Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Bollywood often known as Hindi cinema, was formerly known as Bombay cinema. Flickr

Somebody recently said Bollywood is a soft target! Is it? In what stalwarts prefer to call the Hindi Film Industry, there exists a fast swinging revolving door. Some stay for a while after entering, while others are thrown out immediately. Whoever said that the industry is a soft target knows nothing about the film industry here. What is more, thanks to social media, just about everybody voices an opinion? Especially those who are out of action for years and are not aware of how things have changed.

Mumbai played host to the film industry when it was called that as identification, as to where one belonged as well as in the hope that it will be recognized someday. Then the industry finally got due recognition. Film insurance, institutional finance, and other such benefits became available.


Sadly, few knew how to avail and fewer qualified! The industry was always at the mercy of the Shylock film financiers who charged anything between 3 to 3.5 percent PM interest, with the loan renewable every quarter. The interest was deducted at the time of borrowing, not to mention the brokerage payable to the middleman who brought a producer and financier together.

Luckily for the filmmakers, they were spared the embarrassment of approaching financial institutions like banks to back their films; they had too many preconditions. Except for a few production houses — and those few were limited to two or three — others neither knew how to go about it nor had clean bookkeeping to go for it.

I say luckily because a lot many foreign production and distribution houses based in the US of A or the other country entered the film industry in India. They had all the money to invest in the film industry here.


The corporate entities were the soft targets, not the film industry, says Vinod Mirani. Flickr

The strategy these foreign investors worked on was to back names, rather than content. They had all the departments under one roof — like legal, finance, accounting, promotion, communication, and so on. But, none could understand and whet a script. They did not need one either, since they financed names that had some standing in the industry, the ones who could bring in big stars. Yes, one other thing they did not know was budgeting.

These companies granted budgets in crores for projects, for films they did not even know how they would be assembled and shaped. With their arrival, films that were made in lakhs were now being made in crores!

In the process, many filmmakers became rich in a short time and, as things stand today, all these money bank corporate houses have been forced to withdraw from either financing or acquiring films for distribution. But, while their business model lasted, it made millionaires out of many undeserving film people. That easy inflow is what has brought in evil like drugs. Earlier, a filmmaker toiled to complete just one film and had no time or inclination to cultivate an evil mind.

Some corporate houses, in fact, have gone in the totally opposite direction. They now do not back filmmaking or marketing. They have taken to adding to the OTT repertoire. And the corona lockdown, when the film production and the exhibition was totally closed down, seem to have stolen the edge.

These corporate entities were the soft targets, not the film industry. They were thoroughly exploited.


Bollywood has been divided into 4 major categories: Early history – 1890-1940, Golden age- 1940-1960, Classic Bollywood- 1970-1980, New Bollywood- 1990 to present. Flickr

One thinks that those who make such comments calling the industry a soft target, which the media amplifies, regardless of what such a person making the comment has in the film industry. Here, anybody can get up and pose as the saviors of the industry. The latest to do that in the media was one-time actor Supriya Pathak. She is not alone, many others over the last few weeks have made similar statements. The media is to blame. Why does it think that any and everybody’s opinion matters and is worth airing?

The film industry was never a soft target except during the Emergency phase. Again, even at that time, the film industry was not the only one. From the individuals to artistes and the media to the rich and poor, all were at the receiving end.

In the industry, the soft target is the one whose new film releases on a Friday, be it a star, a director, or a producer. If his/her film flops, the rest of the industry gleefully celebrates the failure. But the same producer, when someone else’s film releases, joins with the rest who celebrate! That was not as bad as what has been going on over the last few years. A kind of vindictiveness has taken over many mindsets. A coterie is created and those who don’t belong are held in contempt to the extent that attempts are made to finish their careers.

Are the people like the ones who are on the CBI’s watchlist as well as the suspect list make the Film Industry? Sushant Singh Rajput and Disha Salian were outsiders, so much so that they deserved to die?

ALSO READ: Ayushmann Khurrana: We have to Raise Better Sons!

Karan Johar has been much in the news recently. A couple of weeks back, a nominated Parliamentarian belonging to a film family, wanting to pose as Mother Bollywood, sought protection for the film industry. Well, that is what will happen once the three agencies are done with their investigations. The industry will be protected from the evils of drugs and also from enticing young stars into drug nets.

If anybody is a soft target at all hours of the day, it is a select group of politicians and, similarly, some of the top industrialists. The film industry does not figure anywhere on the target list.

(Vinod Mirani is a veteran film writer and box, office analyst. The views expressed are personal) (IANS)


Popular

Photo by Flickr

It is believed that when a woman goes through her menstrual cycle, she goes through the different lunar energies.

Well, if you'll notice then the moon takes twenty-nine days to complete its lunar cycle, whereas women's menstrual cycle is generally 28 days! Coincidence? I think, not.

It is believed that when a woman goes through her menstrual cycle, she goes through the different lunar energies. In fact, in ancient times it was said that the natural rhythm of women was to menstruate under a new moon and ovulate under a full moon.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourised in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has directed Pak TV channels to stop airing what it calls indecency and intimacy in dramas, Samaa TV reported.

A notification issued by the authority states that it has been receiving numerous complaints from viewers who believe that the content being depicted in dramas does not represent the "true picture of Pakistani society".

"PEMRA finally got something right: Intimacy and affection between married couples isn't 'true depiction of Pakistani society and must not be 'glamourized'. Our 'culture' is control, abuse, and violence, which we must jealously guard against the imposition of such alien values," said Reema Omer, Legal Advisor, South Asia, International Commission of Jurists.

"Hugs, caress scenes, extramarital affairs, vulgar and bold dressing, bed scenes and intimacy of married couples are being glamourized in utter disregard to Islamic teachings and culture of Pakistani society," PEMRA stated, as per the report.

The authority added that it has directed channels time and again to review content with "indecent dressing, controversial and objectionable plots, bed scenes and unnecessary detailing of events".

Most complaints received by the PEMRA Call Centre during September concern drama serial "Juda Huay Kuch is Tarah", which created quite a storm on social media for showing an unwitting married couple as foster siblings in a teaser for an upcoming episode. However, it only turned out to be a family scheme after the full episode aired, but by that time criticism had mounted on HUM TV for using the themes of incest to drive the plot, the report said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Pakistan, Islam, Serials, Dramas, Culture, Teachings.


Photo by Flickr

Dozens of female high school and university students in Afghanistan have joined vocational centers to learn tailoring and cosmetology

Dozens of female high school and university students in Afghanistan have joined vocational centers to learn tailoring and cosmetology as the women and girls have been banned from school and university since the Taliban took over the country, Tolo News reported.

According to these girls, sitting at home is very difficult for them, therefore they are willing to learn a profession.

"It has been a couple of months that we are at home since schools and universities were closed. We have to learn a profession or a job because we can't sit like this at home," said Samira Sharifi, a student.

"I want to learn a profession for my future to help my family, we want our schools to be opened so that we can carry on with our education," said Mahnaz Ghulami, a student.

Most of the trainees in the vocational centres are students of high schools and universities.

After the closure of high schools and universities across Afghanistan, Herat female students have started gaining vocational training in the province.

"We have decided to learn tailoring along with our education," said Shaqaiq Ganji, a student.

"It's necessary for every woman to learn tailoring to help her family and her husband, especially in this bad economic situation," said Laili Sofizada, a teacher.

Due to the closure of schools and universities, the number of students in vocational centers doubled compared to recent years, the report added.

"Our classes had the capacity of 20 to 25 students but we increased it to 45 students, because most of the students have lost their spirit, and their schools and universities have closed," said Fatima Tokhi, director of technical and professional affairs at the Herat department of labour and social affairs.

The Labour and Social Affairs department of Herat said the department is working to provide more opportunities for Herat girls and women to learn vocational training.

"The art and professional sector and the kindergarten departments have started their activities, we support them and supervise their activities," said Mulla Mohammad Sabit, head of the labour and social affairs of Herat.

During the past two months, most of the women and girls who worked in state and private institutions lost their jobs and are trying to learn handicrafts and vocational training. (IANS/JB)


Keep reading... Show less