A discussion regarding how courtesans and prostitutes are portrayed in popular culture has been triggered by the recent controversy surrounding the romanticization of these women in Bollywood. The life of a courtesan in pre-partition India’s red-light district is portrayed in the upcoming film “Heeramandi.” Bollywood is infamous for putting societal topics on the table recklessly. The new cake-bake formula is the vicious and poisonous exaltation of prostitution, referring to these women as “queens.”
Even though courtesans were the offspring of a highly complex patriarchal society that was inspired by the Islamic harem culture, the movie romanticizes their lives and paints them in a favorable light. There is a trend in movies that feature exploited women. Courtesans and prostitutes are frequently portrayed in Bollywood films as powerful, self-reliant women who have control over their lives and destinies.

Wokeism, which has already taken hold in the dumb reel and short film industries, pushes young girls and women to consume anything presented to them. In essence, this is a mockery of the women who were coerced into this line against their choice. Their suffering has been minimized, and to present it as something deserving of praise is pitiful.

The way that courtesans and prostitutes are portrayed in popular culture has helped to normalize prostitution. The unpleasant realities of the industry are sometimes disregarded because it is perceived as a way for women to support themselves. Women have been used as a result of this normalization, especially those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Due to a lack of resources and poverty, teenage girls who are driven into prostitution.

In addition, Bollywood’s romanticization of women has helped to reinforce negative gender stereotypes. portraying them as objects of desire rather than as agents and autonomous persons The objectification and sexualization of women in society has also been facilitated by this.

But the truth is very different from this representation. Due to tyranny from society, lack of education, and poverty, courtesans and prostitutes were sometimes forced into the industry. Their lives were governed by strong men who frequently treated them like little more than objects of pleasure, and they were the targets of physical and sexual abuse. Therefore, anything that compromises human dignity in Bollywood becomes a means of pushing a new agenda. Bollywood has often demonstrated via examples that it is hellbent on debunking lies in the name of artistic freedom.

Both the contemporary “Gangubai Kathiawadi” and the film Umrao Jaan were inappropriate productions. They are attempting to demonstrate that Bharat as a country lacks great women, including those from common backgrounds. They’ll create an illusion by doing this.

The false sense of freedom and leading a life on one’s own terms. Yet, observe how subtly they will conceal the pervasive chaining of women within their own Social circles. A girl cannot take the first step towards fame if she does not work as a producer’s assistant or director’s assistant. This terrible circumstance gave rise to modern-day prostitution.

An unfavorable trend that leads to the normalizing of prostitution is the romanticization of courtesans and prostitutes in Bollywood. As vital as it is to recognize the cultural and historical significance of red-light districts and courtesans, it is also critical to recognize the brutal realities of the industry and the exploitation of women. Bollywood must be strongly imitated, along with its negative agenda.


Source: Jaipur Dialogues

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