7 reasons why Bollywood picks on Tamils
By Rajkumar Palaniswamy
It has become fashionable for Bollywood movies to deride Tamils and their culture. Movies like ‘Chennai Express’, ‘Madras Café’ and more recently ‘2 States’ contain scenes that betray a deep prejudice against the Tamils, stereotyping their appearance, their attire, and their culture, which makes one wonder why Bollywood is targeting the Tamils this way.
Tamil audience have not accepted Bollywood superstars like Shah Rukh Khan (Photo: Indian Photo Agency)
Here are 7 reasons why Bollywood is running down the Tamils.
#1 Bollywood is yet to forgive the Tamils for not falling over Hindi films, but nurturing their own industry that has acquired worldwide fame. Tamil Nadu is the only State that fought against imposition of Hindi and successfully thwarted attempts to make Hindi a compulsory language in schools.
#2 The Tamil film industry, Kollywood, is growing from strength to strength, while other language film industries (like Bhojpuri, Marathi, and Punjabi) have given their space to Bollywood. It is this anger of not being able to kill the Tamil film industry that makes Bollywood resentful of the Tamils.
#3 Kollywood has acquired an identity of its own. Tamil movies have a class of their own, and Bollywood has not been able to ignore the industry. It has been forced to employ the services of talented directors, musicians, cameramen, choreographers, and stunt masters from the Tamil industry.
# 4 No Bollywood hero has been able to woo the Tamil audience. Tamils are not really dying to see their superstars, be it Amitabh Bachchan or Shah Rukh Khan or Aamir Khan, act in Tamil films. Even dubbed films have few takers.
# 5 Kollywood has an international market in spite of lack of patronage from the Government of India, which props up Bollywood films through forums like International Film Festival of India.
#6 Bollywood does not give a hoot for Tamil sentiments because it knows it can get away with it. It does not anyway have an audience in Tamil Nadu, then why worry about sentiments of the people here! Even if a film is not allowed to be screened here (like Dam 999 or Madras café), it gives them the publicity that pulls in the crowds in other cities.
#7 Finally, it is the sheer arrogance that Hindi is superior to other languages in the country, and this attitude comes from the special status accorded to Hindi in central government establishments like railways, airlines, banks and so on.