MUMBAI: Since Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in India, Bollywood has witnessed the release of 37 movies that are deemed as anti-Muslim.
These films often portray Muslims as villains, terrorists, or members of criminal organizations, exacerbating communal tensions, according to media reports. Titles like “Kashmir Files,” “Lipstick Under My Burqa,” and “Kerala Story” have added fuel to the ongoing discourse on the industry’s portrayal of the Muslim community in a negative light.
The year 2023 alone has seen the launch of six more films criticized for perpetuating negative stereotypes and fostering animosity against Muslims. Analysts anticipate a rise in such releases leading up to the 2024 elections, with around 20 more ‘anti-Muslim’ films expected.
BJP’s Strategic Use of Bollywood Prior to 2019 Elections Resurfaces
Anup Raghav, a prominent commentator on Bollywood, suggests that the Modi government incentivizes productions aligned with its political agenda by offering tax benefits. This, in turn, encourages the creation of movies that tarnish the image of the Muslim community in India.
Bollywood’s involvement in political agendas is not new. Prior to the 2019 elections, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party strategically utilized the film industry to shape narratives that served their political objectives.
Narendra Modi is ruling the India since 2014.