Are you kidding me? Bollywood loves Muslims

Published: August 29, 2012
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I doubt Salman, Aamir or Shah Rukh Khan would have chosen to remain a part of the industry had there been such discrimination. PHOTO: REUTERS/AFP

Recently, I read a blog on The Express Tribune entitled “Bollywood, please stop demonising Muslims” by Muhammad Mustaqeem Yousfani. Had the article written been about the mind-numbing inanity that Bollywood is prone to dishing out from time to time, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid because, frankly, there is some truth to that statement.

However, when Mr Yousfani alleges that Bollywood is anti-Muslim, I raise my eyebrows, roll my eyes and put pen to paper to write a befitting reply (I hope) to refute his unfounded charges.

It is startling that such an allegation can be directed towards Bollywood – an industry whose biggest stars are all Muslims. I doubt Salman, Aamir or Shah Rukh Khan would have chosen to remain a part of the industry had there been an iota of substance to his charges.

So, is Bollywood really giving Muslims a bad name? Let me address Mr Yousfani’s concerns.

1. Are only Muslim names used for the characters of villains in Bollywood?

Bollywood may have had a ‘Yousuf bhai’ or a ‘Ghani bhai’ playing the villain, but the daddy of all villains in Bollywood is Gabbar Singh, a Hindu. A close second is Mogambo, and that doesn’t sound like a Muslim name to me!

Bollywood has had Hindu characters play terrorists as well. Do you remember Meghna from Dil Se? Other (Hindu) villains I enjoyed watching were Sunil Malhotra in Darr and Langda Tyagi in Omkara. The list of Hindu villains is never-ending but I have a word count to adhere to.

2. Are Pakistanis portrayed as terrorists in Bollywood?

Movies, sometimes, are a vent to let off some steam and the angst Indians feel at being targeted in attacks perpetrated by Pakistan. When such incidents take place, Bollywood responds with a movie. Wouldn’t you say that’s a case of art imitating life?

I wish the ordinary Pakistani would understand that the ire is targeted towards your government, your army, and the ISI, not the common man in Pakistan. Indians have no issues with the Pakistani public and that’s why Ali Zafar, Atif Aslam, Adnan Sami, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shafqat Amanat Ali and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan were all embraced by Bollywood and the Indian public so lovingly.

3. Are Indian films really anti-Islamic?

To answer this question, I would like to mention some Muslim characters that have been portrayed in a good light by the Hindi film industry:

  • The patriotic Indian Muslim cop, Saleem, in Sarfarosh, whose potent dialogues touched every Indian’s heart.

“Phir kabhi kisi Saleem se mat kehna yeh mulk uska ghar nahi.”

(Don’t tell another Saleem ever again that this country is not his home.)

  • Rizwan Khan in My Name Is Khan. India is the only country which has made a movie in defense of Muslims post 9/11. As Indians, we refuse to have our Muslim brothers labelled terrorists and be held accountable for the actions of a misguided few.
  • Akbar, the affable Muslim soldier in Lakshya.
  • Rashid in my favourite film, Pinjar.
  • Farhan Qureshi in 3 Idiots.
  • Kabir Khan in Chak De India.
  • Akbar in Amar Akbar Anthony.

There are countless Bollywood songs which mention “Allah” in them. Wouldn’t you say, that’s as pro-Islamic as one can get?

It’s not only Indian films; even Indian television has had Muslim protagonists who were adored all over the country. Tipu Sultan, a series based on a Muslim king who ruled South India was a huge hit with the masses.

The author mentioned that the movie Veer-Zaara showed Muslims in bad light because the Muslim fiance of the heroine, Zaara, was responsible for the separation of the lovers. However, he very conveniently forgot to mention the very Muslim Shabbo who was instrumental in uniting them in the first place. Also, Zaara and her family have been depicted as kind and benevolent Muslims who treat the Hindu governess with utmost respect and love.

4. Does Bollywood distort the Muslim culture and fundamentals?

Innumerable Hindu characters in films have been shown harassing, raping, murdering women and indulging in behaviour that would put anyone to shame, but that doesn’t leave me frothing at the mouth. This is because I’m aware that Hindus are, after all, humans, and humans are fallible beings who cannot be expected to have a squeaky clean image.

But let’s ignore my opinion of scenes involving Muslim characters and consider the stance of Indian Muslims. The movies that came under criticism in his blog, Veer–Zaara, Tere Naam and Dil Se, had Muslim actors. These proud Muslim men have a lot of clout in Bollywood and I’m sure they would have coerced the filmmakers to expunge scenes which they thought disgraced their religion. Clearly, the scenes Mr Yousfani deemed offensive didn’t evoke the same reaction from the Khans or the Muslim masses in my country.

India has a very high Muslim population. Since the portrayal of Muslims in Bollywood is not an ever-present bone of contention in India and since the Muslims here didn’t cry foul over the movies Mr Yousfani wrote about, I think Bollywood has nothing to worry about.

People, especially those living in different parts of the world, interpret religion differently. What offends a Pakistani Muslim may not offend a Muslim in India. Bollywood only takes into account sentiments of its primary audience─the Indian masses. Filmmakers cannot aim to please all the people all the time.

Contrary to popular belief on The Express Tribune, Indian Muslims are not tormented here. Indians, both Hindus and Muslims, are a fairly tolerant lot who live in relative harmony. Muslims are an integral part of India’s social fabric and most Hindus will not stand for any kind of intolerance towards Muslims. To the skeptics who find my words shallow, I say, log into Twitter and hound Shah Rukh Khan for answers. That should keep him amused till rapture.
5. Does Bollywood aid Islamophobia?

The emphatic answer is no. On the contrary, Bollywood has made Muslim artists popular the world over. Islamophobia is at its peak in the west but Americans/Europeans don’t watch Bollywood.

What, in your opinion, Mr Yousfani, aids Islamophobia in that part of the world? In my humble opinion, what can aid Islamophobia is the news of 11-year-olds being jailed under blasphemy laws and minorities being persecuted to such an extent that hundreds of them decide to leave their motherland forever.

I know this isn’t the Islam my Muslim friends follow. They speak the truth when they say Islam is a religion of peace and love because I see their actions mirroring their words. Islam should be known for the sentiments of the peaceful majority of its followers and not for the actions of an intolerant minority.

If there’s anyone distorting the Muslim culture and robbing it of its essence, it is the self-righteous ‘guardians of religion’ who get their knickers in a twist over trivial matters but fail to address the real issues that afflict their societies. Their twisted interpretation of honour and the paranoia it brings about is then imposed on unwitting and impressionable youngsters, who then go on to emulate the intolerant generation before them.

It’s a vicious circle that sets into motion events and mindsets that stunt the growth of society. It is the actions of these misguided few that malign Islam.

Amrita Singh

Amrita Singh

Passionate about trekking and travelling, the writer has just moved to Belfast, UK. Her obsession with the Himalayas grows every passing year and she keeps going back for more.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Fatima Ahmad

    I belive finally we have a sane voice! Let’s not mix entertainment and religion.. There are far more serious issues at hand and These topics do nothing but kindle unwanted unease between masses. We need responsible journalism.. Not the evening news paper type but the ones that have an aim for the betterment of our society.Recommend

  • http://www.godlessgeeks.com/ rahul sinha

    actually there was no need of any rebuttal. readers had already discredited the authors theory.

    however, still a good one.Recommend

  • Waqar

    I never saw A Hindu girl marrying a Muslim boy in Indian movie. While Saw alot of Muslim girls marrying Hindu boys.. Kabhi khushi kabhi ghum, Ghidar.

    Sunny Devol is famous for his Anti Pakistan, Anti Islam movies “only”. No Pro-Pakistani hero is branded. Recommend

  • Mast Gulbadan

    The writer is trying to just cover up the bitter truth that bollywood is anti muslim.Recommend

  • amalgam

    I never saw A Hindu girl marrying a Muslim boy in Indian movie. While Saw alot of Muslim girls marrying Hindu boys.. Kabhi khushi kabhi ghum, Ghidar.

    Just Watch the SERIAL Sarhaden on GOVT TV muslim paki boy + hindu girl

    Sunny Devol is famous for his Anti Pakistan, Anti Islam movies “only”. No Pro-Pakistani hero is branded

    Sunny never does “Anti muslim”, well there is nothing called anti muslim in BW.

    Regarding pakistan yes as pakistan is taking us as enemies and attacking us so no sane indian would be a pro paki (irrespective of religion).

    take it or leave it and play english songs in your ceremonies and life :PRecommend

  • Bullet xi

    It’s like someone took my thoughts and brought them to life! Glad you wrote this. Pakistani’s are just in a enormous complex.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Nandita:
    Sounds honest and should be appreciated. As I see it the key lines are these – “What offends a Pakistani Muslim may not offend a Muslim in India. Bollywood only takes into account sentiments of its primary audience─the Indian masses.” Pakistanis are always searching for reasons to believe that Islam is in danger even as home-grown extremists employ questionable methods for population control. As their locus of identity is still outside their national borders, Indian Muslims, Rohingyas, Bangladeshi migrants, Chechens, Bosnians, Iraqis, French hijabis, Belgian Niqabis and Aafia Siddiqui are allocated the bulk of their sympathies while Hindus sneak out of the country, Ahmedi houses of worship are defaced or mutilated, and Shias disappear by the bus load. While this argument (of danger to Islam) could be used by mullahs in India as well, luckily Indian muslims are not as beholden to them as their Pakistani counterparts. Muslims form at least 15% of the population of India and approx 20% of Bombay’s population, which is the setting for most Hindi movies even now. Assuming that all communities are equally dismissive of the law, I don’t think even 1 in 5 movies has a muslim villain which would be justified on the basis of demographics alone. Pakistanis need to grow a brain or stop watching Hindi movies.Recommend

  • muslim indian

    this article is an insult to the intelligence of any Muslim who knows islam and practices islam. salman khan, celebrates elephant diety of hindus in his house and openly says he is half hindu, which makes him a non-muslim. sharukh khan keeps idols next to Quran in his house, and says his children are free to worship what they feel. and bollywood vehemently tries to promote hinduism with these so called “muslim actors” making muslim youth look up to these filthy poeple as role models and promotes all sorts of innovation and paganism and show cases it as muslim culture. muslims need to wake up against this psychological warfare that hindus are waging against muslim youth and trying to deceive them away from islamRecommend

  • Bollywood is great but…

    I watch Bollywood movies and enjoy them tremendously. And yes, there are many Muslims in Bollywood. But the spate of movies showing Pakistanis in a bad light is offensive.

    On the contrary, Pakistani media is not as negatively obsessed with India. Bollywood movies and programmes are freely shown and appreciated here. As for the author’s assertion that India/Bollywood has no problems with the general Pakistani public and just with the government/ISI/army, allow me to remind the author that the Indian Army/RAW/Government are hardly saints and just as good or bad as their counterparts on this side of the border.

    Implying that this shouldn’t bother us at all is patronizing and plain stupid. If you’re going to malign anything Pakistani I will have an issue with it. Full Stop. Recommend

  • mr. righty rightist

    I’m sorry to say, what a bunch of inane people!!!

    Bollywood is a cesspool of mediocrity, banality, vulgarity, pulp fiction and extreme inanity.

    Only mentally deficient people take it seriously.

    These people might as well argue about the pros and cons of a water-car. How about a car that runs on thin air? Oh what the heck, bollywood is worse than a water-car or an air-car.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @muslim Indian
    and bollywood vehemently tries to promote hinduism with these so called “muslim actors” making muslim youth look up to these filthy poeple as role models and promotes all sorts of innovation and paganism

    Maybe it would be a good time for you to migrate to Pakistan or Afghanistan and join the Taliban (that is if you are not already there and just pretending to be Indian). They would help you in imposing the ‘true’ version of Islam. You can spend your time cheerfully imposing ‘true’ islam on partygoers by beheading them. In the evening you can try improving your aim by shooting at Shia bus travellers as Shias are also non muslims. Recommend

  • Icy_devil

    My name is Khan was NOT the first movie to be made in favour of Muslims post 9/11. It was a Pakistani movie, Khuda kay Liyay made by Shoaib Mansoor. The pattern/STORYLINE was copied or “followed” by the Indians in the movies like New York and My Name Is Khan. Please get your facts straight. Recommend

  • indiangirl

    @Gratgy:
    a very apt. reply Gratgy..bt i think muslim indian is jst pretending to be an indian..he is a fake.Recommend

  • keepkool

    I have seen be it on youtube, blogs, articles on anything. Pakistanis and Indians just know how to fight. They cannot even conduct a meaningulful discussion. I am a Pakistani and have made several Indian friends during my MBA abroad in UK. Stop generalizing all Pakistanis and Indians. There r good and bad ppl at both sides of the border just as there r good and bad ppl in the rest of the world. Its time that we learn to co exist and accept that the fact that we are neighbours wether we like it or it and for generations we cant have these end less stupid good for nothing fights. Recommend

  • zehra

    my point is beofre you go on labeeling bollywwod as paonting a nati pak sentiment, take a look at looywwod!! are they not anti indians?? isnt every villian funded by indain agnests nad amerki gadar? please dnt preach what we cant practice, in our own movie shaan and zara, zara a hindu girl came to pakistan for her love, such is also depicted in our shows even( i dnt remeber the drama but an indian wonam renounces her faith for a pak man and how they struggle to find love) so please when they are maknig a patrioctic movie they will show pakis in a bad light- it comes with the hisotry we share, like wise we do the same!!

    in normal movies the underworld is ruled by muslim dons whter an alias or what but it is a fact ! hence the influence!! Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Icy_devil:
    Khuda ke Liye was a much more superior movie that showed both sides of the argument in an unbiased manner – it was not made ‘in favor of muslims’ and that was its greatest strength; do not insult it by comparing it with My Name is Khan which was as realistic as any of the other Karan Johar movies; and let’s not even discuss New York.Recommend

  • Sane

    @Gratgy:
    @muslim Indian
    and bollywood vehemently tries to promote hinduism with these so called “muslim actors” making muslim youth look up to these filthy poeple as role models and promotes all sorts of innovation and paganism
    Maybe it would be a good time for you to migrate to Pakistan or Afghanistan and join the Taliban (that is if you are not already there and just pretending to be Indian). They would help you in imposing the ‘true’ version of Islam. You can spend your time cheerfully imposing ‘true’ islam on partygoers by beheading them. In the evening you can try improving your aim by shooting at Shia bus travellers as Shias are also non muslims.

    I agree to 100% what is written by @muslim Indian. Hindu extremist use propaganda as very effective tool. Recently an Indian Dillat Leader who is a journalist and TV anchor revealed that Bombay Attacks (in which Indian Agent & Indian National Ajmal Qassab is termed as Pakistani) in which more thatn 150 persons were killed was planned and executed by an Extremist Hindu Brahmans extremists group ‘Abhina Bharat’. The book ‘Who Killed Kurkuray’ written by a senior Indian Police Officer says that Samjhota Express incident in India in which innocent Muslims, mostly Pakistanis were burnt alive was also planned by Abhina Bharat and Indian Army officer Col Srikant Prohat being a member of this extremist group was the prime accused of this incident. Later he also confessed to this crime.

    This is Indian strategy to plan such incidents to gain world sympathy and malign Pakistan and Muslims as whole.

    Anyone wants to know more facts about stated incidents and other details can google to find more insight.Recommend

  • S

    ridicooulous article.

    Bollywood gives a very wrong picture of Islam, always demonize Paksitanis,

    To me its highly offensive to use Islam in songs and try to potray it as it is normal. The Muslims in bollywood are Muslims only by name too.

    I will only say live and let live. Leave us alone. Recommend

  • fury

    Bollywood is for talents..no religion comes here . If bollywood takes muslims as gangsters , then it has a reason . Most of the gangsters are sadly muslims like Daud ,sakil brothers ,Mastan etc and films take reference from society. And who is this Muhammad Mustaqeem Yousfani (MMY) . We don’t care for you Mr.MMY , we have our own identity , Indians and we don’t think noone is our godfather to advise us what to do and what not to. If you don’t like our movies , stop wtching it or ban it in your country .Recommend

  • saqib

    totally agreed why not PakistanI stop looking at the Bollywood if they don’t likeRecommend

  • Golbabol

    @Icy_devil:
    Khuda Kay liye, the reference you are given, the main character in the movie is based around a girl who is surpressed and forced to stay in a remote place and even when she tries to escape from her captors, she gets caught and brought back. How can that character be compared to the main character of My Name is Khan. Recommend

  • Saif Khan

    Neither Pakistani nor Indian movies represents its true culture. Its just entertainment. Don’t take it seriously. Recommend

  • Hardliner

    @ writer…….

    How confident u were when u said that ur ppl feel anger over the targeted attacks against them by the Pakistanis………….. how about the targeted attacks u Indians are carrying out against us in Balochistan and Kashmir?? stop acting pious…… u indians are trillions of miles far from being one!Recommend

  • Sidewinder

    Now terrorists cant be portrayed as Mother Teresa.I think the author of the original blog feels there are no evil characters among Muslims,and all the Muslim characters should always be shown as that Edhi guy doing nothing but social service.Recommend

  • umar

    i don’t agree with point #2 Indian feels no shame in blaming ISI/PAK govt without mentioning what their own GOVT and RAW is doing to Pakistan. They are, and have been hurting us more. if you think this trend developed only after mumbai, then go check your old movies from 80s and 90s, venom has been spewed against Pakistan from the start. Recommend

  • Fawad Sharif

    nice research work, but sis can i ask you to redo it in a scientific way
    you fabulously wrote your end notes that Muslims must be known by their actions and they are thought to be terrorists just because of media. Media wants to portray an image of their own choice be it be about Muslims or Hindus. Count the number of Movies which have portrayed Muslims terrorists and those which were in favor of them they are almost like salt in flour. Statistically answer yourself and you will find that Muslims are forcefully portrayed as terrorists and bad guys. How Indian government has no influence upon Bollywood if they don’t present a picture of their Polititions’ choice they don’t get a green signal for their movie to be a part of Cinema. Recommend

  • nomi

    Ha!

    Another delusional writer and I thought we Pakistanis have a good sense of denial. Recommend

  • http://NONE Rahul Bhartiya

    @Waqar:
    What a JOKE. Their r tonnes of other Movies which rips apart Pakistans ISI then Sunny deols Dialogues.Kindly watch Sarfarosh of Aamir khan to enlighten urself.Sunny deol is an ACTION hero POPULAR among SIKHS, JATS(Himself being one), GUJJARS, RAJPUTS.His any movie is a Blockbuster in Punjab,Rajasthan,Wetern UP and Haryana. Sunny did 2 “Anti Pakistan” movies. One was Border(1971) war movie at eastern border,based on real life situation of then commanding officer.If u think Faujis talk any sweet,take a trip to wagah border only.Second anti pak movie was on 1947 partition,where Sikhs retaliate aganst Muslim mobs.But he was agnst Idea of Pak not Pakistanis.So get ur facts right about one of the Most popular actor of Indian cinema.If anyone would brand him,it will beAnti -Zamindars coz of his movies in 80’s abt conflicts between jats vs Zamindars for land where he potryed as a Kissan(Jat) Dacoit in many Hit movies.Recommend

  • Sane

    @indiangirl:

    Your appreciation for Gratgy for apt reply , makes me to say that you do not know how to reply a question. My be you are just unable to comprehend what is written in this blog and all those comments too.Recommend

  • Haseeb

    Miss Bhakti, I understand your feelings, but as you mentioned above ” The angst Indians feel at being targeted in attacks perpetrated by Pakistan. When such incidents take place, Bollywood responds with a movie.” Bollywood should make movie for general public not for targeting to any specific group like (ISI, Pak army, Muslims). Its awful for me that if anything happen there in india bollywood respond with movie. If bollywood really sincere with general public or muslims then why they don’t make movies on Kashmir and raise real facts. Please grow up and stop this double standard. Millions of the people around the world watch bollywood movies, if they would do so then they will remain alone for only the indian nation.

    I love salman khan, but his new movie really hurted me. He shouldn’t have done this as he knows he has millions of fans in Pakistan as well. I boycotted this movie to control myself with patience :)

    I agree we shouldn’t mix entertainment with religion as our religion don’t even allow us to meet with ghair mahram. If you really want to practice islam in real sense then you will have to stay far away from bollywood, lollywood, hollywood and other woods too :)

    Bollywood can play vital role to bring both countries in good relations.
    I hope you better understand…! Recommend

  • Vigilant

    So lame logic to defend your opinion…….just made me laugh Recommend

  • RK Singh

    How many Hindus work in Pakistani Cinema / TV? How many movies show Hindus in good light. Recommend

  • abhi

    @Icy_devil

    If khuda ke liye was a bollywood movie, it would be added to the list of movies “wrongly depicting muslims”.

    saying bollywood anti pakistan can be true to some extent but it is not same as saying it is anti muslim. I know for most of the Pakistanis, both are same because they don’t think muslims live out side pakistan or non-muslims live in pakistan.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @Sane

    Touched a nerve didn’t I? Made my day LOL!. Keep up the frothing Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @indiangirl
    Thanks, an do not mind Sane. He is riled up because he was probably masquerading as “Indian muslim” and seems to have taken my answer quite personally Lol!Recommend

  • Abdul rafay

    Sorry, this won’t suffice to cover up all the crap Indian movies and bollywood pulls on Islam and Pakistan. Sorry wont helpRecommend

  • antony

    I really dont know why Pakistan is so obsessed about Bollywood films in the first place.. Go watch your own films ..If you want to enjoy bollywood go ahead no one is stopping you but dont ask scripts to portray good about pakistan until we indians see it in reality .take it or leave it as it is an art form.Recommend

  • http://myspace.com/taravadu Kulamarva Balakrishna

    @muslim indian:
    I do not come and see inside your house if you are Muslim
    or anti Muslim.This piece of rejoinder is well researched and
    balanced.Do you know who Sharmila Tagore got married? Or
    who is the wife Aamir Khan or for that matter who sleeps with
    who? Do you know in Bombay there are many Khansahebs as
    brothel keepers and brothel watchmen.So when Hindus visit
    these sex workers shops do they insult them?Take it easy
    routine. No brothel watchman feels insulted on the contrary
    he salutes so he gets his peanuts as bakshish.Merit is
    value.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna Recommend

  • nitish

    My request to all paki brother,pl dont watch hindustani movie.But dont try to twist bollywood according to your need.Hindu culture is different and will never suit you. it will cause cultural invasion inside your community.A muslim girl cannot marry a hindu boy in pakistan.See,in india there is no such barrier.A hindu boy marries a muslim girl and vice versa.But when you see this reality you cannot tolerate.So my suggestion will be, chinese movie will prove more interesting and worthwhile for you.Hindustani movies r for hindus and obviously Hindu and muslim cannot live together….Its a hard fact.Recommend

  • nitish

    @muslim indian: Likes of you r caught Today in bihar.Next is your turn….Any how stripe indian from your name.The great nation need not own you.Recommend

  • bilal

    @antony

    we will start watching our own movies once you stop visiting our news web. Recommend

  • Stop Crying Please!

    I find it really funny at how india, The Biggest Democracy in the World, claims that people of different religions live here together peacefully and many Indians over here claiming that too. Just one Indian Muslim dared differ from their opinion and you just see the hue raised by our beloved tolerant Indian Hindus. Some have asked him to migrate and some saying he will be caught and punished. LOL is all I cant comment on that. My dear friends I agree people of different religions do live there in your country but on the conditions of one majority religion only. And the comments mentioned above quite say it all. Cheers!Recommend

  • nitish

    Write any thing muslim specific,ET will never publish.no matter the comment is all well with your policy.Recommend

  • SID

    @Waqar:
    MISSION KASHMIRR………..sanajy duut is muslim & wife is neelimaRecommend

  • Osama

    The most idiotic blog ever :)Recommend

  • Angry

    I’m not anti-Indian or anti-bollywood but I have some serious issues with this article. First Salman and Shahrukh are NOT Muslims-idolatry is one of the biggest sins in Islam and will never be forgiven, full stop. They are both free to practice Hinduism, Sikhism, I don’t care but please understamd that they cannot be Muslim if they do not accept the first basic law of Islam to worship only one God. Secondly, why do you always think the India army and RAW are bloody saints who sit back do nothing whilst Pakistan is ALWAYs the one to start the fight. Look at what your country has done and is still doing and then make judgements on mine. And before someone says something, I don’t watch bollywood movies at all.Recommend

  • ethicalman

    I really don’t know what is worth showing in a film if it does’nt have Indian customs and people in it..all the salman, aamir, shah rukh etc.. Does exactly that..What is in islam that you can show..music is discourged, dancing is discouraged, celebrations are discouraged..why don’t you Pakistani accept it that if you people throw out the Indian culture in your country you will become another Afghanistan.. let me also say that this Indian culture is less than 5% left in Pakistan..Recommend

  • amit

    @Waqar:

    have you seen “my name is khan” ?
    you get the answer.there are other example too.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @stop crying please!
    Are you saying that what Indian Muslim is saying is acceptable by Muslim standards and calling people filthy for following another religion is ok. That might be acceptable in Pakistan but not in a secular country. You certainly seem to have a warped understanding of secularismRecommend

  • Criticism101

    Surprising , funny ,idiotic , and yet worth a read but you have no stance and there are Definetly alot of counters to your argument . Not bad , but I would expect mr moustafeen to come up with a counter blog make stuff interesting .. But in contrast , you both would fail in defeating each other .. Everyone has a different perspective and different views towards bollywood .. Many pros .. But cons aswellRecommend

  • jagjit sidhoo

    @keepkool: A sane voice in the middle of a lot of hot airRecommend

  • jagjit sidhoo

    20% of India is Muslim these guys who make movies are business men will they want to make anti – Muslim movies and loose 20% of the market.They like to keep everyone happy and make lot of money. Its business stop getting sentimental. Recommend

  • Critical

    @Author

    I cant understand why you took so much pain in responding the trash of a blog written by Muhammad Mustaqeem Yousfani…

    Didnt you check in that blog where he called Manisha Koirala’s character in Dil Se as muslim?? That would have showed you the amount of research he has put in his blog.

    Let me tell u a small incident in my life.When we were kids,we used to play gully cricket where stumps was drawn on the compound wall…Once,while playing,one boy was bowled out.But he refused to acknowledge it.We showed the mark where the ball hit and even his team members agreed it was out.But he refused to believe us and started shouting at us that we’re cheating him,sat on the pitch and refused to allow the play to resume…

    Similarly,no matter the evidence you produce.Some people will stick to their perceived notions and refuse to change it.Besides,its their paper.Let them trash talk about India,Bollywood etc and live in their own world…

    As long as our soldiers are able to guard the border.I dont think we should worry about anyone.Let the Indian and Pakistan trolls fight in the cyberspace.They dont have a say in the world affairs.Recommend

  • Noor

    @Author
    “If there’s anyone distorting the Muslim culture and robbing it of its essence, it is the self-righteous ‘guardians of religion’ who get their knickers in a twist over trivial matters but fail to address the real issues that afflict their societies.”

    BingO. U rock lady… I think when Pakistan going to change this mindset, then it will be be real PAK.Recommend

  • cosmo

    @Mast Gulbadan:
    Then why do you guys love it so much !!Recommend

  • ayesha_khan

    @muslim indian: “this article is an insult to the intelligence of any Muslim who knows islam and practices islam. salman khan, celebrates elephant diety of hindus in his house and openly says he is half hindu, which makes him a non-muslim. sharukh khan keeps idols next to Quran in his house, and says his children are free to worship what they feel”

    Salman Khan’s mother is a Hindu. If he has been brought up to respect both his parent’s faith that is a GOOD thing not a bad thing. Same thing with Shah Rukh – his wife is a Hindu.So ofcourse his kids would be familiar wit Hindu rituals even as they are trained in Islamic ones. This is just common sense. When a woman gives birth to a child, how can you turn around and then tell the woman that her faith will play no role in that chiod’s life?

    Of course the reverse is also true. Sunjay Dutt, Shahid Kapur and Imran Khan all have Muslim mothers and Hindu fathers and they are well versed in Islamic traditions. This is by no means offensive to us as Hindus.

    If is possible (though unlikely) that you are a Muslim iIndian but then you must be n a minority. Most Muslim Indians have Hindu neighbours, classmates and friends and do not hold the deep seated hatred for Hindus that you seem to have. Most Indian Muslims would also have been able to name Lord Ganesha instead of referring to an elephant deity as though they did not know the name.Recommend

  • ayesha_khan

    @BlackJack: “@Icy_devil:
    Khuda ke Liye was a much more superior movie that showed both sides of the argument in an unbiased manner – it was not made ‘in favor of muslims’ and that was its greatest strength; do not insult it by comparing it with My Name is Khan which was as realistic as any of the other Karan Johar movies; and let’s not even discuss New York.”

    Interesting. Different strokes for different folks i guess. I thought New York showed both sides of the picture and was quite well made.If My Name is Khan did not have the crazt Georgia storm theme it would have been a goodmovie too.

    I was really surprised when Khuda Ke Liye was trotted out as a calssic. First of all, the bragging about how Pakistan ruled over India for 1000 years was laughable because not one emperor that ruled over India came from present day Pakistan. Secondly the notion that a father would have his own daugter kidnapped and raped by her cousin just so that she should not marry a Muslim was shocking. Even in India many parents prefer arranged marriages but in any urban setting at least this kind of thing would never occur. The most parents might do is cut off relationship with the child that they disapprove off. Even after all the court dialogues and everything when the girl is finally free the movie does not dare to show her reuniting her with the British man she loves. Of course over the last couple of years having sampled Pakistani new channels, i have a better understanding of te mindset ut at that time I thought – oh my God how unrealistic and antiquated. To me the father’s whole atitude smacked of big time hypocrisy given that he himself was in a live in relationship which is clearly not permitted in Islam. Also in the court scene they show Jinnah and say he used to wear suit and was clean cut. They do not say the obvious thing about Jinnah, that his daughter had married a Parsi. Granted he severed relationship with her – but he did not have her kidnapped and raped by a cousin. (As a sidebar, that is one thing Jinnah had in common with Nehru – both had daughters that married a Parsi).
    So while icy_devil thinks that movie showed Muslims in a good light, that is not the conclusion I came away with. Granted the acting, direction and music of the movie were of a high standard but the story idea is something that simply did not resonate with me.Recommend

  • Indian

    @Sane: you used the name “sane” but your comment is totally insane. Even after kasab is caught and proved to be a Pakistani you are still in “zaid hamid” paranoia.Recommend

  • shabbir

    Joddhaakbar?Recommend

  • muslim indian

    @Gratgy: you can try to slander me by saying i support sectarianism and killing of innocents etc, but this is the age old accusation of munafiqeen and kufffar against muslims who speak the truth. islam is against sectarianism, its ignorants such as yourself that think islam means sectarianism and killing innocents.as for me being taliban, i would love to be with my brothers but i am from india and i have my own struggles where i am. you seem to think india is for hindus. its not earth is Allaah’s and we muslims strive in whatever situation Allaah puts us in. you are nothing but a clueless idiot trying to sound like a know it allRecommend

  • Lateral Thinking

    I think the author has provided a strong fact based rebuttal. I can’t seem to find a single fact based logical argument in the comments made by the people who disagree. I see a wide discrepancy in critical thinking and reasoning across the border…..Recommend

  • Maria

    @nitish: I agree with you. I can never understand those Pakistanis who watch foreign films including Indian films and then have the gall to comment on whether they are or aren’t good for Pakistani culture. It’s not Pakistani culture period – those Indians are secular Indians who intermarry with Hindus and follow Indian culture. If you want to be Pakistani, watch Pakistanis films and be yourself and stop this childish nonsense of telling Indians or Sri Lankans or Chinese or others what is or isn’t wring with their films!Recommend

  • Parwez Alli Khan

    @Mast Gulbadan:
    Dont write as u think. come 2 India n see this. we r fortunate n proud to b Indian. No muslim is living in better enviroment than Indian Muslims. I can do whatever i wish not like pakistanis i’ve 2 b afraid of Army,Talliban or any other so called jihadis. first go 2 ur home n settle thing there. 4 ur information m from bhubaneswar, Odisha. Muslim are 2% of the population unlike any other states in India. Here our lit. rate is more than national avg. for more details about us u can search any website from google 2 wikipedia. plz i dont want 2 coment u or ur country its against Islamic value. n in d worldover all know where what is happening no one is fool here. if anti indian gossips entertain u so b it bcoz we blive in happiness. we list bother about what u think.at list in my native village u can see all brands of cars blongs 2 muslims. i hope its d same with ur nativeRecommend

  • Adnan

    Great article. Some sanity at last. Cinema is fiction is can be anti-anything, and while I don’t follow bollywood too closely I have often found the portrayal of Muslims as varied as the 200 million community.

    Yes, the movies do pander to an anti Pakistan theme, and that is unfortunate, but we are public enemy number 1 and the idea of Pakistan is still widely contested in india.

    As long as they are not anti Muslim or anti Pakistani, they should be free to make any movies even those that are critical of their neighbour, without applying that generalisation to the Pakistani people.Recommend

  • DR ABID NASEEM KHAN

    I agree almost with all your points BUT why always VEER hails from India WHILE zara from Pakistan.:P
    Dr Abid khan(Pakhtunkhwa).Recommend

  • gp65

    @DR ABID NASEEM KHAN:
    Jodha Akbar, New York, My name is Khan, Qurbaan, Mission Kashmir (where Sunjay Dutt is SSP Inayat Khan and his wife Sonali Kulkarni is Neelima are 5 examples in recent times with a Hindu woman married to a Muslim man.Recommend

  • ayesha_khan

    @ayesha_khan: “This is by no means offensive to us as Hindus.”

    In case anyone wondered why I would say something like this with a name like mine, it is because I am a product of a mixed marriage too. Muslim father and Hindu mother and have been brought up to respect both faiths and cultural traditions. I hsve been brought up to keep rozas AND tie a Raakhee to my brother

    Since my mother is a Hindu who married a Muslim man, I feel very strongly when Pakistanis imply that any woman married to a man of different faith is somehow humiliating her entire family. I do not believe my mother has humiliated her family and thankfully no one in my maternal family feels that way either.Recommend

  • nri

    Got money coming Honey. Hindu or Muslim and same in Business. Any business. Just the middle/lower class that bears the torment and stigma.Recommend

  • k-h-a-n

    Pointless article…but I am forced to reply…tell me why almost all the prostitutes shown in Indian movies are Muslims..I mean do the Muslim women from lower classes all resort to prostitution in IndiaRecommend

  • gp65

    @Sane: “‘Who Killed Kurkuray’”

    And pray who is Kurkuray? Sounds like a Pepsi snack. Or were you referring to Hemant Karkare?

    Also if you consider the book “Who killed Karkare” written by retired IPS officer Mushrif as gospel truth what do you think of the allegation made in the same book that “the IB was well informed about the LeT men hatching a plan to attack the Taj, they had been knowing this fact since 18th November 2008, but unfortunately, they never passed on this information to the Navy or to the Mumbai police, rather they preferred to give it to the coast guard which has nothing to do with the internal security. So it was nothing but efforts done too little too late, failing thus to avert this attack”. Would you accept that as a proof that LeT was involved in 26/11?

    Also as stated by Mohammad Ziyallah Khan “According to Mushrif, the elimination of Karkare was nothing but an innovative way of getting rid of a person who was likely to expose the anti-national elements which is nothing but the saffron brigade. This innovative way is – certainly killing people like Karkare under the shadow of some operation like 26/11, so it was a good team work between the so called Lashkar men and the saffron elements”.

    Collaboration between LeT and saffron brigade? How naive and credulous do you have to be to believe that?Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @ayesha_khan:
    Maybe I need to watch Khuda ke Liye again :) – my memory of the movie seems quite hazy. On My Name is Khan I am biased – I find Shah Rukh Khan’s hamming increasingly difficult to watch for extended periods of time, and the melodrama in this was a bit too much to take. New York was the same bad muslim, good muslim movie (you know the drill – if you have a bad muslim, then you insert a good muslim to balance it and take the religious bias out) with 9/11 in the backdrop – it did lift a lot of the trauma content from KKL, and there were also many loose ends that are typical and shouldn’t be too much trouble for a regular Hindi movie watcher – but then that’s me; however, I do respect your point of view.Recommend

  • Amit

    @Ayesha_Khan, Proud of you and your thoughts.

    @Adnan.. Mate no one in India contests the idea of Pakistan. I hear this often, even from educated liberal Pakistanis, which is a shame. We cannot be happier seeing you guys in your own cosy place. Recommend

  • Amit

    To many Pakistani freinds who think Shah Rukh or Aamir or others who intermary or practise and respect other faith are not true muslims. Guys take a chill pill. This is why India is India and Pakistan is Pakistan.

    Thats why we take pride in our bollywwod Khans because they dont tell their wives to convert, because they accept the person for who they are. And it is same in most of the other cases as wellwhere inter religeous marraige happens

    The love,respect and togetherness is perhaps unmatched. Yes there may be incidents here and there but by and large religion is a personal issue and no one pokes their nose.Recommend

  • waleed

    No comments…indians will not accept it ..hear it if we make movies like kurbaan hoa what will be your reaction…seriously..i like bollywood movies but this is wrong…Recommend

  • gp65

    @k-h-a-n: “Pointless article…but I am forced to reply…tell me why almost all the prostitutes shown in Indian movies are Muslims..I mean do the Muslim women from lower classes all resort to prostitution in India”

    One of the most immortal tawayaf characters in Hindi movies is Chandramukhi in Devdas – played by top heroines of their respective times Vyjayanthimala and MAdhuri Dixit.Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo

    @ayesha_khan: I know these things are hard to comprehend for our brothers across the border but inter marriages are quite ok with a lot of Indians. I am a Sikh my son fell in love with a Hindu girl we got them married we have a grandson i do not think i have any right to decide what his religion will be . I am confident his parents are secular intelligent individuals and they and my grandson will decide what religion he is to follow i am ok with whatever they do so long as he is brought up as a God fearing individual.One of my brother-in-laws is a Roman Catholic and that has not created any problems in the family.But like i said these things may be a bit difficult for them to accept.Recommend

  • vijay dixit

    To all Indians & people who like entertainment by way of movies,music.songs,drama,etc.We Indians like to call all this as art ,a form of expression.We try to cater to our people as per our tastes.If someone does not like it ,they can lump it,stop watching it,boycott it.Nobody requests you to watch Indian movies.Mate,Indian movies will project Indian interests & try to further them.You should have the brains to understand this simple fact.Sorry to distract you from your holy job of slaughtering non Muslims,Ahmedias,Shias and any other as lessor mortals.Carry on please.You are doing a good job.No need for the Indians to poke there nose.Recommend

  • http://2013modemax.wordpress.com 2013 mode max

    Just where on the net may a licensed psyciatrist posting posts (and / or information sites) to allow them to become fashionable?Recommend

  • k-h-a-n

    @gp65…i said almost all…and btw that character was a completely different genre. i am talking about the new kind where the prostitutes are shown living in worst sanitary conditions…chandar mukhi was shown as a post English/Mughal rule where tawaif was not a sex worker..rather a dancer…I am talking about the sex workers…they are all shown as muslims…i cant name any but have seen many such moviesRecommend

  • Gratgy

    @Indian Muslim

    you seem to think india is for hindus.

    Definitely not, Indian muslims are welcome to live in India like any other citizen irrespective of their religion. You being a fake indian muslim would just not understand, however people like you with Taiban mentality who would love to go and join taliban are not welcome to visit.

    as for me being taliban, i would love to be with my brothers but i am from india

    Follow your heart,my man, join your brothers, kill a few kaffirs/shias/ahmedis/munafiqs/adulterers/partygoers etc, whatever makes you happy.

    you are nothing but a clueless idiot trying to sound like a know it all

    I smell a serious inferiority complex here lol!Recommend

  • ANAND

    @Waqar: May be then you have not seen too much Indian films .I will give you just one e.g Halla Bol .Recommend

  • Stop Crying Please!

    @Gratgy

    After reading your comment, I re read the comment by Muslim Indian. And for your convenience I am copying that below as well,

    muslim indian Aug 29, 2012 – 1:01PM
    this article is an insult to the intelligence of any Muslim who knows islam and practices islam. salman khan, celebrates elephant diety of hindus in his house and openly says he is half hindu, which makes him a non-muslim. sharukh khan keeps idols next to Quran in his house, and says his children are free to worship what they feel. and bollywood vehemently tries to promote hinduism with these so called “muslim actors” making muslim youth look up to these filthy poeple as role models and promotes all sorts of innovation and paganism and show cases it as muslim culture. muslims need to wake up against this psychological warfare that hindus are waging against muslim youth and trying to deceive them away from islam.

    Now could you point out for me, where exactly has he called hinduism filthy?? People from ‘secular’ India comprehend things as per their own choices I suppose!Recommend

  • Sidewinder

    All those who are averse to Bollywood’s portrayal of Muslims and Islam,Making and watching movies(picture) and music is haraam in Islam.rather than frothing at Muslim actor’s marriage to non Muslims and their idol worship you people should protest their working in a haraam act(acting) and yourself remain away from this sinful act of watching such stuff which will take you to Dozakh ki aag. Recommend

  • Umair

    @ Author:
    This blog shows your anti Pakistan sentiments only. Muslim actors & portrayal of Muslims in bollywood is just one way to vent your anti Pakistan emotions. Stop Crying Please! described clearly about propagation of Hinduism via bollywood. As far as Pak army & ISI are concerned I’ll say that India is trying hard to demoralize them & current illiterate Pakistani government is supporting bollywood.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @S: “Bollywood gives a very wrong picture of Islam, always demonize Paksitanis”

    Sure only Pakistanis and talibans created by Pakistani government give the right picture of TRUE Islam.Recommend

  • BRUISED INDIAN

    @Umair and other Holier Than Thou Pakistani Commentators: Please read an article on this very site detailing biased content towards other faiths in School textbooks of Sindh and Punjab. I can say safely now that the indocrination begins at Grade 1. So instead of pointing fingers at Bollywood first clean your house starting from kids! Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @Stop Crying Please!

    Read it again and this time slowly

    salman khan, celebrates elephant diety of hindus in his house and openly says he is half hindu, which makes him a non-muslim. sharukh khan keeps idols next to Quran in his house, and says his children are free to worship what they feel. and bollywood vehemently tries to promote hinduism with these so called “muslim actors” making muslim youth look up to these filthy poeple as role modelsRecommend

  • Anique

    If the Taliban take over we will not be watching any movies. So this discussion will be pointlessRecommend

  • ayesha_khan

    @k-h-a-n: Have you seen Amar Prem? Do you remember Pushpa?Recommend

  • gp65

    @Umair: “This blog shows your anti Pakistan sentiments only.”

    The author has not said one anti-Pakistan word. She has quoted specifc facts and arguments in support of her statement. If you disagree with the facts, please clearly state which facts you disagree with rather than make in the air statements.

    “Muslim actors & portrayal of Muslims in bollywood is just one way to vent your anti Pakistan emotions”

    Unclear how presence or absence of Indian actors (who happen to be Muslim) in Indian movies has anything to do with Pakistan.
    1 in 6 Indians is a Muslim, so you will find Muslim characters playing all kinds of roles – good and bad. If Indian Muslims had a problem with how they are depicted in movies, then they have enough clout to get themselves heard.
    For Pakistanis, the term Hindu and Indians maybe synonymous and Muslim and Pakistani maybe synonymous. In doing so, you may pretend that Pakistani Hindus do not exist. We Indians however have no intenntion of excluding Indian Muslims from the definition of Indian. Thus regardless of whether the depiction of Indian Muslims is good or bad in Indian movies, it is an issue that pertains to India only. Does not involve Pakistan.

    Now there have been a few movies where Pakistani characters have been demonised – true. When one country has attacked the other 3 times without provocation and sent thousands of terrorists across as part of a policy of strategic depth it is not unexpected that there maybe the occassional movie that vents this frustration. But of the thousands of movies made in Bollywood over the years there maybe 4 or 5 movies that have this theme. In any event, demonising Pakistan is not the same as demonising Muslims. The earlier blog had implied that Bollywood demonised Muslims and there appears to be no evidence of that.Recommend

  • http://Turkey Bharatputra

    Jayant, Madhubala, Ajit and Meena Kumari were all Muslims who were respected and appreciated for their talent and contribution to Indian cinema. Bollywood appreciates talent and it does not discriminate and this is why non indigenous actors like Helen, Nadira, Danny Dengzongpa and Tom Alter were allowed to ply their trade in India. Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/tahiraftab Tahir

    Firstly, I don’t think there was a need for writing the whole ‘Rebuttal’ article that you wrote here, the comments on Mr. Yousfani’s article were loud and clear. Secondly, I agree to the fact that Indian movies have, now, presented muslims in good roles, but hey, at the end of the day whose getting bad image? Muslims!
    Upon socializing with people abroad, I pretty much get that stereotype response, based on what Indian media portray us!Recommend

  • Maria

    @jagjit sidhoo: No need to tell this to Ayesha Khan. She is an Indian herself and knows full well that intermarriage among religions in very common in India – not only between Christians and Hindus or Sikhs but also Muslims. Recommend

  • Haider

    “Are you kidding me? Bollywood loves Muslims”…
    Are you kidding me? Bollywood loves “Muslims”?????Recommend

  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan

    Movie is a movie. If you don’t like it switch it off. Pure nonsenseRecommend

  • Sane

    @gp65:
    *the IB was well informed about the LeT men hatching a plan to attack the Taj, they had been knowing this fact since 18th November 2008, but unfortunately, they never passed on this information to the Navy or to the Mumbai police, rather they preferred to give it to the coast guard which has nothing to do with the internal security.*

    The above proves that allegation against Pakistan involvement in Bombay attacks is baseless. No one involved gives information of expected attack to a government agency, as coast guard were Indian. They took it hoax and did not move or informed others. This slackness is at part of India and depicts lack of coordination, lethargy and incompetence. Despite having information they could not counter it. Like Indian Army, Police and Commandos could not catch just 6 or 7 persons despite days passed. Look and sort problems at your end instead of blaming others.Recommend

  • Abdul rafay

    I guess there is no end of this discussion, India has its problems and so does Pakistan. Actually the fault arises due to lack of educated audiences (read: not much to do with literacy alone) in both lands. Bollywood movies are just glamorized buffoonery. Anyone with a serious attitude towards ‘art’ would consider 90% of their work to be copied , dumb and merely for the sake of cheap entertainment- the kind Indian ‘janta’ and their secret admirers (Pakistanis) love. Of course, in fact it is what any “khaas o aam” with a huge appreciation for ‘chichorapan’ would relish.

    One cannot deny the superfluous crap most Indian movies throw at Pakistan/Islam, such as :
    1-every Muslim community is led by a a gangster/criminal ring,be it India, Pak or USA (ref: QURBAN the movie)
    2-every Muslim/Pakistani terrorist has last name “BHAI” and has a Moulana beard and head scarf/cloth
    3-All terrorists are bred in Pakistan, and trained to destroy India/Hindus (no other nation)
    4-general social problems like human/drug/sex trafficking are so common in Pakistan (ch ch ch..poor pakis)
    5-rights of women/animals are next to nothing in Islam/Pak
    6-All paki (men women children and perhaps sperm cells too) are born with unmatchable terrorist skills and can work with all sorts of ammunition.They are always ready to die.
    7- All the trouble Pakistan makes, India has to clean up. YAY!! BHARAT SAVES THE DAY!

    I’m getting carried away, but some of the stuff I’ve seen in Bollywood (more like Intellectual-property-thefty-wood) is just fake. This is 90% of their work. And yet, there are gems like My name is Khan, 3 idiots, Dil chahta hai, that are made by ‘educated’ people-who have a sense for ..well ‘sense’ generally and do go ‘over board’. Keep it simple. I love these movies, they are original, sensible and don’t expose more ‘munnie’ that one can handle.

    Alright, Pakistanis-the biggest hypocrites. They will die for bollywood movies, Idolize their “stars” and heck even do their ‘dances’ at sacred family celebrations!!

    Conclusion: Idiots will be idiots, doesn’t matter if they are in India or Pakistan, writing films or watching them. Factually, India has more of them, cause of the population difference :) GANDHII JEE KI JAY!

    Also, Kindly stop patronizing people of ‘bollywood’ generosity by mentioning the singers, you know very well how bad you need them. Proof: Do we ever hire Indian singers??Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo

    @Maria: I would have been equally open if my son had fallen for a Muslim girl its just there are hardly any Muslims in Chandigarh . It might have been a different story if he had been in college in Delhi, Pune or Mumbai.I only want the kids to be happy.Recommend

  • jagjit sidhoo

    @Abdul rafay:Your comment was a good read i really liked the flow you did spoil it a bit in the end when you got involved in the singers row. Recommend you watch Chupke Chupke the old one with Dary and Sharmila. Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Waqar: Are there any Pakistani Movies that show a Muslim girl married to a Hindu guy? JihRecommend