I do not mean to question the quality of indian movies. Bollywood productions are good, infact very good, so good that they are viewed throughout the world and even in regions and places which share no linguistic, cultural or historic proximity which make the basis of these movies. So we end it here, indian movies are great.[Full Stop]
What I mean by the title is to question that, are indian movies worth the time, effort, emotions and an internal divide of a country of 200+ million people who are not sure whether to ban, boycott or let these movies (officially) screen in Pakistan.
There are people who support(often strongly) release of indian movies in Pakistan, and those who dont want(often strongly) their screening, and than there are those who do not care. The “Don’t Care” category is in the majority but we dont hear from them about this issue, for the simple reason that they dont-care and they have other priorities to look after. These “Do not Care” are the people living in rural areas, people living in poverty, the young and infants and the old to very old. They have priorities far more important than to do with a drama or a movie.
The vast majority of those who Do-Not-Want indian movies to screen in Pakistan are those who do not want to have anything with an indian ‘connection’ since they consider india an enemy state and think of screening their film as a weak gesture from their arch rival country which also offers india financial and moral gain. There are also those who do not want these movies because of the “vulgar” content in these movies as it do not conform with the norms of an Islamic state. Some reject the idea of releasing indian films just because these films add to the indian cultural invasion into the country and also since there is an unannounced ban of Pakistani films in india.
The most vocal of the 3 groups is the one which supports screening of indian movies in Pakistan. Some strongly favor support screening due to the business activity generated by these films. Others in this category support their argument based on the shear ‘entertainment value’ and obsession of indian films and actors. In this support group are also those who believe in release of indian films based on the notion of ‘freedom’ and ‘equality’ i.e. if movies from Hollywood can be screened than why not from bollywood.
Acknowledging arguments from both sides, the decision to allow or ban on screening of indian films can be derived by accessing the following:
- Financial impact of banning release of indian movies
- Entertainment-Value of indian movies
- Available alternatives to indian movies
- Further room for censorship of indian movies
- Diplomatic and moral grounds for releasing indian movies
The above factors can be best measured by the Government of Pakistan and as such the final decision should be left to them as they deem fit for the country. Irrespective of what happen in the future, the two sides of the case will always have options available to them, like that of boycotting indian movies and rally for their cause and to download/buy a pirated copy and get entertained. Meanwhile the silent majority will continue to don’t-care.