released annually. Without exception. Bollywood takes five decades to churn out ten good films. Go figure.
hindiOne stark truth which can never be uttered loud in the politically correct world is that Bollywood is just the promotion of the crescent and  moon in the name of Indian culture. It hardly comes as a surprise that Bollywood is green in colour. After all, it is largely run through the money of the “Greenbhai” or Dawood Ibrahim. That is why nobody seems to bother as to how millions and millions remain readily available for making the next box office dud and paying the exorbitant fees of the actors and crew in spite of flop after flop. Songs are full of pious words like Sajda, Ibadat which can give us the illusion of listening to the proceedings of a seminary. It is needless to say that what Greenbhai invests, he gets it fully. A famous gangster was asked as to why he kept investing money in failing ventures like this. His reply: ‘cause I get to do the heroines. That’s why.

With this kind of criminal and anti-national funding, can one ever expect anything good to emerge? The films therefore are hardly logical and will always show the beloved minority in a glowing light. There will always be a True Believer in the film who far exceeds in virtues to his other counterparts who follow other religions. If he becomes a terrorist in any of the films, it is only because of the evil Hindus and the injustice he faces in a horrible country called India that is always baying for his blood. Sikhs are either shown as comical or as killing machines. Christians, well they have little to do other than going to the church and wearing a crucifix. The less said about the depiction of Tamils and Bengalis, the better.

As today’s targeted (read: moneyed) audience mostly comprises Indian and Pakistani expats, it is alright to make films belittling the country but not a word against jihad. That’s why you have seemingly “proud Indian” Khans dancing on Pakistani channels on the anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks. It’s no longer a dream to cherish. It has only become a vortex where girls are sucked into a non-returnable doom.

The independent cinema (also called art cinema) that rose into prominence in the 1970s gave a lot of hope in the direction of making quality cinema and some were truly worthy of critical acclaim. However, both the tone and content was overtly and they died out due to paucity of funds. It lost its most talented actors to the Bollywood cesspool where they’ve been reduced to playing caricatures.

Bollywood today has hijacked the identity of Indian cinema to such an extent that people hardly realize that there is more to Indian cinema. It is totally devoid of quality and can never ever make anything remotely matching the best of world cinema. And money is the least of Bollywood’s concerns. Not with all the money in the world would it be able to make a fine war film like Saving Private Ryan. Or a fantasy like say, Lord of the Rings. There is no originality or creativity. There is only “inspiration”.

The real hope in Indian cinema lies with the independent filmmakers. It is heartening to see that their number is growing and they stand out among the mainstream crowd of ghouls. There are encouraging signs in the form of different films being made, both in Hindi and regional languages. It sure is a trickle which one hopes will turn into a torrent with time. But it can only be successful when the audience broadens its horizons to appreciate meaningful cinema instead of cheap thrills.

A wage slave wanting to do a lot more.
  • manish verma


  • Rational Citizen

    Never in my life have I felt moved to comment without explanation. But this time, I can’t help but feel that this particular piece deserved nothing more than a three word characterization of the author – IGNORANT, PRETENTIOUS BIGOT

  • Amak4u

    Good article. Very true. People need to boycott the Khanglomerate in Bollywood.

  • Rajalakshmi J

    I went through Sri.Ankur Jayawant’s entire article once again. Extremely well written.

    What he says about Hollywood movies is very true. When one grows up watching only such kitschy crass indian movies one’s intellect gets thoroughly dulled. Full marks to Hollywood movies from me. While living in India it was very difficult for me to go to a cinema hall & watch a Hollywood movie.

    Thanks to Kuwait my child & myself could watch lot of Hollywood movies & British ‘Fawlty Towers’ (John Cleese). A variety of movies ( not necessarily oscar winning ones ) impacted me so much turning me into a die hard admirer of AMERICA. Already I am one American admirer to start with. Include British actors too. Their actresses & actors , music composers , directors are exceptionally talented. Mostly they do manage to effectively convey that good old Virtues alone matter.

    Indian actors & actresses are thoroughly lacklustre ( barring very very few exceptions who have mostly passed away & who had no arrogance & swagger of the contemporary indian actors) . They have managed to work on their figures , walk & talk like the Westerners imitating them in every possible way. Indian actors show off their six packs breaking into silliest song & dance routines in idiotic movies. Vacuous movies are made just to show off the midriff of bollywood cretins. Vacuous movies are made to show the bare midriff of actresses shot in Switzerland , Mauritius , Peru etc.

    Americans WIN through & through.

    Take someone like Daniel Day Lewis for instance. What homework he puts in is breathtaking. It is true of a lot of them. Almost all of them. Even their ” not good ” movies are infinitely superior to our blockbusters.
    For all their talent I find them very humble & normal. I cannot help comparing them with useless indian counterparts full of arrogance & self importance. Conferring doctorates , padmashrees , ulganayakans titles on themselves.

    Why don’t we have the GRACE to admit Americans ( Westerners ) are far superior to us .

  • Rajalakshmi J

    It is the pseudo intellectuals like aparna sens , sathyajit rays etc who very deftly micromanage opinions with various artifices invariably to the detriment of us Hindus.

    Watch aparna sen’s ‘Mr & Mrs. Iyer”. Watch the Hindu Brahmin woman played by her own daughter konkona & her husband appearing in the last scene wearing a mismatched tie which is askew with a hideous coloured shirt to know how the damage is done by crafty aparna sen. Whereas rahul bose who is the Muslim guy is shown speaking propah English , very debonair
    yada yada.

    Watch shabana azmi in ” A Plate of rice “. She has the GALL to portray a Hindu woman as disparagingly as possible.

    Watch sathyajit ray’s ‘sadgathi’. The trite Braaaaaahmin oppressing one pooooooooor low caste person.
    His ‘ganashatru’ is also calculated to ridicule us Hindus , our Temple Rituals etc. Took pride in calling himself one “marxist”.
    If so as Karl Marx said ” church is the opiate of the masses” should have unmasked teresa as the BRILLIANT American Christopher Hitchens did. sathyajit rays & aparna sens always find only us Hindus the most convenient punching bag.

    How do kollywood movie makers appease the cretinous Hindus ? By making one movie where womenfolk wear bifurcated sarees holding a bunch of Neem leaves , kimkum on their foreheads jumping up & down furiously screaming one song
    ” MahamayEEEEEE ….” . They KNOW hindus are consummate idiots & we prove them right.

    If Hindus are truly plucky should totally pulverize indian film industry altogether. Futile to hop from one tv studio to another answering arnab goswamis , vikram chandras & sagarika ghoses. Get rid of these media terrorists also. After speedy depopulation of these toxic respirating carcasses all our problems like water scarcity , power shortages , unemployment ., food shortages etc etc would be solved in one stroke. No NEED to interlink Rivers to “generate employment ” & soothe parched throats.

  • Someone

    You, you, you… how can you be so right and that too on the dot. The Bollywood movie nonsense has clearly destroyed Indian thought on not just cinema but all kinds of visual media. Added to this, the Cricket mania and the mindless, hero worshiping, gambling, national stoning that goes with that. The final masala that is added to this whole stupid Circus is the – noisy, notorious, sensationalist, useless news and debate ridden Indian news.

    The perfect mixture of all these mind numbing nonsense produces, excellent recipe for stoning the masses, the majority who are ignorant, superstitious and outright stupid. Controlled perfectly by the political class who’s job is only to divide, deceive and rule. Wow, what a country we are in, very proud of my brethren, very proud indeed.

  • Rajalakshmi J

    I agree with the author bollywood & kollywood are junk. Few good movies are the exceptions proving the rule. Most of them are straight plagiarizations of Hollywood movies. All good English movies like ‘I Am Sam’ ‘Italian Job’ ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ ‘Godfather’ ‘Husbands & Wives’ etc etc have all been plagiarized. And they are very crass. Technically Indian movie makers might have made advancements but fail to appeal. Even original good Hindi movies like ‘Golmaal’ ‘Chashme Baddoor’ “Saheb Biwi aur Ghulam’ have been remade. They are so bad. Can anyone replace Utpal Dutt , Waheeda Rehman , Meena Kumari , Farooque Sheikh , Guru Dutt …..?? No way.

    In kollywood movies too , I find crazy mohan’s script quite vulgar. But many find nothing wrong with that.Once I gathered the courage to say so asking them to watch Cho Ramasvamy , Sridhar , AP..Nagarajan to know good quality humour & wit. At once someone retorted ” ….we are not intellectuals…we enjoy crazy mohan…”. Both crazy mohan & kathadi ramamurthy had staged some plays in Kuwait. I found them downright mediocre. But the rest of the Indian audience including indian ambassador & his wife were relishing everything laughing , rocking back & forth. In fact I refused to purchase tickets for crazy mohan’s drama telling I found his dialogues very vulgar. Only one person ( a man) agreed nodding silently. He died of cancer some years ago. In Kuwait lot of womenfolk (hindus tambrams) were dying to get some roles in their plays. Some Indians ( hindus) have told me Pakistani tv soaps are much more decent & watchable than Indian ones.

    But the ‘Islamism’ part is debatable. The movie makers are in this business for making money. It is amir khans , salmans , shah rukhs that are in high demand commanding a huge fan following. The fans largely comprise of hindus.

    I find Naseeruddin Shah , Irfan Khan are incredibly more talented than many of the rest. Mammootty is absolutely stunning as an actor . He is a muslim. Can anyone replace Mohammad Rafi ? Old Tamil film actor Chandrababu ( now deceased) is exceptionally talented , very versatile. His religion happens to be Christianity. Are we going to deny him due recognition based on that ? Aroor Das’s script another Tamil Christian has always been brilliant , thought provoking. Far superior to Sujatha’s ( deceased) avidly courted by most people of Tamil Nadu as he is from IIT blah blah. Among contemporary ones, Cheran (kollywood) is good & original. ‘Naduvule Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom’ ( நடுவுலே கொஞ்சம் பக்கத்த காணோம்) Vinod’s ‘Chathuranga Vettai” ( சதுரங்க வேட்டை ) are very good Tamil movies.

    Manirathnam is the worst I feel. The quality of lyrics & their compositions have all deteriorated in today’s indian movies.

    However I find today it is dangerous to be farsighted among the blind.

    • Dr. MS

      You are not making any distinction between “films and theater”. Many Indian workers in the Middle East are not very educated. That is absolutely true. Yet people have the right to enjoy their crass entertainment in a democracy and in diversity…particularly in the Middle East where everything is oppressed (including sleeveless blouses and raunchy jokes). We don’t want to go from sleazy bare bodies to covering up in purdha. That is what the author is actually pointing out. People coming from oppressive religions tend to go overboard in their sleazy entertainment and their perverted imagination. The author is looking at “masala movies as a formula that is churned out over and over again”…not occassionaly. And kindly do not assume everything old is gold. There is a lot of sexism and suggestiveness in old Tamil songs and films. What the author is talking about is the mindset behind these movies, which come from oppressive religious beliefs and practices…that when released go overboard. I get tired of Indians, in the Middle East and from the Middle East, going goo-goo-gaa-gaa over Muslim actors and actresses. These actors and actresses need to change the monarchy and dictatorships in Islamic countries. These minority actors and actresses in Indian show business are so lucky to be in India. Ask how many Hindus can even come on TV as anchors in local Arab channels, or in many Middle Eastern mass media entertainment? Very low. Percentage of Hindus in global TV, radio and international entertainment networks is about .1%. Even in Singapore and Malaysia only one or two channels exists for Tamil minorities, while there are anywhere from 7 to 18 channels for Chinese and Malays exclusively. Hindus are good at defending non-Hindus, but how many non-HIndus do I see defending Hindus?

  • Radha Rajan

    Hindu thinkers must cleanse their thoughts and language from all demeaning references to animals and their proclivity to abuse humans by attributing animal names or characteristics. Animals dont lie, dont peddle drugs, alcohol and arms, dont wage war, dont rape, dont cheat, dont betray. They dont suffer from greed, dont exploit. They are what they are. So in this article what exactly is a pig circus and what is the reference to babboons exactly?

    • kyzylkumkohlrabi

      This is a very good point — as per our understanding of our own place in nature, to anthropomorphize non-homo sapiens in a negative way (or really in any way for that matter) is simply incorrect.

  • bharatpremi

    Long one, but to the point.
    Go back to see the wedding scenes from the movies and it is almost entirely… church wedding even when there is reason t have the church wedding as per the flow of the script.
    Christists infiltration is somethng that needs to be covered as well

    • Radha Rajan

      Tamil film world is full of them in all aspects of film making – actors, script writers, music composers, cameramen – they are everywhere.

    • Dr. MS

      I am curious Mr Bharatpremi. I noticed lot of FM radio channels in Chennai have anchors who have an accent. Are these people Sri Lankans or someone else? And some do make fun of Hindus, or make assumptions or make up stories about people they don’t know. There is something very cruel in these people. Who is funding them? Who do they really work for? And some project their own dysfunctionalities on others. Quite evil. Who is using them for their own petty or evil purposes? Any investigation on this?

    • Rajalakshmi J

      Tamil movie ” பாவ மன்னிப்பு ” is one more Hindu maligning ‘sickular ‘ movie. The songs are very good no doubt.

      BUT , do remember the poet Kannadasan started as one dmk , communist sympathizer , worshipper of nehru chacha batija & gandhi தாத்தா. Decades later , after thorough disillusionment with communists etc etc wrote volumes on the GLORY of Hinduism. Ironically one of his daughters is a crypto christian today.

      Before dying annadurai of dmk the virulently anti Vedic anti Brahmin quarter baked tamil TERRORIST croaked ” i believe in God”. dmk , dk all used kollywood movies as one platform to brainwash the people. annadurai USED MGR thus. BEFORE dying afflicted with many debilitating ailments MGR wore the hat of a “devout Hindu” genuflecting before கொல்லூர் மூகாம்பிகை. Satyajit Ray too before dying told someone ” where is marxism…what is marxism….everyone takes the name marx marx…..” smoking away his pipe. Ample credit should be given to his wife who came up with the truth AFTER he died revealing what a HYPOCRITE he was in real life.

      In this movie ” பாவ மன்னிப்பு ” also the converted christians are shown to be overflowing with commmmmmmpassion right from the beginning , doing charities & donations to the poooooooor , embracing LOTS of abandoned orphans ( you guessed right….it is Hindus who abandon) giving them education , identity , medical care blah blah. The christians in indian movie seldom lose their temper. Always dressed well ; smiling sssssssso benignly quoting & quoting from the Bible following the dictum ” The DEVIL cites the Scriptures to suit its purpose”.

      The crafty director makes Sivaji Ganesan play the role of a muslim. Seriously I feel he need not have laboured in such a convoluted way to make his point ALREADY known & well established by our VEDAS. Prdictably this muslim is SSSSSSSSSSO good , so kind hearted , so this & that.

      The “bad & ugly” Hindu is played by MR.Radha ( very good actor no doubt) who in real life was virulently anti Vedic , anti Ramayanam etc etc. Thus had no problem playing the bad & ugly Hindu. Who is a tax defaulter , avaricious , congenital liar …..repository of all VICES.

      Leftist quarter baked tambram k.balachander mentor of lecherous kamalhassan is also the SAME. He died very very belatedly. Not in any bomb blast / accident.

  • manish narang

    I was amused so read the entire article but utter nonsense. Is the writer a RSS member? Definitely an islamophobe and a right wing Hindu nut. How about some facts to justify his bigotry? I got some advice for you buddy, stop watching Bollywood and spare us your hateful diatribe. Moron!

    • pradeep

      the author has his right to pitch his opinion, and you are right to your views, what i see is there are strong points in what the author has said. if you don’t like then just don’t read just like asking him to stop watching bollywood movies”

      and just accusing him of being islamophobic doesn’t help, then can you deny the nexus of underworld and bollywood. please don’t use such big words. we all know how far we are islamophobic and how far we should really be islamophobic.

      • manish narang

        Fact buddy facts cause opinions are like assholes and they stink just like yours and this moron of a writer who alleges lot of nonsense but doesn’t back it up with anything!

        • pradeep

          Cool now i got you.. You are one frustrated soul..jumping and crying like a baby.. Ok i will leave it that way..enjoy your idiocy..enjoy your morony..

          You said facts.. He gave a perfect way to rebut what he questioned..

          You are one pure frustrated soul..

          • manish narang

            And you’re a dumbass, moron!

          • pradeep

            Ohh now i got one are moulvi..and when you said gujarat..i could clearly understand how brain washed ba stared are you..
            I know moulvis dont get proper education in please read correct factual reports on gujarat riots..

            Any how i dont expect much from a moulvi who has venom for hindus..

            I would have appreciated more of your peanut brain if you have thought more than gujarat riots..

          • Soumodeep Biswas

            manish narang you obviously live in your little fantasy lala world. Enjoy being there, but when u come into real world atleast write comments which doesn’t show your frustration and immaturity. Maybe people will take you more seriously then. And about leaving the country, we just want to make it better. Sometimes criticism helps. Doesn’t mean the person doesn’t love his country. You might be blind to the religious problems in this country caused by Muslims, but don’t write stuff without knowing the whole picture. You are acting like a 15 year old kid who got online for the first time and got too excited.

          • manish narang

            Another islamophobe and I’m suppose to take your dumbass seriously, Not. It’s racist Hindus like this writer and you, who give the rest of us a bad name. So go back to living in your racist world while the capitalism and khans rule Bollywood cause they can Act!

          • muslim taqiyya user manish narang. explain how is discrimination based on religion considered racism?

            justify the word racism you used here first. only if you are able to then we’ll discuss the points you have raised.

          • manish narang

            The writer made Xenophobic statements Like Khans make most of the movies in Bollywood and Muslim underworld finances it is as irresponsible of a statement as one can make. Bollywood makes bad movies but it also churns out decent ones. Bollywood used to make better movies throughout the 60s, 70s but not according to the writer.
            At the end of the day, commercial movies are made to make money and they reflect what audiences want to see. Not you, not I but the majority.
            As I stated earlier, put your money where your mouth is or shut up with the negativity.
            This article is moot.
            End of conversation!

          • I am not arguing whether the article is moot or how much the movies make. I asked you to justify the word racism in the context you used here first and you failed at it.

            There is not a single xenophobic reference made by the writer in regards to khans singling them out for their afghan ancestry in the statement you mentioned “khans make most of the movies in bollywood”. The writer has written against all the actors from kapoors to the present khans and even the children of yesteryear actors. This doesn’t make him racist but his statements on islam can be considered as ‘not secular’ in nature.

          • Radha Rajan

            That’s a dumb down. It is not about Hindus and Muslims? It is about capitalism? You forget it is the Muslim underworld which funds movies or which controls the capital. Khans can act and that’s why they are on top? That’s another dumb down.

          • guest

            Talking about facts, when in India if people are talking about different religions, they do NOT become racists. Religion and race are not synonymous. All Indians are the same ‘race’. So avoid that word please. Second, NOT all Khans can act. The movies they act in do not really require acting. If you have the eye, just match their expressions with those of some yesteryear stars, Sanjeev Kumar, Amitach Bachchan. This has nothing to do with religion. NOT all Khans can act. Period.

          • kyzylkumkohlrabi

            “Islamophobia” isn’t a thing. Please get over yourself. People do not have a “phobia’ of Islam — most simply revile it, and for good reason. Maybe read up a bit on the history of how Islam actually came about, how it propagated/continues to propagate itself, and what it endorses (everything from sexual slavery to death for apostasy, to stoning women for adultery, and the rest). Left-wingers have a tendency to throw around catchphrases in the hopes of beating down their ideological opponent, all the while completely unaware of how silly they sound. Carry on dhimmi.

          • manish verma


  • Rajesh Soman

    Ankur, kudos for a well written and pretty realistic summing up of Bollywood films….however unfortunate it may be, the many many good films of some inspiring directors from 1970’s and 80’s (Basu Chatterjee types) also form part of this cesspool called Bollywood today. Also, please note that very realistic and solid regional film industry exists in India especially in the form of Bengali, Malayalam, Marathi & Tamil (and maybe more—I am not fully aware, though I believe Assamese also used to produce quality films at some point) which have produced some very good films in the past decades and which have been very realistic and correct portrayal of our society and does not revolve around rich, fair skinned, silly, six pack bearing Khans or Roshans who team up with skimpily clad and yet again very very fair and stripped bare girls partying in the Alps just as they were on a bike zooming past the Churchgate station….Being a malayali myself, I can attest to some very fine films being produced in the past and played and super stars like Mohan lal and Mammootty (having both commercial and appeal and stupendous acting skills)…..The legend of Kamal Hassan is something that Indians do not realise fully…..and the path breaking Bengali films of the yore are our heritage…….It is sad that the mainstream media so exclusively focuses on Bollywood….even in a film like PIKU it was hilarious to see how most papers refused to give more prominence to Irrfan Khan……..instead chose to put all the spotlight on Deepika and Amitabh……

  • Kara Mirch

    Who the fuck cares. Stopped watching Bollywood movies twenty or so years ago especially after the Khans took over.

    • Anti-Establishment


    • manish verma

      ME ALSO

  • Rama

    Great article, amen to all that. Mallus used to make some good movies once. I believe it is a trickle now.

  • iNikhil

    one of the obserrvations I made in recent movies: Generally theres 1 good rop character. His being frm rop doesnt affect story, script anyway but still they hav 1. & if any rop character is bad or if vilain is rop thn atleast 1 good rop character exists to ‘balance’.. eg baby, 3idiots, sarfarosh, gadar, Hero love story of a spy, wednesday,

  • I rank western TV serials like Stargate Atlantis higher then any of Bollywood, Tollywood, Xollywood.. movies. Regarding Indian TV’s better we don’t talk about them. I have discontinued watching Xollywood & Idiot Box for any purpose.. :'(

    • pradeep

      i am not sure how much you hate the junk movies of ours, but personally i feel, regional cinemas make at least 2-3 movies which are realistic in nature and i see that missing in bollywood.

    • guest

      Today Indian media gets much money from abroad to sing to their tune. and information is not easily available.

  • R Nanjappa

    This is an unbalanced outburst.
    It is a fact that the Hindi filmdom is today dominated by some Khans ( like politics is dominated by a few families or groups) who are reportedly promoted by powerful elements from outside and the media. it is true that it is without any genius or creativity or originality.. It is true that it has gradually debased the public taste. It is clear that today the public at large is fed on filthy politics, filthier cinema and the phantom of cricket.

    But it has not always been like this. Up to the early 60s, our cinema was not totally bad. There were artistic directors, real actors or good artistes, good stories – both original, adapted from great writers and copied from abroad.Generally, in the Nehru era, reform was the raze and the film world too embraced it. This is one side of the picture.

    On the other, up to the early sixties (in the B&W era), the movies had very good music. And most of the music was based on Indian classical or folk or other regional resources. How many people will get to listen to ragas Hamir, Malkauns, Bhairavi, Todi. Chayanat,Kedar, Jhinjoti, Basant, Yaman, kalyan, Tilak Kamod, and a hundred others? The old master music directors composed songs which conveyed the essence of the Raga within 3-4 minutes and reached millions. Those songs are still remembered and sung. How many Ustads or pandits can convey the essence of a raga in 3 minutes?

    And take the lyricists. Up to the mid-sixties, almost all the Hindi lyricists were real poets and they have written beautiful, timeless poetic gems. And they have conveyed such high philosophy so effortlessly, for which the pundits struggle. I can give hundred of examples. But a handful will sufffice.
    1 In the light,song “Chhalia mera naam”, the poet says ‘mehnat mera kaam, dena uska kaam’. Any one with any acquaintance with the Gita will know that this half line conveys the Gia idea ‘Karmanyevadi karaste maphaleshu’
    2.Sankaracharya wrote in his Bhajagovindam “Balastavat kreeda saktaha” etc. How many Indians know it? But a celluloid poet effortlessly writes “ladakpan khel mein khoya, javani neend bhar soya, budhapa dekh kar roya” and through a song lasting 3 minutes it reached millions of ordinary people!
    3.A muslim lyricist, muslim composer and muslim singer resort to a tough classical Raga and sing: man tadpat Hari darshan ko aaj” and it moves the First President of the Indian Republic, a devout Hindu, to tears!
    4. We all believe in karma. But which Hindu pandit has ever explained it simply? We have a muslim lyricist telling in a light-hearted song: “Bura duniya jo hai kehta aisa bhola tu na ban, JO HI KARTA WAHI BHARTA YE YAHAN KA HAI CHALAN” And another muslim poet tells us ;”jo kuch bhi mil gaya usiko muqaddar samaj liya , jo kho gaya main usko bhulata chala gaya.”
    5.We are told in our bhakti literature that bhakti is both sadhana and the object. The journey itself is the destination. and we have a poet telling us in a song :” kadmon ka nishan khud hi manzil ka pata hoga.”
    6. We all long for a drop of the divine grace. Do we have a simple sloka which moves? Listen to the song: Tu pyar ka saga hai” and you will know what I mean.
    7. It is easy to criticise any one for somethng or the other. Even the showman. But listen to some of the songs picturised on him. ” Jana anjana kaun, apna begana kaun, apne dil se hi poocho, dil ko pehchana kaun; phal mein lut jata hai, euhin beh jata hai, shadi kisi ki ho, apna dil gata hai”. And again: “Kisiki muskurahaton pe ho nissar, kisi ke dard mil sake to le udhar, kisike vaste ho tere dil mein pyar, jina isi ka naam hai”. Can we express fraternal feelings in simpler or more sublime terms? And in two popular songs, he used the words of saints/ the wise to express timeless sentiments :
    – Zahid sharab peene de, masjid mein baith kar’
    Ya wo jagah batade jahapar khuda na ho’.
    -Rangiko narangi kahe, bane dudh ko khoya
    Chalti go gari kahe, dekh Kabira roya.
    And they reached millions in no time.
    In the 40s, even in the South, two songs were very popular with our mothers, who used to sing them, especially when they felt dejected:
    – ab tere siva kaun mera Kishna Kanhaiya, Bhagavan kinare se laga de meri nayya.
    People who know Durga Suktam will realise the true import of the last part of this line.
    – Bharat ke ek sunnari ki hum katha sunathe hain.
    No one has ever written more glorious or moving lines on Mother Sita!

    I can give hundreds of such examples.

    The point is, democratisation has led to dilution of standards and deterioration in public taste in all spheres. Cinema also reflects it. But look around: Are our Universities like what they were 50 years ago? Our doctors? Our temples? What England faced in the Victorian age, we are facing now. But England had critics like a Matthew Arnold or poets like a Browning or Tennyson to counter it and caution and enthuse people. India lacks them.The upper strata and the middle class have become philistine, and the populace is soon catching up with them.

    We read in the sastra that nectar and poison came from the same place. This is the nature of this world- misra lokam. We have to choose what we want- deliberately. Why sit before the idiot box , when you do not approve of the contents? Why watch films when you don’t like them? At least on the PC, one has the whole world of unlimited knowledge before him, on choice.

    Our films are bad, media are bad, politics is bad. Which form of Art, or aspect of human endeavour is free from taint today? But we have alternatives, surely. That is what we have to explore. . .
    ( Incidentally, i have not seen films for the last 40 years, and have never watched TV. As to why we should not watch TV, see the book: 4 Arguments for The Elimination of TV by Jerry Mander.)

    • Dharam

      I think the author has already clarified that except music ….rest is trash. Your argument may be valid but even the author is not wrong. You never judge a thing based on exceptions! If bollywood makes 90 percent nonsense films and 10 percent sensible cinema then discarding it as trash is more rrealistic analysis than declaring it great. Hope you got the message?

      • R Nanjappa

        Sir, I am also essentially in agreement with the author. All that I wished to convey is that the malaise is deeper, and has infected all aspects of life, not confined to cinema or entertainment alone.. This is the very nature of modernism. And this is not only in India. No artistic form can appeal to all sections of society. Even Shakespeare had to provide something for ‘the pit’: the educated may appreciate the poetry and the philosophy, but the others watch it as play! Creative work will always be an exception. Even in the West, how many Saving Private Ryans have been there? Genius is exceptional How many novels like “To Kill a Mocking Bird” have been written in the last 50 years? We can never make the masses understand or appreciate classical poetry, or anything of class. As Jacques Ellul showed in his book The Technological Society (1964), every technological advance would only cater to the baser instincts, push them lower, and would eliminate all notion of morality ( or we may say, even decency) because even that will be defined in tems of or to suit technology!.He said that a “press of high intellectual tone and high moral elevation” was not likely to be read- in fact, technology has made it almost impossible (uneconomical) to sustain such an effort. Cinema, like the press, is the victim of its own technological fix, and grammar, and would only sink further.
        In the light of this, we should be thankful that there are exceptions, at least!
        When we say a lamp burns, it is only the tip of the wick that burns! If society, or an industry, or art, can produce one such exception, it has justified itself.

        • Dharam

          Your argument is valid but in no way makes irrelevant the fact that we still have to continue bringing the negatives of cinema to forth so that our current and coming generation can see for themselves and hence choose tthe better if they are not driven by baser instincts. This writer has done this job pretty well. Even a broken clock shows right times twice a day but can we then say that the clock is working perfectly? I won’t say it. Better to call a spade a spade. And you again taking analogy from West that even they have this negativity. Come on friend…. so west have it so we too must have it is beyond my understanding! Why not to create our own standard and let west follow it? Anything appealing to baser instincts is bound to succeed only when we fail to teach our coming generation dharmic values and let them float in ignorance and illusion created by bollwood and the likes. It requires character and effort to remain good and pure. Giving in to baser instincts is easiest but surest way to downfall of humans. But character is built not in vaccum but on the foundation of dharmic values. I appreciate this writer to break the walls of ignorance surrounding this phenomenon called boollywood. My father used to stop us from watching bollywood. We used to get angry. But today when I look back then I can surelyy say that bollywood has done more damage to my character than any good. I wont judge it by one goood movie out of hundred. I would still give it 1/100 marks. Regional vernacular documentaries are far more sensible and educative than this non sensical bollywood. In kaliyuga bad things win because we all are carried away by baser instincts. It is unfortunate. Had I known these subtleties earlier, I would have far purer soul than I am now. Hope that bollywood does some course correction and if they don’t which they won’t tthen better to keep our kids away from bollywood. Those few exceptions could be shown to impressionable young minds by filtering them from rest garbage. This way we can protect them from harmful shameless effects of so called bollywood.

          • Suresh

            Good point on bollywood but entire media is anti indian generically and All the movie business all over the country is the same. Having said this the article does look one sided and emotional. One thing dharmic writers need to understand is to use facts and then build a story around it. The commies are past masters in this. we still have to learn the art of information- they have mastered the politics of disinformation.

          • guest

            But today when I look back then I can surely say that bollywood has done more damage to my character than any good. I wont judge it by one goood movie out of hundred. I would still give it 1/100 marks. Regional vernacular documentaries are far more sensible and educative than this non sensical bollywood. In kaliyuga bad things win because we all are carried away by baser instincts. It is unfortunate. Had I known these subtleties earlier, I would have far purer soul than I am now.

            Great Point… be noted and read over and over again….agreed. I have been working on this as well for a while and write about how a land of sita creates notions of munni and other cheap item songs. All our scriptures have love stories, but love that comes from the heart and is sustained for lifetimes. Not this term we have gotten from the west titled ‘relationship. Then there is a case of topics and plots that bollywood looks at. Earlier it looked outwardly, and inwardly. Inner strength and outer reflection. Now is just the focus on me, mine and myself.

    • NK Sarma

      Even the article agrees that music was good earlier, which includes musicians, singers, lyricists etc. Why are you arguing?

      If it was me, I would have blamed that as well, because bollywood music symbolizes cheating and misleading. Actors move lips while someone else sings, someone else writes the song, some other compose music, many others play music. Lyrics were invariably having double meaning, sexist attitude, that why that generation of movie watchers are so crooked now. Bollywood music industry is as much a sham as the movie industry is.

      • R Nanjappa

        You surely have a point, but it should not be stretched too far. What about a carnatic musician singing the kritis of Tyagaraja or the Geetas of Purandaradadasa? They too are faking the sentiments, uttering the words of some one else, which do not come from the depth of any truth they have themselves felt or discovered! And the irony when a singer sings ‘Nidhi chala sukhama’ after accepting money for the performance! And the same applies to drama-acting also, even the mythological ones. On this basis, all arts are to be shunned! No one except a composer can sing his own songs! And none except a Vyasa can appear on stage as Vyasa!

        The point in art is its ability to inspire, no matter its origin. Like the lotus flower- rising from muddy waters. That is why the authorities say even a fake ‘guru’ is to be respected: he may be fake, but the inspiraion he provides may not be. But if we go stricty according to our scriptures, the ‘Lalita kalas’ are to be performed and appreciated within strict limits, under strict rules as they have a tendency to distract the mind. Plato too said in the Republic that music and poetry should be banned in the ideal kingdom, as they misrepresent facts and mislead the mind. Poets always exaggerate, and their appreciation calls for wlling suspension of disbelief. If we go on like this, no art is possible, or permissible!

        Modern life has thrown up many forms of entertainment. Whether they become a form of art or mere sham is in the hands of the artists, and the audience. The tendency is for standards to get diluted in course of time- like water running down. This is what we witness everywhere- in education, judiciary, administration, medical practice, etc. No authority can enforce standards, as the standards themselves get altered, in these times of popular rule. We cannot stop these things-they are part of the Time-Spirit.. We can only make a personal choice. What does mere wholesale comdemnation achieve? When there is foul smell all around, and we have no power to stop it, the only practical thing for us to do is to cover our nose. In these times, can we enforce our standards even on our youngsters in our own families? Can we raise Rishyasringas now?

        • NK Sarma

          You are misleading. I had a clear thought when I accused cine music. In sastriya sangeet, performer’s role is not same as a movie singer. Carnatic singer is the one who is ‘seen’, who ‘sings’, who ‘composes the music based on a raga, articulates his kalpana and music knowledge’, who ‘personally enjoys, feels the bhava behind the script’, all without any personal assistance from original writer. Thats why music an art and it encompasses a wholesome knowledge. So, carnatic is an art, bollywood is not. Comparing drama and cinema will end up too long for this space. Exaggeration is the beauty of poetry as an art. Thats the greatness of this art. Bollywood misleads and deceives. Please don’t compare poetic exaggeration and bollywood deception. I will not shun even a single art, but bollywood is not an art, again. Bollywood is a business and a political platform. Ofcourse, exceptions confirm the rule. Rest of your response, though well written, is devoid of context.

          • R Nanjappa

            Sir, again your point is well taken. Cinema is bad- there is no question about it. Cine music is also bad? All of it is bad? Well, this is where i beg to differ. I feel that we can separate the music from the movie and enjoy the former alone.

            It is true, most of the movie music is rotten, with vulgarity hardly concealed. But then, look at some of our padams, javalis. Are they not capable of double meaning? Look at even Kumarasambhavam of Kalidasa. Does it not contain portions which cannot be explained, with ease,to a class of co-eds today?

            Take even the main music. Do the artists really bring out the raga and sahitya bhavas both, well? Over the years, I have seen only Palghat K.V.Narayanswami immerse himself so much in the bhavas that he would lose his way and words in a concert., so that he had to be rescued by his co-artistes.

            Then take the lakshana prescribed for the performing artist.How many stick to it? How many can sing without needless movements of their arms and contorting their face? Again , over the years i have seen only Voleti Venkateswarulu and Mani Krishnawamy perform in the prescribed manner! And how many of them actually use the tambura for sruti now? They have the electronic sruti box! But Sri Tyagaraja says: Mudduga tambura betti!

            If we judge like this, no art today will pass muster. But we have learned to take what matters and ignore the rest. This is what we have to do in respect of cine music too. Cinema cannot be banned. cine music cannot be banned. So what do we do? I am only asking whether we cannot make something out of a bad bargain. Today politics is bad, business is bad, education is bad, medical practice is bad, judiciary is bad, media is bad.. But what will happen if all the sober, good elements decide to abandon them, because they are bad? Will they not become even worse?

            We had a fine I&B minister, B.V.Keskar who banned cine music on AIR. He even banned Harmonium on it. But eventually what happened? Cine music entered AIR with a vengeance, a whole new branch was created for it! if we do not evolve with the times, we will be totally swept away.
            I agree that cinema is bad. I do not see that cine music is totally bad. All I am saying is that since we cannot stem the tide, can we not tame it at least?

            ( You may again say all this is beside the point! Any way,you have given nice foof for thought.. Thank you.)

          • NK Sarma

            sir you are mixing up art and the artist. Art is absolute, artists can be good bad worst and unbearable. Just because there are bad musicians does not mean sastriya sangeet itself has got corrupted. Diamond remains diamond whether people treat it as a glass or a mere stone, loss is peoples not the diamond’s. The science of carnatic music stays the same. I understand your point about flexibility and continuous change. I totally agree that we should not be rigid and I’m not rigid either. But change should be for betterment, that is evolution. And our arts encourage change, they are never rigid. Besides, my view was about the fact that cine music industry is a deceptive political corrupt platform and its unjust to compare it with the classical music as an art. I am really surprised that seemingly learned person like you could compare a literary work like kumarasambhavam that is celebrated by scholars to cinema vulgarity that is force fed on kids and youth. Also, you are misunderstanding my criticism against the cine music as something against the quality of music produced by the industry. Occasional good lyrics and good tunes are still coming. Still, the music industry is deceptive and corrupt and anti-evolution. Thanks for your views too, I rest.

  • Avinash Jain

    very well articulated….

  • northernobserver

    I would love to see a truly historic Indian film that deals with the barbarism and brutality of the Islamic jihad. You could also make a good picture about Sikh afghan wars. But the green money won’t let it happen.

  • stdps1080

    Wrote something like this a few months ago.

    I admire the new-found rage in the authors of your website. THIS IS HOW the raw energy of the youth be channelized.

    • pradeep

      i have read it, and its superb, please share similar stuff if you know of any..

    • did you write that? if you have I’ll help you understand the root cause.

      • stdps1080

        yes, why ?

  • Sshankara

    Very well said sir. Well played!

  • Barbaric Opinion

    Nice article.
    As long as there are morons who flock to the cinema halls to watch these stupid flicks,these 45+ uncles will continue as “actors” doing the same thing over and over again.
    And I get pissed off when the Bollywood bimbos behave as if Hindi cinema is Indian cinema.
    Other languages make same kind of stupid stuff but they come up with 3-4 good films every year but except for the new directors coming up with some good stuff,Hindi cinema is nothing but the non-existent benign face of Islamism subtly packaged as Indian culture.

  • Dr. MS

    I watched a Bollywood masala movie, and walked out in the middle, way back in the late 70s. Never went to a theater for it. Not even now.

    You article points out the obvious. But thanks for pushing it in…good thing.

    But kindly remember Socialism should not be romanticizing poverty. That is not what Socialism does. Poverty is cruel, grueling, painful and dehumanizing. And poor people, like rich people, are a diverse bunch. But some poor people are forced to change their personality, or give up having any personality, due to acute or chronic poverty. Socialism actually de-romanticizes poverty.

    Socialism actually tries to get people out of poverty by giving them the basics. and making it universal. So, the author got it wrong….It is feudalism, capitalistic manipulation (that goes with the populist sentiment without solving problems) and Christianization or Islamization of India, where the poor are shown to inherit the Kingdom of God (Christ like) or the poor are shown as more honorable, generous and of high morality, that romanticizes poverty. The latter is a pure historical bastardization of Indian poverty and romanticization of poverty. It has nothing to do with Socialism…it has to do with a very perverse manipulation of the truth for capitalistic profits in the entertainment industry.