Bollywood, the casting couch and narratives

Question:  According to you, what is the most corrupt entity in Independent India? Please ignore all the 100 bucks you slipped under the table for a file to be moved to next table. I am talking about the big stuff. The Corruption at a level of the complete collapse of the moral values and the entire entity has become so dysfunctional and desperately needs clean-up from external forces? Anything comes to your mind?

Generally, the Political Parties comes top of everyone’s list (cause they get caught). Followed by them, we have cops or officers. You may have Hospitals in your list (who arm-twist you for some extra tests); finally Schools who rob you with your life long saving and so on…

But never Bollywood.! It does not even appear in “corrupt” lists, frustratingly never!. They can

  • Party shoulder to shoulder with India’s most wanted Terrorist’s!
  • Kill endangered species or Drive SUV on not so endangered ‘being humans’!!
  • Appeasement of Paki-land talents; the list goes on and on…

But our general response is a large “Meh..!!” And then we go on and buy ticket subsequent Friday. You know, for that movie which has Chunky’s daughter and Jackie’s Son.

I would argue that Bollywood is probably one of the most corrupt mafias there is! And entire Blame should be assigned to us – the Audience, we created this monster. We tolerated the deep-rooted evil practises and allowed it to grow. There are too many things to talk about, but in this post, I will stick to two of them. More to come…

1/ The casting Couch : I am surprised that people are surprised. This practise is as old as Bollywood itself. See the images below and follow the link and these scenes are from late 40s. My best guess is that her role in the movie was nothing to do with swim-suit and probably was fully-saree-wrapped woman. But for some reasons the Director was very particular.

2/: The Approved Library of stories: Bollywood is very particular on scripts and the narratives. They will iteratively stick to a set of topics, continuously remixed. They never churn unless there is a new, collectively agreed narrative.

Let me give you one example: Hatim Tai was a 6th-century Yemeni prince allegedly known for his generosity. But, that bloke never came to India and had no India connection. But Bollywood has made 7 movie/series on him !!. Pakistan made 2 NONE made by Yemen or any other nearby countries. You can search in the Movie database and challenge me on this.

  1. Sakhi Hatim (1955) – Nanubhai Vakil
  2. Hatim Tai (1956), directed by Homi Wadia
  3. Saat Sawal (1971), directed by Babubhai Mistry
  4. Hatim Tai (1990), directed by Babubhai Mistry        
  5. Dastaan-e-Hatimtai(1994-1995) – Indian TV Series aired on DD National
  6. Hatim (2003-04) – Indian TV Series on Star Plus in
  7. The Adventures of Hatim (2013) – Indian TV Series on Life OK

Can someone explain what is going on here..? Even Gandhi did not have so many movies made on him !!. What about Bose & Patel? On TATAs? Or where are the films on real-life Heroes we had.?

To be continued…

P.s. Remember that Kamli Kamli song from Dhoom 3 where Amir Khan as a director conducts casting couch on Katrina’s character . Textbook ! But you know … “the Meh !”

13 thoughts on “Bollywood, the casting couch and narratives

  1. By “real shit” means … The real shit of bollywood which u expressed. Sorry if I had misunderstood it. I am glad infact very glad u brought this point. N as u had mentioned, you had highlighed 2# and I am sure you know and I know there many other to talk about the corruption in bollywood. Hope I was clear

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good one sirji.. But, again has its negatives as well the positives. Like, you rightly said probably Bollywood is not more often been spoken about or blamed for these.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, technically clean up did not start yet. Only people started acknowledging. This matter will be hushed out soon.. but good that general public can see black and white now, not grey.


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