Bollywood, please stop demonising Muslims

Daredevil

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Bollywood, please stop demonising Muslims


Why do all the villains wear shalwar kameez and have Muslim names? PHOTO: SCREENSHOT

The relationship between Pakistan and India has always been a challenge because of the cultural and religious differences.

However, both governments are trying to promote diplomacy and are trying to formulate resolutions regarding the Kashmir dispute. We must not disregard the 'Aman ki Asha' initiative either, where decisions like releasing prisoners and making amends is being employed. What should be scrutinised and acknowledged is that the media has a great role amidst all of this.

This is especially so for films; film is a medium through which we can influence the general views of the public and tow it in the right direction. Regrettably, most Indian movies happen to depict Muslims and Pakistanis through a predominantly negative lens.

Let me explain how Bollywood films do so in the following points.

Using Muslims' names for terrorists in Indian films:

On one hand, the Indian government pretends to be a true friend to Pakistan and wants to develop good trade relations with us, while on the other hand, Bollywood films have been continuously involved in deteriorating the image of Muslims and Pakistan in particular.

They portray terrorists or gang leaders by using Muslim names such as Ghani bhai, Moosa bhai, Yousuf bhai, etc, for the characters of villains in their films.

Take for instance a very popular movie Qayamat in which three terrorists, Ali, Abbas and a Muslim girl try to obtain money from the Indian government by threatening them. This, as a result, ends up sketching a negative image of Muslims to the whole world, subconsciously convincing people that Muslims are a mean breed.

Portraying Pakistanis as terrorists:

In many other films, Muslims are portrayed as terrorists. It was Kurban in which Saif Ali khan played a lead role and was involved in a terrorist group which planned to attack the US. Yet again, the ruthless terrorist is 'Ehsaan khan' who happens to have roots in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Then there was Sarfarosh where a famed Pakistani vocalist Gulfam Hassan (Naseeruddin Shah) perpetuates and encourages the spread of terrorism in India.

Likewise is the movie Fanaa, where Amir Khan plays a terrorist named Rehan.

Thus,there is an endless list of movies where Pakistanis, and recently, Afghans are implicated which further reinforces the stereotype of Muslims of these countries being terrorists.

Sadly, this fuels the hate and animosity amongst Indians against Islam

In a recent Bollywood film, Agent Vinod, the directors have tried to depict that the Pakistan Army is not loyal towards its duties; the film is pro-Indian in every essence and the villainous characters are shown as the members of the ISI which is completely preposterous. To me, this film is not made for entertainment but is a conspiracy against Pakistan.

Indian films and anti-islamisation:

Many Bollywood movies show Muslims as terrorists and even if this is not the case, they almost always show the mighty villains wearing shalwar kameez, holding a tasbeeh in their hand with surma in their eyes and a taweez around their neck . This in turn reinforces the strongly negative sentiment against Muslims especially Pakistan – as shalwar kameez is a Pakistani national dress.

Distorting the Muslim culture and fundamentals:

Okay now this one I am sure many of us will relate to. I have seen countless movies where apparently, Muslims are shown drinking, harassing women, attending mujras; in short they are shown as hypocrites who preach but don't follow what they preach.

Don't you remember the goons who had beaten up the boy in the movie Tere Naam, were shown to be Muslims (wearing the traditional skullcaps and Arabian red-checked scarves) who abduct or lure Hindu Brahmin women into prostitution?

Sadly, this is not all, Muslim women are not spared either and apparently are suicide bombers as well. Recall Dil se and Dhoka?

Then there are some ridiculous cross-religion love stories where Muslims are the ones who always want to tear apart the two lovers because honour must be protected. Take Veer-Zaara for instance. Here Zaara's fiancee, Raza, who is outraged by the shame Zaara has brought upon him, frames Veer and has him wrongly imprisoned on charges of being an Indian spy.

I assure you, us Muslims are not this farigh (idle) as to sit and conspire against the other religions or nationals; nor do we brew hate against them. Things may have been sour between the two nations in the past, but we have come a long way from it.

Also, don't you think there is a reason for Gangs of Wasseypur to be banned in Kuwait and Qatar? This was done because it was said to be offensive to Muslims. Other countries are finally starting to take stern action and are noticing the disrespect some of these Bollywood movies can confer to the image of Islam and how they can aid Islamophobia.

Hence, it is shameful that our government is doing next to nothing against this open degradation of Muslims and Pakistanis. It is the matter These films are very damaging to Muslims all over the world and have far reacing impacts.

I don't remember Pakistanis publicising Muslims being massacred in India following 9/11 or the genocide of Muslims in Gujarat.

In times where the two countries are trying to resolve their past conflicts and promote peace, we should make it known that such controversial themes and movies can actually hinder the efforts made by our governments.

So please, India, stop demonising Muslims and Pakistanis; instead cleanse the populace of the hate and animosity that has been an age old problem which films seem to be endorsing all the time.

Read more by Mustaqeem here or follow him on Twitter @MustaqeemYousfa
 

Iamanidiot

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I want to see the day when Marathi manoos strip the fat is shahrukh khan
 

A chauhan

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Why the hell Pakistanis watch Indian movies?

BTW He has forgot to mention that a lot of Hollywood movies on terrorism also have Muslim characters as villain now deal with it :taunt: like Executive decision, True lies, Ironman (first villain who dies) and many more :p
 

Daredevil

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The new villains in the American action movies is not russia but Islamic terrorists and Islamic countries.
 

blank_quest

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I like one reply in the comments

Ram Gopal Verma is currently making a movie on 26/11 Mumbai attacks in which there's a character named Ajmal Kasab. And guess what he's a Pakistani Muslim and currently locked in an Indian gaol. He's a real guy and there's nothing artificial about it. I hope you won't mind us showing the truth.
Hilarious!:rofl:
 

[email protected]

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The author of the Blog is a kid just passed out of school, yet to complete his graduation ,

Its ridiculous such juvenile whining supported by factual inaccuracies should garner so much attention.
Its interesting to note though, he's nevertheless something of Bollywood fan.
He sure has watched many more movies that i as an Indian haven't

But i m quite sure the avg Pakistani reader must have found this to be the most sophisticated and mature piece of critical analysis
they would have come across on Express Tribune .

went through his Twitter account ; He's pretty pissed that Bollywood hasn't yet produced a film on Drone attacks .
 
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jbond197

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:lol: Did any one ask the writer of this gem as to how exactly is it anti-Islamic to show a terrorist as terrorist? What can one do if a terrorist happens to be a Pakistani Muslim? Pakistanis obviously won't like it then then they should stop acting like one and people will stop calling them one. Easy, Isn't it? Calling it a Muslim/Islamic issue is shameful as it is nothing more than a Pakistani issue.

How about you catch the Islamic terrorists who are giving bad name to your country and Muslims? But you do the opposite and refuse to get real. Now question to be asked to them is - If one let those suckers to flourish with full state protection then what else one can be labelled as?

Btw, Bollywood shows Pakistani Muslims as ISI agents as well, go watch "Ek tha Tiger". That in my opinion is a big lie because I can't believe ISI will have a hot chick like Kat (Zoya bibi) in their arsenal.. ;)

Gaddar and Veer Zara depicted Pakistanis in good light as well yet Pakistanis had problems with the two. I don't know why they even bother putting an effort in downloading the torrents only to end up cribbing.
 

p2prada

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Interesting,

I thought Islamic terrorists are not considered Muslim by most Muslims. So, why the sudden interest in Islamic terrorists in Bollywood?

Can't wait for a Pro Hitler movie from Israel!!! :troll:
 

A chauhan

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Re:

There are many movies in which Muslims are depicted as great patriots like 'Salim' of the same movie he mentioned - Sarfarosh.

This guy is Pakistan supporter so he is a terrorist supporter too , hence it's disturbing for him to see the selective reality in Indian cinema.
 
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peacecracker

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average pakistani mentality is mixing religion with every thing even films. and they are really proud of that.
 

chase

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Seriously man!

I always have thought bollywood as a film culture which glorifies Muslims!
 

LurkerBaba

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I always have thought bollywood as a film culture which glorifies Muslims!
When I was small I didn't notice that Bollywood was romanticizing Islam and Islamic culture (Movies like Ajooba etc)

Due to Sanskrization of "Hindustani" and decline of the Mumbai underworld, there has been a sharp decrease in this phenomenon.
 

pmaitra

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In the movie Sarfarosh, there was a Hindu bad-guy (astrologer from Rajasthan), another Hindu bad guy (the guy who ambushes a bus and kills the passengers), as well as a Muslim good-guy (police officer).

There was another movie on the Kargil War, the name of which escapes me, where a few Muslim Indian soldiers tore off the green portion of the Indian Flag and attacked a Pakistani camp.

There are plenty of such examples.
 

Jim Street

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In the movie Sarfarosh, there was a Hindu bad-guy (astrologer from Rajasthan), another Hindu bad guy (the guy who ambushes a bus and kills the passengers), as well as a Muslim good-guy (police officer).

There was another movie on the Kargil War, the name of which escapes me, where a few Muslim Indian soldiers tore off the green portion of the Indian Flag and attacked a Pakistani camp.

There are plenty of such examples.
Mirchi Seth...I thought of posting it yesterday....thanks for posting. :D

Are you talking about LOC.....?
 

pmaitra

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^^

I guess. I totally forgot the name, but you know what I am talking about. I think it was LOC.
 

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