Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Is Bollywood teaching good values to my children?

Sitting here in the U.S.A., only Indian program I have been getting locally is Namaste America on Saturday mornings. For the last 10 years or so, I have watched may be about 20 –30 shows. One thing I have noticed is that almost all of the movie songs for the past years and more recently have started to look alike, especially the increasingly sexual theme behind all the dance routines. They all show very little originality or creativity behind these cookie cutter songs. Even though Bhangra has reached mainstream with some success in Canada, England and here, especially among NRIs, I see some of the same routines in Bhangra songs as well and I thinking it has killed all the other folk dances of Punjab and grace that goes with this traditional Punjabi dance. Bhangra has lost it’s gracefulness. I just can’t believe people watch this stuff and spend money on it. There are a very few artists, directors, choreographers that go the extra mile to bring something original. I wish there were more movies like Lagaan, musicians like A.R. Rahman which bring creativity into Bollywood. I have seen some of the western Sikhs that are doing Bhangra with so much grace and are bringing somewhat of the originally back into it. People say movies like Des Hoya Pardes are so good. I did not see anything good in that movie and would not want my kids to watch some of the police torture scenes that they have shown in the movie. I understand that they are based on real political issues, but why do the kids need to watch it. Exposing kids to this stuff is like stomping on plants before they even have chances to grow. Sometimes I wonder if all this violent and sexually explosive Las Vegas style stuff is really any good for my kids and if it is teaching any good ethical values to them. And this is not the India that I grew up in or the Indians I grew up around. I want my kids to learn about Sikhs and India, but seems like Indians are going the other way and adopting everything Western. Where are all these Indian people that are shown behaving in this manner in the movies. Another trend lately is to use a mix of western women and Indian men and women in the songs and dances that could almost be considered porn. This is really a bad taste on part of bollywood since they are not really portraying the western culture. I feel Bollywood is demeaning to western women and women in general and sends a wrong message to the younger kids. I usually end up turning the show off half way thru. Sometimes I wish the choices were not so limited to just one hour show in a week. I feel bollywood has to be held more accountable since it is not just in India anymore and is a global phenomenon. Hope one day, Bollywood will wake up to this and change its ways to portray women and minorities such as Sikhs the right way.

3 Comments:

Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

Aww Msingh ji....it is sad, in fact very sad, but i doubt if anything is going to change. I like movies in general, doesn't matter bollywood or hollywood. I like the whole process of making a movie, script and dialogue being my fundamental interests. I know how hard it has gotten to watch these movies with family these days.
I wonder myself, of what entertaining mode of education are we capable of providing the younger generation?
When I think of spreading culture and knowledge about those little things to the kids in future, i cna only hope on exciting story sessions with some wonderful collection of punjabi stories.

Until then, let's hope Msingh ji for a new stream of decent, uplifting, educating, yet entertaining cinema to come for our rescue :)

6:55 PM, January 04, 2006  
Blogger SikhsRus said...

Thanks! Why don't you pursue this interest and may be even ask for funding to start a movie project on your blog and elsewhere! Sikhs need young people like yourself that can do all those things and give Bollywood and may be Hollywood their run for the money. Another sad part is that this is what young people watch, and behave like and Bollyowood sells what people buy. This would also be a great seva like Mr. Sikhnet is doing.

9:25 AM, January 05, 2006  
Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

Oh Msingh ji...lol...the only thing i can do well is think and maybe talk abt it :P....lol...I am not capable of engaging in something so big. I dont even have the qualifications to:)

But hopefully, people like Valerie Kaur have gotten a lot of limelight in her project - the documentary of the aftermath of 9/11. The least I can do is promote other people's endeavours.

Satnam Waheguru!

p.s.// Although we need more than documentaries...we need GOOD entertaining medium to share with our new generations!

4:57 PM, January 09, 2006  

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