FlippED is an ED Original style wherein two bloggers come together to share their opposing or orthogonal perspectives on an interesting subject.
Bollywood, the vibrant and influential film industry of India, has long been a reflection of the nation’s cultural and social fabric. With its massive reach and fan following, Bollywood often finds itself at the center of discussions surrounding societal trends and political ideologies.
In recent times, the question of whether Bollywood is using Hindutva, a right-wing Hindu nationalist ideology, to promote its movies has emerged as a subject of debate and scrutiny.
Hindutva, a term popularized by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliates, advocates for the cultural, social, and political dominance of Hinduism in India. It promotes the idea of a Hindu nation and asserts the primacy of Hindu values, traditions, and symbols.
Given the significant influence of Hinduism in Indian society, it is not surprising that elements of Hindutva have found their way into Bollywood, an industry that seeks to connect with a vast and diverse audience.
Bloggers Palak and Katyayani debate if Bollywood for its profit is using the most prominent ideology in today’s time after suffering from a full-fledged campaign of Boycott Bollywood.
Yes, Bollywood Is Using Hindutva
“After back-to-back flops of film superstars and a campaign running against Bollywood by the far right, the film industry has adapted this shallow approach of visiting temples in order to attract the audience and market their films.”
Bollywood, the Indian film industry, is renowned for its marketing strategies that aim to connect with the diverse cultural and religious sentiments of its audience. In recent years, the use of religious symbolism and marketing strategies rooted in Hinduism has become a prominent feature in Bollywood film promotions.
Temple Visits By Bollywood Stars
Temples hold immense cultural and religious significance in India. It is not uncommon for Bollywood stars to visit temples during film promotions. These visits serve multiple purposes: they generate media attention, connect with the spiritual beliefs of the masses, and create a positive association with the film.
By visiting temples, stars aim to tap into the emotional and religious sentiments of their fans, enhancing their appeal and creating a sense of authenticity.
Use Of Hindu Religious Symbols And Mythology
Bollywood film promotions often incorporate Hindu religious symbols, rituals, and mythology. Movie posters, trailers, and promotional events feature imagery such as sacred Hindu deities, traditional religious attire, and symbolic rituals.
This utilization of Hindu iconography and mythology help create an immediate visual connection with the audience, reinforcing the cultural and religious identity associated with the film.
Also, stiff competition from the South Indian film industry, which has been very fondly called the preserver of Hindu traditions, has got a major boost and has been giving global hits. It has hit Bollywood where it hurts- Box Office.
Strategic Alignment With Hindu Festivals Or Significant Dates
Bollywood films are strategically aligned with Hindu festivals or significant dates to maximize their reach and impact. Release dates coinciding with festivals like Diwali, Navratri, or Holi capitalize on the celebratory spirit and festive fervor among the audience. Such alignments create an inherent association with cultural traditions, making the films more relatable and appealing to the masses.
These marketing strategies can be seen as a way for Bollywood to cater to the predominant Hindu-majority population in India. By incorporating religious symbolism, temple visits, and festival alignments, the industry aims to create a sense of cultural resonance and emotional connection with the audience.
Religious symbolism and marketing strategies rooted in Hinduism have become increasingly prevalent in Bollywood film promotions. Temple visits by stars, the use of Hindu religious symbols and mythology, and strategic alignments with Hindu festivals or significant dates are employed to connect with the cultural and religious sentiments of the audience.
While these strategies have their benefits in terms of audience engagement and cultural resonance, they also raise questions about artistic freedom, inclusivity, and potential social and religious implications.
After back-to-back flops of film superstars and a campaign running against Bollywood by the far right, the film industry has adapted this shallow approach of visiting temples in order to attract the audience and market their films.
No, Bollywood Is Not Using Hindutva
“Hindutva is just a minute part of a huge Bollywood, not all of it!”
Bollywood, in recent times, has been garnering competition and criticism. First, the competition came from the South Indian film industry, which one after the other kept releasing record-breaking and thrilling movies, while the star-studded Bollywood flop films gave them the setback.
Now that this debate is nearing its end, Bollywood has been criticized for using Hindutva to promote movies. Well, I disagree with this idea.
The idea of using actual incidents and recreating them to disseminate the thoughts, emotions, and intensity of the issue has been going on for a long and is still visible. A classic example of the same is Alia Bhatt starrer Gangubai Kathiawadi and the recently released Mrs. Chatterjee vs. Norway starring Rani Mukherjee.
Women Centric Stories
Women-centric stories, which showcase the struggles of women, and how they embarked on a journey to come out of them and shone brightly after solving everything, are also evident in Bollywood. Even the above-mentioned two stories are a part of the same.
Bollywood has had its fair share of movies that bring out social issues of national importance to the fore and has been quite successful as well in giving out the message it wants.
Thus, it is clear that Hindutva is just a minute part of a huge Bollywood, not all of it. Saying that it is using Hindutva to promote the movies and is engulfed with that very idea would not be justified, as films depicting other essential aspects of life are also being created and released in large numbers.
The bloggers do not agree with each other on the issue. Do tell us in the comments section that with which view out of the two, your thoughts resonated the most.
Image Credits: Google Images
Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth
Find the blogger: Palak Dogra, Katyayani Joshi
This post is tagged under: Bollywood, South Indian Film Industry, Hinduism, Hindutva, God, rituals, traditions, morals, promotion, strategy, marketing, flops, hits, movie, culture, superstars, box office, Boycott Bollywood
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