Every Tom, Dick, Harry in India knows about the decisive influence the underworld has on the bollywood. Why no movie has been made on atrocities of Aurangzeb, Babur? Why many bollywood movies try to demean the Hindu traditions? If it were secular, it should do the same to all other religions – why Hinduism only? Why no movie has been made on emergency? How Gulshan Kumar got shot in broad daylight near a temple and just one (only one) guy was sentenced? Why a mediocre movie like GullyBoy gets recommended for Oscars. All these point to the intricate nexus between both.
In my wisdom, the reasons could be as follows.
- When the bollywood started picking up in 1960-70s, the movie industry was not given a status of “industry”. What it meant was that any movie production house could not borrow from a bank, financial institution etc. I dont know why. But the outcome of such a policy was that many movie producers borrowed money from underworld. In case of default or bankruptcy the underworld took over the companies. All these increased the influence of underworld on movie industry. However in 2002 govt. did give the movie industry the “industry” status -> this did result to funding from right sources.
- Till early 1990s, foreign movies were not allowed in India. This gave a virtual monopoly to the Bollywood movie producers and also their underworld financers.
- Till 2000s, FDI was not allowed in movie industry. This again resulted the movie industry remain dependent on underworld for funding.
- There is little competition to Hindi movie industry elsewhere from India. Bollywood has virtual monopoly of the Hindi movie industry.
- Last but not the least, the underworld kept an army of criminal elements to discipline any one who did not fall in line. The Govt with this regards enacted strict MCOCA and created special squads to control the underworld.
As we can see subsequent govts have done their bit to reduce the underworld influence by allowing financing from legal sectors. But still the underworld remains deeply entrenched and hence something more needs to be done. I can think of the following:
- Create another alternative to Bolloywood. Once Bollywood would face competition nepotism and star kid culture would reduce and vanish. The Noida film city initiative of Yogiji would go a long way. The govt. should ensure that the film city eventually becomes functional and gives fierce competition to Bollywood. This would also raise the quality of movies being made in both.
- Govt should also make laws to clean up the bad money invested in bollywood by brining in appropriate legislations just as it has done in banking sector.
- Last but not the least, we as citizens boycott the movies which demean national pride, glorify the underworld.
It is in the national interest that Bollywood which influences the brains of millions should be in right hands or else it would pose a national threat.
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