BOLLYWOOD! Just with the term strikes the films with dance and upbeat music, in the mind. But this is not what actually the industry is. The industry produces films on large scale and infact is the highest producer of the films, on both commercial and non-commercial bases. That is why every actor and celebrity in the industry wants to call it ‘Hindi Film Industry’ or ‘Indian Film Industry’ but not ‘Bollywood’.
The voice has raised against it many a times, as the term sounds copied and cheap derived from Hollywood, just putting B replacing H, as the former name of Mumbai was Bombay. So the film industry in Mumbai has completely accepted itself used to this term. It’s like as if calling someone stupid and idiot and finally the person name itself as stupid or idiot.
This is very much derogatory as it was used by the western media for their convenience. They mock by using the name Bollywood saying ‘oh those films with pomp dance and beat music’, which is shameful to accept this kind of idiocy. They always try to make fun by conversing in a way, ‘oh those movies where people happily dance and sing in bright colourful clothes’, but sorry this doesn’t sound cool. We are not the industry who copies to be seem like “lalaland” of Hollywood.
Recently, a series on Indian Cinema has been released on the biggest OTT Platform, Netflix “The Romantics” made by Smriti Mundhra. In an episode of the series the topic of celebs hating to call Indian cinema as Bollywood has touched again. All the big celebs and actors shared their views that they just hate the term, as our films are purely related to our culture and shows our society.
A movie named “Luck By Chance” directed by Zoya Akhtar also tickeled the problem and shown a scene where Dimple Kapadia scolds a person calling Hindi Film Industry, as Bollywood. Highlighting the thing that there is a problem with the term.
Origin Of The Term Bollywood
The term first came into use in 1970s, when India overtook America as the world’s largest film producer. Credit for the term has been claimed by several people, including lyricist, filmmaker and scholar Amit Khanna, and journalist Bevinda Collaco.
‘Bollywood’ was inspired by ‘Tollywood’, the name that was used to refer to the cinema of West Bengal. Dating back to 1932, ‘Tollywood’ was the earliest Hollywood inspired name.
Celebs’ Hate For The Term Bollywood
Back in the year 2007, an interview of Nasserudin Shah and Om Puri was conducted where the veteran actors and phenomenal theatre artists spoke their minds out loudly regarding this. To them also the word seemed derogatory, they attacked the western media for calling them ‘Bollywood Actors’.
They said, “The Indian Film Industry was not happy with the word ‘Bollywood’ and were disgusted at its usage in the media. The term Bollywood was used to mock us by the western press and it’s just an indication of our own idiocy that we still use it.”
Adding to it, Om Puri said in an emotional voice, “Bollywood – whenever western people refer to it, they mean Hindi films, they say, ‘ oh those song and dance films’. So it is a derogatory term. These terms are created by the media. Now the Mumbai film Industry refers to itself as Bollywood. It’s like being called an idiot all your life and then making it your name.”
Pervaiz Alam, the director who interviewed the actors, also putted his point that, “more and more film-makers and actors from India are telling us not to use the word, as they often find patronising.”
Visualising the bigger picture the term also divides and differentiate the industry with other film industries on regional level in India. Mumbai film industry as Bollywood, Bengali film industry as Tollywood, Punjabi film industry as Pollywood, southern film industry as South Indian films and many more, which is not right.
Demand On The Occasion Of 100 Years Of Indian Cinema
“It’s not a Hollywood rip-off and not about dancing around the trees anymore. So stop calling it Bollywood”, demand made by the film-makers on the occasion of 100 Years Of Indian Cinema, in 2012.
In 2012, film-maker Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, was the latest to call for a ban on the term Bollywood. The film-maker said, “It makes me angry. We were never Bollywood. We have lost our identity. We are the Hindi Film Industry and I have a lot of pride in that.”
The legend film-maker Subhash Ghai supports him by saying, “We must stop using this name – it sounds satirical. It’s best called Indian or Hindi cinema.”
Actor Anupam Kher has also raised his voice and strongly feels that the word has a colonial undertone. “It is a word coined by westerners for their convenience. Fitrat mein hi ghulami hai. Bollywood is very uncool. We have our own identity.”, Says actor Ayushmann Khurana.
This is not the first set of demands for scrapping the term. Earlier actor Salman Khan has also tweeted, “Hollywood se Bollywood naam nikla, this is not the name of our industry. Don’t know where this ridiculous name has come from and got stuck. It makes us look like chamchas…call it anything but not boll…(sic).”
Amitabh Bachchan, Riteish Deshmukh, Saif Ali Khan, AR Rahman, Imtiaz Ali, Gul Panag, Dia Mirza and so many other actors, directors, singers, choreographers, etc. continued to stand against the term. Although as some argue that it has caught on and is not offensive in any way.