Bollywood has always glorified wars using jingoistic hue as a narrative. All the old slogans are dug up from the annals of history and the pride of Sikhs, Gorkhas, Jats, Marathas, Rajputs etc. invoked to parade the vigor of the contemporary Indian army. Bollywood uses all overt and covert means to brag about the exploits of its army and at the same time the poverty and hunger of the millions on account of the expenses done on army is hidden from the public.
It takes the courage of directors like Oliver Stone who in the movie, “Platoon” describes war as an exercise in waste which benefits no one. Or for that matter in “Born July 4” in which the sad suffering of Tom Cruise shows that war benefits no one. The courage of the directors of Hollywood is missing on Bollywood directors who just want to make money by playing with the emotions of people.
Bollywood war movies thrives on the hatred for the neighboring country and unbridled jingoism. In the movie “Border” the main hero is seen hurling abuses at its enemy counterpart. These abuses are heard above the noise of the artillery and bombs. The soldiers of the neighboring country are shown as first rate idiots who can not take a decision on their own.
The Bollywood misses out on the fact that there still are millions of people in the sub-continent who go to bed empty stomach. War only benefits the arms manufacturers and no one else. Both the countries in the sub-continent can go a long way forward if they shun their meaningless jingoism.
The media in general and cinema in particular can help in bridging differences between the two countries in the sub-continent. We need courageous directors who can boldly tell public that war is an absolute wastage of resources and that there is no glory in it.
This thread also needs to be picked up by some of the extra-terrestrial news anchors in the studios of Luther’s Delhi and Karachi.