Bollywood and Stereotyping

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Nepotism is one thing that is rotting Bollywood from the inside, but today I am talking about the other, probably less talked about, issue which has been ruining the social atmosphere for decades, the stereotyping.

As such Bollywood artists are always the most vocal for all kinds of social issues. But did anyone show them a mirror? It could easily be the biggest irony that one of the biggest reasons of spread of these issues in the society is the highly negative influence of Bollywood for decades.

These issues like body shaming, or disrespectful representation of LGBTQ, or stereotyping of regional communities like Gorkha, Punjabi, Gujarati, Parasi, Goan, Bengali, “south-Indian” have always been there. Be it the old classics or even the latest releases, you can easily find such references.

Their hypocrisy of standing with “black” community is needless to mention, specially after having seen how even Indian dark skinned people have been portrayed all these years.

I was reading Quora the other day, and read answers about how Indians are depicted in Hollywood. The Indians were obviously quick to point out, but failed to notice how our own film industry treats compatriots.

Here is a small list just to show case a few highly inappropriate and offensive stereotypes in Bollywood.

  • Accent of south Indian people, For example. Deepika’s character in Chennai express was shown to be a south Indian (Tamil to be precise), she herself is a Konkani, and was raised in Bangalore, but is that how she talks in Hindi? In fact so many south actors working in Hindi cinema, do they all talk like that?
  • A Bengali will almost always be shown as a socialist and a writer.
  • A Punjabi is mostly shown loud and drunkard and ready to fight .
  • A Gujarati, Parsi or Goan will always be portrayed to have a weird accent.
  • A foreign returned youngster will almost always be shown as jumpy bobble-head, with weird accent.
  • A gay person will always be shown lustful.
  • In a group of children, the dumb or devil minded person will always have to be fat.
  • Talking about racism, the leads have to be fair. Still can’t accept dark skinned people? Apparently, Deepika is acceptable to people, but only with brightening makeup. What’s more worrying is, this trend is adapted even in Tamil and Telugu industries as they now often “import” “fair looking” north-Indian actresses.

The list can go on and on. However, the worst part is, Hollywood does this because that sells. Bollywood does it because of subconsciously imbibed racism and stereotypes. It can only call out when others do that, but turns blind when it does on it’s own.

You must watch this video that perfectly narrates the toxicity spread by Bollywood.

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