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Category Archives: Socio Political

STEREOTYPES IN INDIAN CINEMA

by Team FUCCHA

  fe220f98-edb8-43ea-a4c1-0a86086b5bc8wallpaper1 Our general perception about things is that with time everything goes through a transformation period. Change is the rule of nature. But is this rule applicable to all fields of life? I would say, not really. Yes, changes do take place with passing time but only to some extent. There are some things which remain stagnant. Here, I am talking about the stereotypes in Indian cinema. No matter how vast is the history of Indian cinema or how old is the Indian cinema, there are some stereotypes that were there in the past and are still prevalent in the Hindi movies. Indian cinema is now more than 100 years old which means, it is obvious that it must have gone through several phases and many changes. Stories, music, presentation everything has changed, but some stereotypes are intact. There are some characters that are portrayed, in the Hindi movies, in a very stereotypical way. There may be no reality in that but still they are presented in the same way. With a very few exceptions, Indian cinema typecasts the religious minorities and portray them unrealistically. [caption id="attachment_22965" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Shahrukh Khan in the movie My Name Is Khan Shahrukh Khan in the movie My Name Is Khan[/caption] Firstly let’s talk about the portrayal of Sikhs in our Hindi movies. Sikhs are presented as people who are very loud by nature, foodies, drunkards, party lovers and lively characters. But do you think that these features are applicable for all the Sikhs? Obviously not. But in most of the movies they are shown like this. It somehow misleads the audience. A person who has never come across a sikh person in his or her whole life will acquire a wrong perception about them. According to the well-known film critic, Anupama Chopra, the reason for the ‘punjabification’ of Bollywood is that “Hindi films are larger than life, robust…..they are all about vivaciousness and masti which is the classic Punjabi stereotype.” Movies like Son Of Sardar, Singh Is King, Gadar- Ek prem Katha follows the popular stereotype about the Sikhs in Hindi cinema. But there are some exceptions too. Movies like Pinjar, Veer Zaara, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag presented the Sikhs very authentically. Sikhs are not the only one who are portrayed in a stereotypical way, there are other minorities as well with whom various stereotypes are attached. Muslims are the largest religious minority group in India. Muslims in Hindi movies is mostly presented as characters who are not trustworthy when it comes to the security of the nation. They are often portrayed as terrorists. A Muslim woman’s character in the movies is of a shy, beautiful girl who is bounded by the conservative mentality of her family. Some movies that portrayed Muslims in a stereotypical way include Umrao Jaan, pakeezah, mere Mehboob etc. There are some exceptions also. Movies like Fannah, ishaqzaade , My name is khan, chak de India give us the glimpse of reality. Parsi community which hardly constitutes 0.0002 per cent of the Indian population is also not untouched by stereotypical presentation. Despite the huge influence of parsis on the industry, parsi characters in the movies remain stereotyped. Parsi men are depicted as foolish and eccentric, wearing a black cylindrical cap called kippah and white coats and driving vintage cars. Similarly parsi women are shown as wearing pastel-colored saris with sleeveless blouses and are generally loud-mouthed. They all speak in a distinctive accent. Exceptions are some of the recent movies like Ferrari ki sawaari and Shireen Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi. There are other communities like Christians and people from south India whose characters in the film are usually stereotyped. Christian characters are presented as ‘loose’ and ‘immoral’. Most south Indian characters are ‘madarasis’ who keep on saying ayyayyo-ayyoyya. Hindi cinema, thus, presents a distorted picture of various minority groups. They give a wrong impression of the minor communities and people tend to believe it. This leads to generalization of minority communities. It has some sort of negative impact on the social life of the minorities. Minorities suffer a lot because of this kind of stereotypical presentation of their community and often they suffer from the inescapable stigmas. Filmmakers should consider it as their moral responsibility to give an authentic view of every character they show in their films. Indian cinema has come a long way and it should not be very difficult to break the tradition of unconscious racism and establish a new tradition.


Article contributed by our Guest Writer Shikha Patial. Shikha is a first year student of Mass Communication. She loves to travel. Writing about social issues is something that she always wished to do. While writing she tries to keep it as simple as she can.

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Category Archives: Socio Political

STEREOTYPES IN INDIAN CINEMA

by Team FUCCHA

  Our general perception about things is that with time everything goes through a transformation period. Change is the rule of nature. But is this rule applicable to all fields of life? I would say, not really. Yes, changes do take place with passing time but only to some extent. There are some things which remain stagnant. Here, I am talking about the stereotypes in Indian cinema. No matter how vast is the history of Indian cinema or how old is the Indian cinema, there are some stereotypes that were there in the past and are still prevalent in the Hindi movies. Indian cinema is no