Suddenly, the word ‘Bollywood’ is drawing attention for the wrong reasons, thanks to Salman Khan’s tweets. On Wednesday night, the actor wrote on his Twitter page, “Hate this bloody name, bollywood, koi naam hai kya ? Disgusting (sic).”
He didn’t stop there. “A Hollywood se bollywood naam nikla, this is nt the name of our industry. Don’t kno whr this ridiculous name has cm frm n got stuck. Bollywood was fr wen mumbai was called bombay toh kya shld it nt b called mumllywood. it makes us look like chamchas. 1 of the 1 st film production was called bombay talkie’s so call it that or mumbai tal... Or indian cinema, call it any thing but nt boll.. (sic).”
The film fraternity couldn’t help but react, and most who took notice thought Sallu had a point. Actor Riteish Deshmukh replied, “I totally love the term Hi-Fi for hindi film industry - instead of Bollywood (sic).” Others who think that the word sounds like a tasteless rip-off from ‘Hollywood’ include musician AR Rahman, filmmaker Imtiaz Ali, actors Gul Panag, Dia Mirza and Saif Ali Khan, among others. “We are not a cheap imitation of some other ‘wood’,” says Ali. Saif had said in an earlier interview, “We should start calling ourselves the Indian Film Industry.”
However, some feel otherwise. “It’s a term that has caught on, and is now globally recognised as an identity of Hindi films,” says actor Minissha Lamba. Incidentally, ‘Bollywood’ also features in the Oxford dictionary.
Though the debate seems to have gained momentum only now, it is not the first time that someone has expressed displeasure at the term. Veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan has been insisting over the years that the word ‘Bollywood’ be banned. “I think it is very demeaning to our industry. It almost sounds like an abuse. I would rather want to find out when Hollywood wants to come to India,” he had said in 2007.
Last year, he had tweeted, “FI : Film Industry, InFI : Indian Film Industry ... a much recommended and apt name than the other plagiarised euphemism!”