Why can't Bollywood stop targeting S. Indians?

So Bollywood comes up with another movie that plays with the sentiments of South Indians - this time the Tamils. Just saw a Headlines Today debate with Messrs. John Abraham & Co on the one side and Naam Tamilar Kaatchi's Mr. Ayyanathan on the other.

The issue is over an upcoming movie titled Madras Cafe, the depiction of Sri Lankan Tamils in it and the role of the LTTE in the killing of former PM, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. The moviemakers feel they've done nothing wrong and taken no positions in the movie, and the Tamil protesters feel they've everything wrong and taken a position against Tamil sentiments - by portraying Sri Lankan Tamils as terrorists.

I have a simple point to make here. Why can't Bollywood stop making movies about South India or South Indians? The real question is not whether Bollywood moviemakers can take a balanced stand about them. The question is: why take any stand? If their answer is 'freedom of expression', why not limit its exercise to North India? In fact, why let any Bollywood movies be screened in South India at all, when that very act can and is construed as the continuation of a long history of cultural hegemony?

If the answer to this question is 'We're all Indians,' I say welcome to the true India where this political identity pales in comparison with linguistic identities that are thousands of years old. You don't build a multilingual nation yesterday and start making movies that play with the feelings of entire linguistic peoples today. No, not even under one or the other universal-sounding pretext. That only weakens the nation. Mind it.


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