If there is one thing that our left-liberal ecosystem is actually good at, it is the art of justifying one kind of discrimination while criticizing another. As such, it doesn’t come as a surprise if, in the name of removing the ‘menace’ of the so-called Islamophobia, they actually end up promoting Hinduphobia. Quite interestingly, the elite wing of Bollywood has been an important tool in peddling this nasty propaganda for years. They succeeded as well to a significant extent, until 2019.
If 2018 was anything to go by, the Indian audiences are now fed up of such absurd propaganda served to them in the name of entertainment. With the sole exception of ‘Veere Di Wedding’, and to an extent, ’Sanju’, people have now begun to reject blatant Hinduphobia peddled in movies backed by the elite Bollywood.
With the advent of 2019, it seems that the Indian audience has banged the doors on the face of the Hinduphobia peddled by elite Bollywood. While the content-oriented faction of Bollywood raised the notch with movies like ‘Uri – the Surgical Strike’,’Manikarnika’,’Thackeray’etc., the elite Bollywood seemed to go back to its old ways, with movies like ‘Why Cheat India’, ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’, etc.
While ‘Why Cheat India’ was directed by Soumik Sen starring the likes of Emraan Hashmi, ’Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ was directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar, starring the likes of Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Juhi Chawla among others. Both were movies that looked offbeat and attempted to cover sensitive issues like education mafia in the early 2000s and homosexuality respectively.
However, a keen eye couldn’t have missed the Hinduphobia that the makers had tried to pass off in the name of entertainment. In ‘Why Cheat India’, our protagonist, Rakesh Singh, is a devout Hindu, who mostly wears a tilak and offers prasad from various temples to his gullible students as he executes his nefarious schemes.
On the other hand, ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ portrayed the family of Anil Kapoor in the movie as extremely regressive and conservative when it came to homosexuality, and also mocked the murky issue of ‘Love Jihad’ in the face. The liberalism of the elite Bollywood works in mysterious ways you know.
The audience, however, had other plans for both the movies. While ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’, made on a budget of Rs.35 crores, is struggling to recover its budget, ‘Why Cheat India’ has massively flopped at the box office, barely managing to earn some 10 crores overall on a total budget of Rs. 27 crores. The message was clear, propaganda won’t be tolerated in the name of entertainment.
This stern stance of the Indian audience is just not limited to the silver screen. Web series ‘Four More Shots Please’, starring actors like Sayani Gupta, Bani J, Maanvi Gagroo, Prateik Babbar, Kirti Kulhari etc., tried to cash in on the ongoing ‘Me Too movement’, as well as the success of the rather pathetic ‘Veere Di Wedding’. However, the way the protagonists mocked the native culture, as well as the masculine gender in the name of women empowerment, was hidden from none. Consequently, the web series has very few takers, just like ‘Ghoul’, which flopped due to the same flaws in the content.
This is not the end of the story. The road to propaganda free Bollywood is quite long and tough. However, with such a welcome response by the Indian audience in 2019, we are hopeful of a bright future. Authentic content is once again being respected, and that is a good sign for things to come.