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[Lahore College for women university]

Portrait of Muslims in Indian Movies


Study on Bollywood industry

[2014]

Contents
Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 3 Rational for study .......................................................................................................................................... 4 Objectives of the report ................................................................................................................................ 4 Significance of the study ............................................................................................................................... 4 Literature review........................................................................................................................................... 5 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................................... 7 Reference ...................................................................................................................................................... 8

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Introduction This report is a detailed analysis of how Indian movies portrays Muslims as a whole. If anyone wants to see the real face of India, all one has to do is to randomly pick up few flicks of a decade and see the changes taking place in India over a period of time. In this context the representation of Muslims is something interesting to focus at as this succulently portray the changing face of the community since independence of the country. Muslim characters in the Bollywood movies have witnessed a sanguine change over the time scale. From being Badshas, Nawabs and aristocrats they are reduced to tramps and gun totting Jehadis on the Hindi screen now. The gradual but systematic erosion of the Muslim characters in the Bollywood films silently tells the story how Muslims have fallen places in the Indian society. Ironically some of the shining names of the community today are related with the Indian entertainment industry. There has been dramatic changes in the bollywood industry in portraying Muslims. Specially after 9/11. The responsibility of this incident was laid upon Muslims by the west. After that, Muslims are blamed as terrorists all over the world without any discrimination of gender or age. The wave of terrorism and the picture of Muslims as terrorist, invaded the world almost at the same time. Indian film industry took a benefit of this situation and they started to present Muslims as terrorists in their films. Movies were made on the subject of terrorism and only Muslims were shown as terrorists who were fostering terrorism not only in India but in the whole world. Indian film industry has also been showing the Kashmir freedom fighters as militants and terrorists. There was a great deal of work done by Indian cinema on Muslims in general and Pakistan in particular showing them as terrorists who were involved in all sort of terrorists acts whether it is in India, Kashmir or elsewhere. Pakistan being a leading Muslim country and arch rival of India is portrayed as the shelter provider to all the terrorists.

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Rational for study 1. The study will focus on the image of Muslims in Indian movies. 2. The study is important as there is a increasing role of Indian movies in portraying Muslims in negative way. 3. We need to understand why they are doing this. 4. We need to find out what are the impact of this on image of Muslim community all over the world, especially Pakistan. 5. The issue was chosen for research because terrorism and Muslims are the burning issues especially after 9/11.

Objectives of the report 1. This research study aims to investigate the attempts of Indian cinema whether or not it is portraying Muslims as bad people. 2. To investigate how badly it is effecting the Muslim community. 3. Is Indian cinema presenting a negative image of Islam?

Significance of the study Aftermath the incident of 9/11, the word terrorists was glued to Muslims. Taking advantage of this, Bollywood film industry took the privilege of accusing Muslims as terrorists. They showed the Muslims as terrorists most of the time. This is the image which they have been portraying of Muslims especially since 9/11.A new opinion is trying to be made in the society by this film industry. Many movies also depict that the troublesome Muslims of India, more or less, are supported by Pakistan. Pakistan also supports the militants of Kashmir. Many popular films were made on the negative image of Muslims like Bombay, Fiza, Anwar, Ab Tumharay Hawalay Watan Sathiyoo, Company, Underworld, Encounter etc.
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The attempt of Indian cinema about portraying Muslims as bad people is a serious matter. The issue was chosen for research because terrorism and Muslims are the burning issues especially after 9/11. The global media has been very critical on this issue. Bollywood is also playing an ample role to fuel the fire with regard to portraying Muslim image as terrorists. This research study aims to investigate the attempts of Indian cinema whether or not it is portraying Muslims as bad people.

Literature review Mahmood(2004) depicts that effect from the movies is not only in social structure but also in other areas. Like one can find India playing matches well after watching the Chak De Indiaor the family functions are marked by the songs and dances played in Sooraj R.Barjatya movies. The college going students watch the movies to copy the latest trends and hair styles or dresses. Many times people finds the way of talking is effected by the movie dialogues. Parsad and Madhave (2004) say that the Indian film industry is the largest around the globe with regard to ticket sales and number of films produced annually (877 feature films and 1177 short films were released in the year 2003 alone). The industry is primarily supported by the huge cinema going Indian public. The Central Board of Films Certification of India mentions on its website that millions of Indian inhabitants visit cinema halls every month. Indian films are popular in various parts of world, especially in countries with significant Indian communities. Mishra and Gho (2003) describe that terrorism and low intensity conflicts are not new in South Asia but the 9/11 incidents consequently gave the events a new direction. From regional, terrorism acquired global concern and changed perspective. Raman (2008) tells that India has been facing a similar danger of increased penetration of terrorists from Pakistan as a result of the relaxation of the restrictions on the anti-India terrorist organizations. Moreover, after a quiet period of two years, there have again been reports of violations of cease-fire by the Pakistan Army along the Line of Control (LOC) in J&K.
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Thoraval (2000) says that Bollywood has been recently significantly criticized for violation of Indian cultural values and its dialogue of controversial topics. It is considered the most liberal out of the Indian language film industries. Regional movies are usually different from Bollywood (Hindi) movies, as the story and theme of these movies portray the culture of the region from which they originate, while most Bollywood movies now days are heavily influenced by the Western culture. Goswani (2006) says that younger generation is copying the characters of films, and the typical terms related to drugs are now in fashion. Youth gets a lot of impact through movies and they try to imitate the characters. They think that all which is shown in movies is fashionable and something cool, and if they adopt all these things then they have recognition in the society and people will look up to them. Same is the case with violence; the underworld things are being cute and are hip n cool, Tarpati (2007) says that the recent Taray Zameen Per starring Darsheel Sarfary and Aamir Khan, compelled many parents to question the current educational system. Furthermore, it caused parents to look at their own parenting techniques and how they have influenced their children. Whitney (2006) explains that the media is a vital part of the state power-structure. In its practical application, it is more valuable than the military. There are definite drawbacks of using force; whereas, propaganda and public relations tend to be less inconvenient to the normal flow of business. The medias prime objective is to shape public opinion, and reshape it again if needed.

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Conclusion The literature review advances the notion that Indian movies portray the image of Muslims as bad people and it also indicates the Hindu mind set about the Muslims. The Indian media needs to reiterate this identity of the faithful Muslim with his understanding of Islam being seen through a new prism every time. It is not in the reverence for the religion of the foreigner, nor in the ordeal of a faith, which is sadly misinterpreted as the face of violence, that Islam should be captured. Surely, the Indian mass media does try the trick of dodging this question of how Islam is not the Jehadis weapon to salvation nor is it the worshippers call to pray namaaz. It does encapsulate various strands of the perennially intriguing faiths multiple nuances. However, in its attempt to help secular bonhomie, the Indian films much-contrived and sometimes fictitious affection for weaving different faiths together will also do. It is very clear from the study that the Indian movies portray the image of Muslims as bad people and it also indicates the Hindu mind set about the Muslims. From this we can conclude many things such as, the Hindi movies are portraying Muslims in a negative way because it is the perception of Hidus about Muslims. But another question comes in mind i.e. what about all the Muslims in India. As Raman (2008) identified in his study that mostly the negative mentality of Bollywood is for the Pakistani Muslims not Indian Muslims. However there are movies which portrays negative image of Indian Muslims as well, but it can be considered as balancing terms. Another reason for doing this could be because of the perception the Hindu viewers and the western world wants to see the negative image of Muslims after 9/11. It is clear from the literature review that such acts of Bollywood industry is effecting image of Muslims all over the world. As many people believe what is portrayed in these movies. But people who are in direct or indirect relation or contact with the Muslims knows that it is wrong.

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Reference Goswani, Hemant. (2006). Usage of tobacco and Bollywood. Retrieved on Jan 31, 2006 from http://www.emro.who.int/tfi/...../job_kills_it_shouldn_tbe_

advertiseden.pdf Goswani, Hemant. (2006). Usage of tobacco and Bollywood. Retrieved on Jan 31, 2006 from http://www.emro.who.int/tfi/...../job_kills_it_shouldn_tbe_

advertiseden.pdf Mahmood, Zainab. (2004). Changing culture. Retrieved on September 16, 2007 from http://www.managementhelp.org/org_perf/culture.html Mishra, Omprakash & Gho, Sucheta. (2003). Terrorism and Low Intensity Conflict in South Region. Manak Publication. Muni, S.D. (2006). Responding to Terrorism in South Asia. Manohar Publication. Prasad, Madhav. (2008). Ideology of the Hindi films: A Historical Construction. Retrieved on March 5, 2008 from

http://www.amazon.com/ideology.hindi.films/dp/0195652959 Saeed, Yousaf. (2007). Stereotypes of Indian Muslims. Retrieved on August 19, 2007 from http://www.tasveerghar.net/mstereo/ Sikand, Yoginder. (2006). Muslims in India: Contemporary, Social and Political Discourses. Hope Indian publications. Whitney, Mike. (2006). Traditional media as instruments to shape public opinion and to elicit support for the corporate agenda. Retrieved on November 28, 2008 fromhttp://www.masternewmedia.org/..../traditional_media_as_instruments_to.ht ml/

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