Indian movies
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Ban Bollywood or screen its product, the subject is debatable and reactions form a broad range of opinions. Everyone has the right to hold their view, mine is that Indian movies should be banned. Though, I’m not an extremist or fanatic person rather a very neutral when it comes to entertainment. I’ve been watching Bollywood movies over the years, but the popular content recently churned out is increasingly vulgar, flimsy and debauched. The portrayal of woman is merely a showpiece. The item songs and attire are a faux pas. These movies carry overdose of so-called masala ever so crossing the limit of decency. One can’t watch these with family anymore.

Uplifting the ban just before the black day?

There is another compelling reason for taking up this topic. I recently met someone who sarcastically remarked on 5th Feb saying, ‘here we are condemning Indian state act against Kashmiris and two days ago we allowed Bollywood movies to be screened across Pakistan’. This comment struck a chord and fuelled my writing. This is the purely double standard by our Government.

Read more: Pakistani Cinema’s Future: Issues beyond Raees, Mahira & Shahrukh Khan

Is patriotism limited to media campaigns? Why can’t we remain steadfast in our decisions? India often uses sports and media as tools to isolate Pakistan. We don’t take any cues and keep pleading for playing cricket and importing movies to potatoes. When Indian movies were stopped, did our lives get halted? No, nothing changed; we kept moving with our everyday life.

Need to promote Pakistan’s diverse culture

Our culture is so diverse and rich in its history. We need to focus on our heritage and promote it to preserve small but vital differences that define us! The languages we speak sound similar but vary significantly in vocabulary and manuscript.

‘here we are condemning Indian state act against Kashmiris and two days ago we allowed Bollywood movies to be screened across Pakistan’

Our dialect is not comparable to any other language in the world. The respect of elders and delicacy are hallmark of Urdu language. Our cinema and TV provides a great opportunity to promote these values. Our movies need not copy dear neighbour blindly. Our actresses shed their clothes to emulate the standards of Indian movies. The current trend of Item songs is obscene and total waste of time.

We can rather portray women as agents of change. Our proud art traditions are already fading away under the barrage of Turkish and Indian dramas.Our culture is so diverse and rich in its history. We need to focus on our heritage and promote it to preserve small but vital differences that define us! The languages we speak sound similar but vary significantly in vocabulary and manuscript.

Hollywood movies

Hollywood movies with all their extravaganza make belief concepts still have some lessons and less spotlight on vulgarity. At least one can watch with family and censor board can easily edit select parts where applicable. The dominant plots in Bollywood flicks such as infidelity, live in relations are so obnoxiously narrated with cliché concepts that one can easily give them a miss. To re-evaluate my perception regarding current lot of Bollywood movies, I recently went to watch a big banner flick “Kaabil” which was extensively played at multiplexes. Unfortunately, it was quite graphic and a few dialogues required serious parental guidance. It has reaffirmed my view that we are not missing on any special entertainment by keeping away.

Read more: Why boundaries in music exist between India & Pakistan?

Credit to domestic film industry

On the other hand, we should throw some light to the fact that population of India is 1.3 billion in comparison to Pakistan’s 200 million. India is one of the largest economies in the world. It’s GDP is approximately 10 times larger than that of Pakistan. Their industry is catering to a large domestic market as well as overseas Indian diaspora resulting in high earnings from movies. Therefore, we should give some credit to our film business for still producing some fine work with par excellence actors.

Our actors should realise their potential and work in own industry rather running off to India where they are undervalued and often used in second tier. This not only leaves them creatively less fulfilled but also weakens the local art scene. It’s more like our people migrating abroad and contributing to other economies, hence, Pakistan suffers from a constant case of brain drain.

we should give some credit to our film business for still producing some fine work with par excellence actors.

We should always count our blessings and appreciate good aspects in our society. This rule should be extended to cinema, where we must back good work produced with much smaller resources and be proud of it rather demeaning it. Victor Hugo has rightly said, “change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.”

Summing it up, the ban should persist till we have established our own Lollywood industry. For once, multiplex owners keep aside their selfish motives and let our cinema grow!

Saba Waqas lives in Islamabad. With interests in cooking, traveling, and exploring various cultures, additionally, she writes articles regarding social matters.

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